I was invited on an all expense paid trip by Disney to attend the Alice Through The Looking Glass Press Junket for an exclusive interview with Mia Wasikowska.
If you are a fan of Mia’s work as Alice in Disney’s Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, then you surely will be pleased with how Mia has grown up into a strong fearless woman in Alice Through The Looking Glass. I had a chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with Mia Wasikowska and learn about herself, her future and all about her character Alice.
Interview with Mia Wasikowska
Mia enjoyed working with Costume Designer Colleen once again. Mia and Colleen were able to exchange good dialogue about the costume design for the movie, providing Mia with a wardrobe that both looked amazing and was functional. The majority of the wardrobe was trousers, even costumes that looked like a skirt were in fact fashionable pants.
On female empowerment…
Q: Alice is a great role model, especially for young girls or young women. Is there a particular message that you’d like for girls to take away from this movie?
Mia: Yeah, she seems to have this innate sense of who she is and even though she’s got all these challenges and people are always kind of questioning her, she manages to hold on to that really strong sense of herself. Even when she goes to the ball with the oriental costume, she doesn’t even seem to notice the judgment coming from everybody else, and it rolls off her back. The sense of not caring so much about what other people think is really important.
On Meeting the Hatter…
Q: What is your favorite part in the movie?
Mia: I really like the scene when I see the hatter in the, marketplace and I’m trying to explain to him that we’ve met, but when he’s older and I’m younger. I think that’s so sweet, and it has such an essence of the original book to it, that whole abstract, quite bizarre nature of it.
Alice’s Take on Time…
Q: You have a lot of relationships with the other characters in the movie. Is there one that stood out more, that was your favorite?
Mia: I do like the relationship with Alice and Time. I think Sasha plays a confident idiot very well. He’s like this old powerful loser in a way and Alice is the only one that kind of isn’t scared enough to call him out on how he just doesn’t make any sense at all. I like that she has no fear in approaching kind of anyone, especially him, because he has such a strong ego.
Q: There’s so many incredible quotes associated with the movie. Is there one that resonates with you?
Mia: I like the message of time, how you can’t change the past but you can learn from it. Even though we kind of know that, I think really deeply understanding that is really important. It’s the best way to live your life and be in the moment, to accept what’s happened in the past and move on into the future openly and not be sort of fixated on trying to change something that’s already happened. Which is something we can get a bit caught up in.
On Alice growing up…
Q : Alice has grown up and changed a bit. She’s become more independent. How did it feel stepping back into the role with those changes, with the years that have gone by?
Mia : It was great. I really love Alice and I like seeing her journey. In the first film, she was quiet, kind of still a little uncomfortable and trying to bridge that gap between knowing who she is on the inside and then being able to be that on the outside. And I think that was sort of her journey in the first film. And then in this film, she’s just spent two years as the captain of her own ship and has a really strong sense of who she is.
She comes back into this story with a really strong sense of that, and despite the fact that expectations of her are really low in her society, she manages to hold on to that sense of being worth more than what people want of her, which I think is really great and important for young girls and boys everywhere.
Stunt doubles do a body good…
Q : You said there was a lot of running, and I’m assuming there’s probably some wire work and stuff that you had to do. What was the training like for that?
Mia : I had a two-week period before we started filming with the stunt coordinators, which is really great. They were a really brilliant group of people. There’s no illusions to the fact that I did a lot of the physical stuff, but I had a wonderful stunt double who did like a lot of that really difficult, painful stuff. So I would come in and do like the fun, whimsy bits, and then she’d be like thrown across the room.
Mia’s real world perception on the film world…
Q : What is one thing being Alice taught you about yourself or brought up in you?
Mia : You learn a lot of stamina and I think in the film world in general sort of what I’ve learned about it is the perception is quite different to the reality of it. I find that quite interesting. Filming a film like this is great, and really fun, but it is definitely a lot of hard work and a lot of very long days.
How to relax like Mia…
Q : What do you like to do when you’re in there filming? How do you relax?
Mia : I still live in Sydney and so I spend a lot of time in my home and I have a very small garden, I love gardening and reading and being with friends. I live not too far from the ocean, so I like to go for walks a lot, otherwise I live a pretty boring, pretty simple existence. It’s amazing. It’s pretty fantastic. I’m very lucky.
She’s a reader!
Q : What is the last book you read?
Mia: I’m reading at the moment “If On A Winter’s Night, A Traveler”, which is really good. I really love the Elena Ferrante series, the Neopolitan books, novels, they’re great.
Working with Johnny Depp (swoon)
Q : What was it like working with Johnny Depp this time around, and how was it different from the first time?
Mia: It was great. I guess like the main difference was just that I knew him before and with all the cast I had like that level of familiarity with them and, um, that was really nice. So we all knew each other and that always helps stepping into a project like this, which is quite abstract. Um, and he’s such a wonderful person, such a lovely, sensitive like person and, um, I love that he’s so kind of creative. I mean, all his characters are very, very different, but they’re also distinctly his own characters. You always know a Johnny Depp character and he’s great.
Sacha is pretty funny ain’t he…
Q: I’ve heard a lot about how Sacha Baron Cohen is pretty funny as a person, pretty fun to work with. How was it for you to work with him? Do you have anything in particular that you remember from working with him on this?
Mia: Yeah, it was great. I mean, I think there’s like a six-hour version of the film where, you know, because he improvises a lot, so and he’s quite ambitious about it. I’m not sure how he thought half of that was going to get in a Disney movie if you’re at all like familiar with his style. It was just very entertaining. Every day was something like completely different and so I would say he’s very ambitious and very, very smart and really funny.
We are all a little mad around here…
Q : What was Alice like growing up as a, as an original story and then how do you feel about making the film? Do you feel a bit more bonkers?
Mia: I think like the great thing about the books is that you can read them at any stage in your life and they mean like a completely different thing. I think kids see stuff in it that adults don’t and vice versa. And so I like that it lends itself to like many different interpretations. So I mean I hope if anything like all these interpretations kind of bring people back to the original source material.
I think it is nice to, you know, someone says like we’re all mad here or like the crazy, the people who are most, or every, what is it, that if you’re bonkers, you’re good, or whatever. You’re like all the best people are, or something. I think that’s like really comforting and great.
I do hope you enjoyed this exclusive interview with Mia Wasikowska. Be sure to check out my Alice Through The Looking Glass Red Carpet Premiere Experience post before you hit the theaters on May 27th to see the movie for yourself!
Follow the conversation online with #ThroughTheLookingGlassEvent!