I had the amazing opportunity to participate in an exclusive Mia Wasikowska interview before attending the red carpet premiere of Alice Through the Looking Glass. Travel, accommodations, and activities were provided by Disney, but all thoughts are my own. Amazon affiliate links included in this post.
When Mia Wasikowska (“Alice Kingsleigh”) walked into the room, I was not only struck by how beautiful she was in person, but how soft spoken and sweet she was. I would love to spend an afternoon with her on the beach, reading books and sipping lemonade.
We jumped right into questions with Mia, and she was eager to chat with us all about making her new movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Mia’s Favorite Scene from Alice Through the Looking Glass
Mia’s favorite scene from this movie was when Alice met the Hatter in the marketplace when she has traveled back in time. Alice tries to explain to Hatter that they have met before, except when she is younger and he is older. It makes no sense, but the Hatter accepts it with a smile and a nod. Mia said, “I think that’s so sweet, and it’s got such an essence of the original book to it, that whole abstract, quite bizarre nature of it.”
When asked about her favorite quote or message from the movie (there are so many amazing quotes!), Mia responded, “I like the message (that) 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 to being able 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 fixated on trying to change something that’s already happened, which I feel like we can get a bit caught up in.”
The Evolution of Alice
We discussed with Mia how Alice’s character evolved from the first movie to the second one. In the first movie, Alice was still a trying to bridge the gap between knowing who she is on the inside and being able to be that on the outside. In this new film, she has a much more solid sense of who she is.
“(Alice) comes back into this story with a really strong sense of (who she is), 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.”
Mia said that Alice is an even stronger role model for young people today, not only because of her strong sense of self in Through the Looking Glass, but because she is able to let other’s judgements about her roll off her back. I loved that Alice’s femininity was not seen as a restriction. Mia said, “Even when she goes to the ball with the oriental costume and she doesn’t seem to notice the judgment coming off of everybody else, that just seems to roll off her back. That sense of not caring so much about what other people think is really important.”
Speaking of Alice’s costumes in Through the Looking Glass, the clothes that she wore reflected that Alice is more independent and confident and free to do what she wants (as seen in the pants that she wears in several scenes, which was very uncommon for women to wear during the late 1800s.
Alice’s Relationship With Time and the Hatter
Mia said that Alice’s relationship with Time really stood out to her in Alice Through the Looking Glass, although she will always have a soft spot for the Hatter. Mia said, “I do like the relationship with Alice and Time. I think Sasha plays like a confident idiot very well. He’s this old powerful loser in a way and Alice is the only one that isn’t scared enough to pull him out on how he doesn’t make any sense at all. like that she has no fear in approaching anyone, but especially him, because he’s gotten such a strong ego.”
She said that working on set with Sasha Baron Cohen kept her on her toes every day. I can only imagine was it was like for her to work with two people as creative and funny as Sasha and Johnny. She told us, “I think there’s a six hour version of the film where (Sasha) improvises a lot, 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 familiar with his (work). It was very entertaining. Every day was something completely different. He’s very ambitious and very, very smart and really funny.”
When asked how her working relationship was with Johnny Depp for this movie, Mia responded, “With all the cast (from the first movie) I had that level of familiarity with them and that was really nice. That always helps when stepping into a project like this, which is quite abstract. (Johnny) is such a wonderful person, such a lovely, sensitive like person and I love that he’s so creative.”
What Resonated Most with Mia About Through the Looking Glass
I was able to see Alice Through the Looking Glass twice this week, and I was struck both times by the deep and far-reaching messages from the movie, including the message to appreciate the time that we have with our loved ones.
When asked about the message that resonated most with her, Mia said, “I really liked that the movie looks at the relationships between all the characters a lot, like Alice and her mother, and the Hatter and his father, and then the root of the rivalry between the sisters (The Red Queen and the White Queen). I mean, your own relationship with your mom like changes again and again as you grow older and you go through different stages in your life, and reestablishing that relationship and how that happens constantly. (I love) that Alice and her mom learn from each other and are able to really appreciate each other again. It’s really sweet in this.”
What Mia Likes to Do to Relax
Filming Alice Through the Looking Glass not only took a lot of time, but it was physically tiring (Mia mentioned several times that she had to do lots of running on set). We were curious about what she does to relax, and she was quick to respond: “I still live in Sydney and so I spend a lot of time like in my home, and I have a very a small garden, but I love gardening and reading and being with friends. I live not too far from the ocean, so I like go for walks a lot, but pretty boring, pretty simple existence.”
Mia said that she is currently reading “If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler” by Italo Calvino. She also loves the Elena Ferrante series, the Neopolitan Novels (so basically, we all put these books on our reading list!).
Speaking of reading, which is one of my favorite past times, Mia spoke about the universal reach that the Alice in Wonderland books have had and will continue to have, on people, “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. Kids see stuff in it that adults don’t and vice versa. I like that (the Alice in Wonderland books) lend themselves to many different interpretations.”
Be sure to head to the theaters this weekend to see Mia Wasikowska in Alice Through the Looking Glass, opening everywhere on May 27, 2016!
To read more about my Alice Through the Looking Glass experience, see my other posts:
- Alice Through the Looking Glass Red Carpet Experience
- Alice Through the Looking Glass Activity Pages and Coloring Sheets
- My announcement post!
More coming soon!
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