In Disney's new fantasy adventure “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” Mia Wasikowska (“Crimson Peak,” “Alice in Wonderland”) is back as Alice Kingsleigh, the head-strong young woman raised in Victorian London who is a dreamer and a noncomfortist. Now on the cusp of adulthood, she continues to struggle with balancing her inherent curiosity and conforming to other people’s expectations.
“Alice is a great character because she’s very much her own person, and after returning from her travels where she was captain of her own ship has gained more confidence and is filled with a sense of inspiration and excitement,” says Wasikowska.
Adds director James Bobin, “Alice, as written by Lewis Carroll, was very forward-thinking for the time and almost out of place because she’s a strong female character in a very patriarchal, Victorian society…sort of a modern woman in an old-fashioned society.”
Question: Everyone is counting on Alice to help the Mad Hatter. How was it returning to the character and how do you feel about Alice being a strong female character?
Mia: At the beginning of this film she’s been traveling around the world for the last two years and was captain of her own ship so she’s coming from a very powerful place. I just love that she has a really strong sense of who she is and despite the fact that expectations of her are really low when she returns to England, she’s able to hold onto that sense that she’s worth more as a person.
Q: What was your initiation to Lewis Carroll’s books and what do you appreciate more now that you’ve looked closer through these movies?
Mia: I think I first came to like an animated version of the film when I was younger I think my mom showed us the stop motion version of the film and then I read the books I don’t know when the first time but I also read them for the first film and that’s how I was introduced to Alice.
Q: Your career pretty much started with the first “Alice” so what was it like to come back doing the sequel?
Mia: It was really unexpected. I didn’t think it was going to happen and then I was really surprised when Disney started talking about it again but it was nice. Six years had passed and I had been in the world a little bit more and having done the first film and worked with the cast and a lot of the creative team, I knew what I was stepping into the second time around. It was really good because of that.
Q: How do you relate to scenes in the movie about time being against you and females being put in a box?
Mia: There are so many messages in this film that I think are great. Just with the message of time, there were always things we wish were different in the past and the best way to have peace with it is to accept it and move forward and not try to change things. As for the female empowerment message, I guess it’s an anomaly to have a big summer blockbuster that has a female lead. I think it’s strange and that’s unusual. Hopefully that will become normal.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the wild costumes in the film?
Mia: Coleen Atwood was the designer and is obviously such a genius but also quite evil because they are very uncomfortable costumes but, in this one, I got to wear lots of trousers and things that were a lot more accessible. Alice is really active so everything felt a little bit more (flexible). I had a (captain’s uniform) suit at the beginning and the end and even that Oriental sort of skirt I wear is padded so that was really great.
Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is now playing across the Philippines and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. Like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, @disney.ph and use the hashtags #AlicePH and #ThroughTheLookingGlassPH.