March 07, 2010

Michael Sheen Kept Laughing While Filming 'Alice In Wonderland'

The British actor plays the White Rabbit in the fantastical new movie directed by Tim Burton. Since much of the film relies on computer wizardry, the cast had to act in front of a green screen - often alone – before other characters were added in digitally later.
"In some ways it's easy, it's more like being a kid - when you're playing with your friends you don't spend six months researching before saying 'I'm a pirate!' The power of belief and your imagination takes over,” Sheen explained to the BBC. “My favourite thing is when the actors have to react to some monster, it's just some bloke with a long stick and a cross on the end so everyone knows what to look at.
"I love the fact it's so low-tech in the middle of this big film."
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Mia Wasikowska also appear in the movie, which is based on the classic children’s book by Lewis Carroll. Depp plays the Mad Hatter and did a significant amount of research to prepare for the role. He drew inspiration for his character after discovering hat makers were often affected by a nervous system disorder known as Hatters’ Disease. "They used this very toxic substance to glue the hats together and they ended up heavily poisoned," he explained. "This poison would manifest in different ways, some with a tourettes-like syndrome, some were personality disorders, some were even darker and weird.
"My approach to the character was just the idea of trying to go from extreme sides of the personality.”


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