Alice in Wonderland marks the couple's sixth film together. Burton previously directed Helena Bonham Carter in Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). And it's likely, given the success they've had, Alice in Wonderland won't be the last time we'll see the pair working together on a feature film.
Alice in Wonderland Press Conference - Helena Bonham Carter, 'The Red Queen'On Acting Against a Green Screen:
Helena Bonham Carter: "[...]It was like, when you’re acting, you have to kind of imagine anyway. There’s one thing…the unsung heroes of it are these various green people that gave us their lines off. We had real proper actors who would dress in leotards and didn’t look that good at their best. Anyway, they gave us…for instance, I’ve only met Michael Sheen in the last 12 hours. I mean, I have met him the night before - but he wasn’t there [on set]. I just had a 12-inch drawing of a rabbit. But then, behind him, was this green screen, green actor, so he gave us [the lines]. You know, that’s what we had to act opposite. I would’ve appreciated if he had come in his bunny outfit once. But he didn’t. I wish. But it was, 'No, no, he only acts by himself.'"
"And then Matt [Lucas] had to be always hunched over or no, on the floor, to give lines. Whenever I’d look at Matt [[i]who plays Tweedledum and Tweedledee[/i]], he was always in deep discomfort because he had to try and make himself smaller. Anne [Hathaway] is the one who does her own special effects, but she didn’t have anything special done to her. She does her own gliding, Matt and me and Crispin [Glover] - I don’t know how he did it. He was on crutches and had no eye and somehow managed to remain upright. I don’t know how he did that. We all have to act opposite tennis balls and bits of tape, but you do that anyway. And actually, tennis balls and bits of tape can be good actors. You know, the minimal."
On Spending Hours in the Makeup Chair:
Helena Bonham Carter: "Speak to my husband. It wasn’t that long. I just said hours for the sympathy effect, but it was only two and a half hours. I did exaggerate it, I guess. They had to get rid of my hairline, so you put a bald cap on. That takes about two and a half, hours and then they have to paint it and then they put my beauty makeup on. That took some time. And, my huge wig. So, yeah, but they didn’t blow my head up every morning. They did that on camera. I had this one camera. There are two cameras in the world that do this and they just blow your head up. That’s all it does. And I had this huge camera dedicated to me, which was fine by me."
Did It Take Longer Than Planet of the Apes?:
Helena Bonham Carter: "No, no, no. That was much longer. That was four hours. No, he likes to put makeup on me. He likes to deform me. I love it that he likes to. I mean, the boyfriend. No, I always like looking as different as I can."
On the Appropriate Age for Children to See This Alice in Wonderland:
Helena Bonham Carter: "I don’t know. Tim always has this theory that it’s us that have got the problem, that we impose fears on our kids and the kids are actually quite robust. But it depends on your kid. I mean, we haven’t shown it to Billy yet, just because it wasn’t finished until a few days ago. I don’t know. You know, there was that 3D thing. When we were trying to find a nursery school for our son, Bill, but apparently, according to the Montessori method, they can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy until age 6. She had recommended no fairytales, so that’s why we didn’t send Bill to Montessori because having Tim Burton and fairytales and his world of ideas... 'Oh! Okay.'"
Does She Prefer Playing Beautiful Sex Symbols or Frightening Villains?:
Helena Bonham Carter: "Ah, is this the sex symbol one, I guess. Frightening sex symbol. Actually somebody did actually propose to me in the lift today because in the light they found me attractive with a big head. No, you know what? Because I’m older, I only get villains. Look, whatever is well written and has somebody behind the camera that knows what they’re doing and is a really good storyteller."
"You know what was good actually is he did apply it to my waist. Did anyone notice that? Because they go on about my head, but my waist is digitalized. He told me that right at the beginning. He said, 'Don’t worry. You’re going to have it, obviously. Don’t go for the full pull-in with the corset every morning,' and so I didn’t. And then, halfway through, he said, 'You know, the waist is going to cost too much.' So then, halfway through, suddenly I went for the pull and then luckily at the end somebody just told me, 'No, we did. We could do the waist.'"
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Alice in Wonderland hits theaters on March 5, 2010.