If his daughter is to Chanel “the rose of all roses” than Johnny Depp is to his new film the thorn in the flower bed.
On the promotional trail for the James Bobin-directed film Alice: Through The Looking Glass – the highly-publicised sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 Alice In Wonderland – 52-year-old Depp looked dishevelled and completely badass arriving in leather and neckerchiefs at the Jimmy Kimmel Live show in Los Angeles.
World’s away from his whimsical Hatter character in the film, the importance the costume designing played in transforming an already eccentric Depp became even more apparent today.
“The Hatter is all about that hat and the thing is with Johnny, he does something magical with costumes,” says Alice Through The Looking Glass costume designer Colleen Atwood who worked closely with the actor on set. “When he puts one on, his character comes to life in front of you. The Hatter’s look is other-worldy and magical but still somewhat real in a sense. He is in a different headspace at the beginning of our story and his costume goes through a journey of trying to help him find his soul, which I envisioned almost like a black and white Edward Gorey drawing… like someone had removed all his colour.
“It’s Johnny’s face so you know it’s him, but he has gone sane and a little bit insane at the same time.”
Atwood continues to talk about the emotional transformation of the Hatter, shown through costume. In the film, Alice returns to Underland and we see the Hatter wearing his usual attire (jacket, oversized bow-tie and a hat). It is the latter, Atwood says, that truly defines Depp’s character.
“The hat is similar to an actual hat from the Victorian period but enlarged to make it look more whimsical.”
But by the end of the film, you will see the Hatter in a completely different costume, seen here in Atwood’s sketch. “It’s a quasi-safari outfit consisting of a solid linen jacket with lots of straps to hold his gear, plaid Jodhpurs, boots and a plaid Pith Helmet which he wear when searching for his parents.”
If the plotline sounds confusing, it’s because it sort of is. The original film raked in $1 billion at the box office despite mediocre reviews. All eyes will be on its sequel, released Thursday, given its new director. But with Depp and his cigarette at the publicity helm, he’ll make you want to see this transformation. Even if he kisses Jimmy Kimmel to publicise it.
It’s not the first time either!
Alice: Through The Looking Glass, starring Mia Wasikowsa, Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp, Sacha Baron-Cohen and Helena Bonham-Carter is in cinemas May 26.