Alice in Wonderland: The Press Conference Clustercuss

There’s something that I’ve never liked about members of the press corps who ask dumb questions. I can’t put my finger on it at the moment, but I have a feeling that it has something to do with the way it makes most journalists — more specifically, bloggers — look. Oh, I know. It makes us all look like idiots. We’re not talking about simple questions — “What was it like working with so-and-so?” — we’re talking about truly idiotic questions that give filmmakers and talent reason to be uncomfortable about sitting down with any press that isn’t from Entertainment Weekly.

For example, Matt Patches at UGO captured a few zingers from the recent Alice in Wonderland press conference in London. Director Tim Burton as well as stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway sat down to talk about the new movie with a group of international reporters. And you won’t believe what sort of interesting things were asked. We’ll start here:

“Ms. Hathaway: you started out a princess, and now you’re a queen, but there were so many Disney Princess’ who couldn’t make it.  They are really desperate, they really wanted the role of Alice, I’m thinking of Lindsay Lohan…so I’d like to know what you’d suggest to all these girls who started as you, like the Olsen twins…why did you make it and they didn’t?”

Anne Hathaway: “I don’t know that I can answer that…I attribute most of my success to luck.  My mother always told me that luck was preparation meets opportunity and I’ve been given extraordinary opportunities.”

“Is that it?”

Anne Hathaway: “Well…what do you think?”

“Well I never see you out partying, and I never see you without panties.”

Anne Hathaway: “I’m happy that you haven’t seen that.”

Anne Hathaway, gracious as always. Good on her for not beating that reporter to death with a bottle of VOSS water. There was also this question, directed at the enigmatic Mr. Depp:

“Johnny, what kind of dreams did you have while you were filming?”

Depp: “Oh, hideous.  I can’t remember exact ones that plagued me during the filming…but I did have a dream once that Alan Hale, the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, chased me through the streets of Hollywood.  I did.”

Those are simply two of several examples of compiled by UGO. It once again illustrates the point that most people should be beaten over the head with expensive bottles of water. It makes me sad, after all, as it is this sort of behavior from members of the press that ruin good opportunities for the rest of us — those of us who would like to sit down with a filmmaker like Tim Burton and ask him about his craft, talk to him about his unique vision, and get answers that real fans of film would find interesting. Not talk about Anne Hathaway’s panties (no matter how interesting that topic may be).

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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