Recasting "Alice in Wonderland"

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is an eye-popping, trippy ride, but looking over the cast makes you wonder: Why is every single last person white? For that matter, why is nearly everyone in Tim Burton’s 14 feature films white? For a guy who makes heroes out of the marginalized and overlooked, we would think he'd take diversity into consideration when it came to casting. We thought it would be safe to assume that the king of quirk would be the last person to blindly follow Hollywood’s current fascination with anyone who comes from down-under, like Alice lead actress Mia Wasikowska. Do we really need to import more white people into Hollywood? They’re not exactly an endangered species. Next time, Burton should try some Latinos. Here’s who we would have picked to star in Alice in Wonderland.

Alice: Maiara Walsh. See, Tim? We have blondes too. Though young, Alice has a mind of her own; as Ana Solis on Desperate Wives, the Brazilian ingénue holds her own against Eva Longoria Parker’s Gabrielle. Plus, she’d fill out Alice's dresses better.

Red Queen: Who but Sara Ramirez has both the eyebrows and the comedic chops (Broadway’s Spamalot) to play a petulant psycho-evil despot?

White Queen: Salma Hayek. Gorgeous and maternal—remember that she once breastfed a starving African baby. Wouldn’t you follow this badass anywhere?

Mad Hatter: A dude who’s a little off and talks in riddles. This role has John Leguizamo written all over it (cue tape of him as a hyperactive dwarf in Moulin Rouge), but we think it’s time to pass the loco baton to a younger actor. Chappelle Show alum Guillermo Diaz brought the crazy to his role as gang leader Poh Boy in Cop Out. It’s his time to shine.

Cheshire Cat: Hugo Chavez. Yeah, Cheshire is one of the good guys and Chavez is a dictator-in-training, but they’re both born instigators and both have a tendency to pop up randomly to make cryptic, inflammatory statements. Cheshire disappears in a vapor, Chavez is full of hot air. Remember that out-of-nowhere Bush-is-the-devil-and-left-a-trail-of-sulfur comment at the UN? He’s perfect.

 

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Damarys Ocaña Perez,

Damarys Ocaña Perez is Director of Editorial Content at Latina Media Ventures. She leads its magazine, Latina, the pre-eminent beauty, fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine for acculturated U.S. Hispanic women and is responsible for maintaining Latina’s voice, vision and mission across all LMV platforms. Born in Havana and raised in Miami, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

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