Johnny Depp is once again keeping his handsome profile under wraps, reuniting with director Tim Burton for the seventh time as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. “Playing him was like getting shot out of a cannon,” he says with a grin. “I had so much fun I was afraid they wouldn’t pay me. My Mad Hatter is a little darker than he is in Lewis Carroll’s book, but he still takes care of Alice. And, of course, they have a tea party.”

Depp is practically unrecognizable beneath a layer of pale makeup, except for those ruby lips and a wild tangle of red hair bursting from beneath a quirky chapeau. And that’s just the way he wanted it. “I like to do watercolors of a lot of the characters I play,” he reveals, “and my painting of the Mad Hatter is pretty much the way he looks on the screen.”

KRISTEN STEWART ROCKS

Kristen Stewart takes a break from being Bella in the ongoing Twilight Saga to play legendary rocker Joan Jett in The Runaways, and she reveals it was more challenging than suffering the pains of vampire love. “If I play a real person I can’t fake any aspect of it,” she says. “I spent time with Joan over New Year’s and watched a lot of videos of her performances. I’m not imitating her but I really hope I capture what makes her unique. Joan is cool and one of the most soulful women I’ve ever met. Hers is a really triumphant feminist story.”

Of course, I had to find out what’s coming up in the next installment of Twilight, Eclipse, which hits theaters in June. “Just as you think you’re going to get the same story, all of a sudden it completely changes,” Kristen reveals. “Bella is back to herself. She’s comfortable and self-assured in a way that she wasn’t in New Moon. What I really loved about Eclipse was exploring different levels of love and acknowledging that the ideals that you had aren’t totally true. My favorite scene is when Jacob and Edward, who are mortal enemies, are in a tent with sleeping Bella between them. It seems ridiculous but it happens.”

And Stewart also told me what she has learned about coping with fame. “As soon as I stopped trying to control everything that came out of my mouth and every picture of me that came out, that’s when I became so much happier,” she says. “It wasn’t like some big turning point. I’ve just grown into being able not to care as much and to realize that I’m not going to be able to influence the way everybody perceives me.”

IMAGE: Johnny Depp

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