Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter in 'Alice in Wonderland' is "punked out".

Costume designer Colleen Atwood admitted she wanted to give the impression he had been effected by mercury poisoning - a problem many hat makers had in the past - and wanted to give him an unusual, eccentric look.

She said: "He's a little bit punked out, but he has a lot of accoutrements on his costume that are the tools of a hatmaker's trade.

"He has a bandolier of thread, he has ribbons tied on - all things he can make a hat with at any moment.

"At the first fitting I found all these crazy thimbles and showed them to Johnny. He stuck them on his fingers and started playing music on them. We had a lot of fun with all those bits that add to the character and he can use when he's doing the part."

Johnny, who has worked with the film's director Tim Burton six times in the past, loves working with the filmmaker because he gets so much freedom.

He explained: "That's the opportunity you dream of as an actor, to say, 'Look, I'd like to try something'. If you don't try to push a little harder or go a little bit outside. What's the point?"