In what must have been a celebration for the history books, former President Barack Obama and actor Johnny Depp partied the night away during the spookiest season of the year at not one but two epic celebrations.
Though they play very different roles in society, the leader of the free world and those who rank among Hollywood royalty enjoy some really impressive perks from time to time. It’s not there’s no pressure or stress in their respective jobs. On the contrary, the President of the United States undoubtedly faces some of the most grueling and stressful scenarios of any man on earth, and Hollywood actors–especially those who are highly sought-after by film producers and directors–face deadlines and extremely long hours at times, often spending more than 10 to 12 hours or more on a single take, until it’s “just right.”
But there’s no denying that both the U.S. President and members of Hollywood’s elite also enjoy some amazing perks. For one thing, Former U.S. Presidents get special treatment at Disney Parks, as do certain Hollywood actors and actresses–though some actresses take it to a whole other level with that “special treatment” thing, upsetting guests who are also attempting to enjoy the parks; we’re looking at you, Khloe Kardashian.
Celebrities of all ages and pay grades–whether the President or the lead actor in a multi-billion-dollar film franchise–enjoy other perks, like having spaces and places cleared out for them when they want to host celebrations for birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions. Being the President or a famous Hollywood actor also comes with the perks of hosting celebrations of mammoth proportions, as well as inviting other celebrities (or being invited by other celebrities) to the festivities–and having them actually show up.
The same is true for former President Barack Obama and the incomparable and talented Johnny Depp, and no event made this more evident than an over-the-top Halloween party and ensuing after-party at the White House years ago. The initial Halloween festivities featured the Alice in Wonderland theme from Tim Burton’s 2010 Disney flick, and the party was attended by more than 2,000 kids, all of whom gathered on the North Lawn at the White House and mingled with the Obama family. It was a great party by all accounts.
But it’s the after-party that really took the cake (no pun intended).
A Party of Presidential Proportions
After the initial celebration, the crowd of 2,000 quickly dwindled to only 200, and those 200 guests were surprised by all treats, no tricks, as actor Johnny Depp was also in attendance at the after-party. Depp arrived at the White House party clad in his Tarrant Hightopp best–as the Mad Hatter from the Disney/Tim Burton live-action version of Alice in Wonderland (2010).
While the surprise of seeing Johnny Depp at the party would have undoubtedly been more than enough to make the event epic, Depp wasn’t alone. He was joined by actor Deep Roy, who played the Oompa-Loopmas in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and actress Mia Wasikowska, who played the title role in Alice in Wonderland.
Also in attendance was the filmmaker famous for his use of Gothic imagery and German Expressionism, Tim Burton.
A Secret of Presidential Proportions
The Obamas’ Halloween party was kept under wraps for years, as the presidential family had already faced major criticism for hosting lavish events and jetting off to exotic locations to enjoy some very costly family vacations. Though Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were in attendance, their names were intentionally kept off the visitor log at the White House, per The Daily Mail.
The evening’s festivities remained a secret for years until details of the President’s spooky shindig were published in a book by New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor. The Obamas was published almost three years after the Depp-Burton-Obama event, and in it, the author explains the reason for the secrecy of the event: bad publicity for Mr. Obama, especially as millions of Americans were feeling the strain of a major nationwide recession:
“White House officials were so nervous about how a splashy, Hollywood-esque party would look to jobless Americans or to their representatives in Congress, who would soon vote on health care. [So] the event was not discussed publicly, and Burton’s and Depp’s contributions [to the event] went unacknowledged,” writes Ms. Kantor in her book.
It’s worth noting that at the time of the Halloween party at the White House, the premiere of Disney’s live-action Alice in Wonderland was still months away, meaning that those who attended the party got an unprecedented preview of some of the film’s elements, including the characters and their costuming, as well as a glimpse into the look of some of the film’s other characters, as they were used in the decorations for the star-studded party.
In stark contrast to Ms. Kantor’s claims about the party’s secrecy, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied any deliberate secret-keeping, saying to a journalist with The Washington Post that the party “was an event for military children and their families inside the White House, where the press came [and] photographs were taken.”