Mia Wasikowska portrayed troubled, suicidal teen gymnast Sophie in the outstanding HBO psychotherapy drama series “In Treatment.”
Her work made Sophie one of the most powerful, conflicted and emotionally complex teen characters I have seen. She was both fascinating and wrenching in her distraught intensity.
In a magazine interview about her lead role in TIm Burton’s new version of Alice in Wonderland, Wasikowska (pronounced Vash-i-kov-ska) commented, “As a teenager I was very anxious.
“I had a lot of energy and passion that I wanted to channel into creative things, and I always felt like I wasn’t achieving enough.”
She notes her character Alice is now nineteen in the new movie, “with no recollection of having been there before.
“I really think it will be exciting, especially for girls my age because it explores that period of your life when you have these expectations upon you and you’re finding that, amongst that, you have to try and hold on to yourself.”
Wasikowska’s comments about being very anxious and having “a lot of energy and passion” could apply to many children and teens, of course. But some of the most acclaimed actors and musicians are not only talented but also notably intense.
She also reminded me of some of the multiple articles and quotes on this site about high ability people experiencing excitabilities – a concept of Polish clinician and theorist Kazimierz Dabrowski.
For example, Linda Silverman, PhD has commented, “The inner experience of the gifted young person is rich, complex, and turbulent. Their vast emotional range makes them appear contradictory: mature and immature, arrogant and compassionate, aggressive and timid.”