Director Tim Burton previously cited Lawson as a reference point for the character, admitting that he admired the "nuts" glint in her eye. Speaking at the UK press conference for Alice, Hathaway acknowledged that the Lawson comparison helped her performance.
"I thought that the Nigella reference was actually very helpful, the way she's so passionate about food and especially her descriptions," Hathaway explained. "That definitely helped me in the cooking scene. Not in the other scenes, more so when she's in the kitchen.
"I might be misquoting her, but Nigella's always talking about 'a cacophony of flavours entering your mouth'. I wanted to give her that sensuality in the kitchen. Of course she's talking about buttered fingers and makes herself wretch so it's not quite the same effect!"
Burton added that he prefers to direct his actors using "hints" rather than strict instructions: "I never say to anybody, 'do this, do that.' The joy to me is to see what great actors do with the character. I may give a little few hints, I might have mentioned [Nigella Lawson]. I didn't dwell on it, we talked about lots of different things."
> At The Movies blog: 'Nigella In Wonderland'