A forthcoming book about the president and first lady reveals that they threw a lavish "Alice in Wonderland"-themed Halloween bash featuring actor Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton, the New York Post reported.
"The Obamas" -- written by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor and set to be published Tuesday -- details the whimsical affair, which coincided with the release of Burton's Disney film that starred Depp as the colorful Mad Hatter.
It took place in 2009, the Obamas' first Halloween in the White House, and came at a time when the unemployment rate was at a high of 10.1 percent. Depp, in full costume, greeted guests from atop a table.
"White House officials were so nervous about how a splashy, Hollywood-esque party would look to jobless Americans — or their representatives in Congress, who would soon vote on health care — that the event was not discussed publicly and Burton’s and Depp’s contributions went unacknowledged," the book says.
The Post, which purchased a copy of the book from a Manhattan bookstore, described further:
Tim Burton decorated it “in his signature creepy-comic style. His film version was about to be released, and he had turned the room into the Mad Hatter’s tea party, with a long table set with antique-looking linens, enormous stuffed animals in chairs, and tiered serving plates with treats like bone-shaped meringue cookies,” reports the book, which The Post purchased at a Manhattan bookstore.
“Fruit punch was served in blood vials at the bar. Burton’s own Mad Hatter, the actor Johnny Depp, presided over the scene in full costume, standing up on a table to welcome everyone in character.”
The Obamas’ daughters, Malia and Sasha, then 11 and 8 respectively, “sat at the table, surrounded by a gaggle of their friends, and then proceeded to the next delight, a magic show in the East Room.”
The White House had hosted toned-down Halloween activities for area schoolchildren earlier in the day, before the Obamas went inside for the exclusive invitation-only party attended by children of military personnel and White House staffers, the Post said.
And Depp and Burton reportedly weren't the only celebrities in attendance at the White House that day: The Post reported that "Star Wars" director George Lucas even sent the original Chewbacca costume out so the wookiee could mingle with trick-or-treaters.
Previously released details from Kantor's book revealed Michelle Obama clashed repeatedly with President Obama's advisers and that she even wanted to stay in Chicago instead of move into the White House right away when her husband began his term.