Being the leader of the free world has lots of perks — and apparently one of them is that Johnny Depp comes to your Halloween parties.

Back in 2009, the White House hosted an ‘Alice in Wonderland’-themed shindig that was attended by 2,000 kids who mingled on the North Lawn along with the first family. But afterwards, an exclusive party of only 200 people got to rub elbows with Depp.

He was in full character as the Mad Hatter from the live-action ‘Alice’ movie, joined by Mia Wasikowska, the actress who portrayed the title character, and director Tim Burton, both of whom were also in costume. And since the film didn’t premiere until months later, it was quite a preview for the lucky few who were there.

News about the soiree is just now emerging in a book called ‘The Obamas,’ with author Jody Kantor saying it wasn’t made public before out of concerns a “splashy, Hollywood-esque party” would seem tasteless at a time when the economy was in such deep trouble.

But White House press secretary Jay Carney denies it was deliberately kept secret, telling the Washington Post, “This was an event for military children and their families inside the White House, where the press came, photographs were taken.”

More From Newstalk 1290