Hugh Grant Plays an Oompa Loompa in Timothée Chalamet’s “Wonka” Movie
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Hugh Grant has us seeing orange – literally. On April 25, Timothée Chalamet helped surprise audiences with some first footage of his upcoming Willy Wonka origin story, “Wonka,” during CinemaCon 2023, and the clip revealed which actor is portraying one of the film’s Oompa Loompas: Grant.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Chalamet confronts Grant’s Oompa Loompa for following him in the clip, leading to the latter ultimately performing “a song so ludicrously catchy that it may never leave your mind.” Chalamet told the gathered audience, “I think it’s the first time people saw Hugh Grant as the Oompa Loompa. It was a trip,” EW reported. He added that it was a “dream” to work with the actor.
Chalamet previously teased the film’s musical numbers in a Variety interview published in November 2022. The actor said the film’s seven songs were something he was “very excited to jump into right away,” devoting much time to his vocal and dance training – some of which took place in a dance studio director Paul King built right on a Warner Bros. lot in London.
Chalamet also spoke about the forthcoming movie in an interview with British Vogue, published in September 2022, in which he responded to social media’s hilarious reactions to his “Wonka” casting. During the interview, journalist Giles Hattersley reminded Chalamet of tweets about the film when the first images of him in character were released, including one from Ben Schwartz that read, “In this one, Wonka f*cks.”
Chalamet, laughing, said, “You know what’s really funny about that is it’s so misleading. This movie is so sincere, it’s so joyous.” He continued of his involvement: “I hate to say it, but the dream as an artist is to throw whatever the f**k you want at the wall, you know? And I guess what I’m realizing is that one’s personal life, one’s adult life, can be quite boring and the artist’s life can still be extraordinary.”
Chalamet’s casting was first announced in May 2021 and was met with a lot of questions from the internet. Chalamet will be the third onscreen Wonka after Gene Wilder’s iconic portrayal in 1971’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and Johnny Depp‘s take on the character in 2005’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The new movie won’t tell the story of Charlie and the other lucky kids who found golden tickets, but rather will be a prequel focusing on Wonka’s life before he opened his unsettling candy factory.
“Wonka” filmed in London, and videos of Chalamet on set quickly made their way online, including one of the actor filming a musical number in the street. (It’s still unclear if he’ll show off his famous rapping skills at any point in the movie.)
We’ll have to wait until Christmas to see the final result, though Chalamet will be busy until then. He’s also starring in “Dune: Part II,” which is scheduled for a 2023 release. Read ahead for everything else we know about “Wonka” so far.
In addition to Chalamet and Grant, the “Wonka” cast includes Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Colman, and Natasha Rothwell.
“Wonka” Release Date
“Wonka” is scheduled to be released on Dec. 15, 2023.
Image Source: Getty Images/Finnbarr Webster