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Hugh Grant was cast as Oompa Loompa in Wonka due to his sarcastic nature

When: 24 Apr 2023

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Hugh Grant

Wonka director Paul King has explained why he cast Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa in the upcoming prequel movie.

The trailer for the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel launched on Tuesday, giving fans a first look at Timothée Chalamet as chocolatier Willy Wonka and Grant as the diminutive, green-haired Oompa Loompa.

At a recent launch of the trailer in London, King noted that author Roald Dahl wrote songs for the orange-skinned characters that were “incredibly sarcastic and judgmental and cruel” about the kids in the story – and he felt Grant was the right fit.

“So I was really just thinking about that character; somebody who could be a real s**t, and then – ah! Hugh!” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Because he’s the funniest, most sarcastic s**t I’ve ever met.”

King previously worked with Grant on 2017’s Paddington 2, in which the Notting Hill star gave a show-stopping turn as the vain villain Phoenix Buchanan.

Turning to his leading man Chalamet, the filmmaker told reporters that the Oscar nominee “more than lives up to” previous Willy Wonka actors Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp.

“It was a very short list of people who could play Willy Wonka, and really, it was him,” he praised. “I really do think he’s the most incredible actor of his generation, because he’s got this incredible ability to dive very deep into his own personal emotions and convey things with the turn of an eye – he’s very, very controlled, very smart and incredibly emotionally intuitive.

“I think he manages to bring that sort of mayhem and mischievousness but with a deep emotional grounding, which is really quite extraordinary.”

Wonka will be released in cinemas on 15 December.

– Cover Media