- Title: Willy Wonka film celebrates 50 years, cast still close
- Date: 23rd June 2021
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (JUNE 22, 2021) (REUTERS VIA ZOOM) (SOUNDBITE) (English), CAST MEMBER WHO PLAYED CHARLIE BUCKET; PETER OSTRUM/ LOGO BURNT IN, SAYING: ''It's been part of my life now forever. Forever. And the people that I'm surrounded with (other cast members) are pretty much like family. I've known these people for now 50 years, other than my family that I don't I have never kept up with anybody other than these people.'' WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English), CAST MEMBER WHO PLAYED CHARLIE BUCKET; PETER OSTRUM/ LOGO BURNT IN, SAYING ''And so I did not choose acting as my career, you know, other doors opened. But, you know, what a great experience. And I like to think that if you could only make one film, this was the film to be in.''
- Embargoed: 7th July 2021 14:20
- Keywords: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Peter Ostrum Roald Dahl Willy Wonka anniversary
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Europe,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA002EIMH5JH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: They were kids when they made it, now 50 years later stars of ''Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory'' say they've stayed in touch and the movie is still positively impacting their lives.
The film tells the story of impoverished Charlie Bucket, who wins a golden ticket to tour Wonka's chocolate factory alongside the greedy Augustus Gloop, gum-loving Violet Beauregarde, spoiled brat Veruca Salt and television addict Mike Teevee.
Although he didn't continue in acting, Peter Ostrum who played Charlie, said making the film, which celebrates its 50th anniversary on June 30, was a great experience.
"I like to think that if you could only make one film, this was the film to be in,'' he told Reuters, describing the cast like a family.
"I've known these people for now 50 years, other than my family ... I have never kept up with anybody other than these people."
The 1971 movie was adapted from novelist Roald Dahl's dark fantasy "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", a book which actor Julie Dawn Cole, who portrayed Veruca Salt, had just read before being cast.
"The amazing descriptions of the chocolate room, I remember thinking, my goodness, how are they going to do this? I want to be part of this really ... badly.''
"(Filming was) such a fun thing .... every week, there was a new set that we were on, the inventing room, the golden goose room ... there was always a lot of excitement and magic ... it was ... bonkers."
Late actor Gene Wilder who played Willy Wonka was nominated for a Golden Globe and the film's score was in the running for an Oscar, but according to actor Paris Themmen, who played Mike Teevee, the movie wasn't a huge success until it was shown regularly on television.
''It grew to cult status ... to be something that 50 years we still want to talk about,'' he said
''You would think that it would have the greatest impact on my life close to the event. But it's like a reverse curve. The further away from it I get, it seems, the more it's impacting me.''
"It's really funny to see the global reach that it has ...I've been in really weird places ... on a beach in Malaysia and somebody says: 'Were you Veruca Salt?' So, yeah, it's ... had a great impact and still does," echoed Cole.
The movie, which marks the anniversary with the release of a newly restored 4K version, was re-visited in 2005 with Johnny Depp in the lead role. A prequel, "Wonka" starring Timothee Chalamet, is planned for 2023.
(Production: Sarah Mills)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None