With so many films releases dates getting knocked back there’s only a few which are staying on course one of which is the Christmas release of Wonka starring Timothee Chalamet an inspired if bizarre casting Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa and director Paul King has revealed how Hugh Grant got cast as an Oompa Loompa in Wonka.
The writer director wrote Grant a letter in which he said the actor was great at playing “washed-up old hams,” which is exactly what King was looking for in his hunt for the perfect Oompa Loompa actor. ”I was enchanted by the idea of these impossibly tiny beings, far smaller even than the child-sized me,” King said. “The voice and the attitude of the Oompa Loompa came from revisiting the books – long songs full of humor, sarcasm, superiority and scorn. So it was really just thinking about that character – someone who can be a real shit. And I went, ‘Ah, Hugh [Grant]!’ Because he’s the funniest, most sarcastic shit that I’ve ever met!”
I had to write him this awkward letter, saying, ‘You’re good at playing washed-up, old hams…’” King added. “Once you see Hugh Grant as an 18-inch high orange man with green hair, you go, ‘Ah, yes. I know what Oompa Loompas are. It all makes perfect sense.’”
Grant’s look as an Oompa Loompa matches the same version of the characters seen in Mel Stuart’s 1971 musical fantasy “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” and it that version of the film that has gvi9en them a definitive look. ‘It just felt like that’s what an Oompa Loompa was, in my head’ said King adding, ‘I suppose because the ’71 movie is so beloved by me, as well as other people, I didn’t really want to reinvent the wheel on that. I felt like doing something that sat with that iconography. I love ‘Pure Imagination’, I love the Oompa Loompa songs, I loved how the Oompa Loompas looked. And that felt like the iconic look of Oompa Loompas’
….and that’s how how Hugh Grant got cast as an Oompa Loompa in Wonka…..
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related feature: Wonka trailer