The 1971 masterpiece Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory starred an example of life simulating masterpiece when it appeared to the behind-the-scenes escapades of one of the movie’s new celebrities.
Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket), Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Michael Bolner (Augustus Gloop), Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee), and Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde) co-starring as the fortunate youngsters whose yellow vouchers awarded entry to the mysterious confectionary territory operated by unique confectioner Willy Wonka. And as young entertainers, here they were being whisked off to Bavarian Germany to analyze the capricious movie sets and work with growing comic master Gene Wilder in Mel Stuart’s highly expected transformation of Roald Dahl’s prominent book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
That doesn’t imply Wilder and Wonka disseminated all that much in common.
“I believe people kind of like us to say you that he was like Willy Wonka offset, but he was not,” Cole said to Yahoo Entertainment during a virtual reunion with Ostrum, Bolner, and Themmen celebrating this weekend’s 50th anniversary of the movie, as well as a recent 4K UHD Blu-ray release. “He was such a wonderful, considerate man, very unassuming.”
“He was just down to earth, not arrogant, he was just an amazing person to be around and to conform with,” says Ostrum of Wilder, who departed in 2016 at the age of 83.
All four Wonka entertainers we spoke with had nothing but cozy recollections of Wilder, whose blockbuster rêsumé also comprised Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein; nonetheless, Wilder didn‘t precisely share the warm emotions when it came to one of the old performers (only Cole proceeded to work in recreation beyond the ’70s).
In the years since the film’s release, Themmen has been named a “notorious rascal on the set,” with Wilder naming him “a handful.”
“I can verify that,” Themmen smiles. “I was smaller than the others. I was 11, they were 13, and was generally just kind of more high spirited and rambunctious.”
As a grownup, Themmen had one precise but remarkable reunion with Wilder in which the Wonka actor ascertained his emotions. Themmen visited a fund-raising screening of Wilder’s 1976 hit Silver Streak at the Avon Theatre in Stamford, Conn., the city where Wilder was most of his grown-up life.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is now ready on 4K UHD Blu-ray from dealers including Amazon. Wonka will also return to cinemas on Aug. 15 and Aug. 18 via Fathom Events.