Comedian and actor Wilder Gene, best known for playing the titular role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, passed away recently. As a tribute to his historic role, we decided to pay Wilder Gene a tribute with this 25 secrets about Willy Wonka that you didn’t know.
The payment of the child actors
The child actors earned $500 every week on set. Along with that, they earned residual checks when the movie would air on the television channels.
The entry scene
When the child actors visited the set for the first time were completely amazed to see the Chocolate Room. More surprising was when Gene Wilder entered with a limp.
Director’s daughter insisted the movie
The film was created due to the insistence of the director’s daughter, Madeline Stuart. The Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was her all-time favorite book.
The famous boat scene
According to the actors, Ostrum and Albertson, they weren’t forewarned about Wilder’s sudden outburst. Wilder wanted to get their real reactions on the camera.
Mel Stuart kept this a secret for some time. The Oompa Loompas thought they were really steering the boast whereas it was motorized by remote.
Ernst Ziegler eye problems
Ziegler was nearly blinded due to a poison gas in World War I. That’s why he had to be guided while looking for the red light.
Chocolate River was not chocolate
The actors stated all the things in the Chocolate Room were edible except the chocolate river. The river contained water with chocolate food coloring.
The buttercup was actually wax
In the DVD commentary, Wilder stated that the buttercup was made of wax. After the director said, ‘cut’, he would spit it out.
The Oompa Loompas
The actors who played Oompa Loompas would get really drunk on set. They would also pull all sorts of pranks with the cast.
Julie Dawn smashed a large chocolate egg which was watermelon
A watermelon was painted as a large chocolate egg unknown to the actor Julie Dawn. When she had to break the egg, she hurt her knee badly,
Denise Nickerson’s crush on set
According to Nickerson, she didn’t want to pick her nose in the film due to her crush on Peter Ostrum. She didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of him.
The Wonka Wash scene
The foam used in the scene were from the fire extinguishers. No one on set knew about it until some had to receive medical treatment due to irritation of skin.
Julie took home memoirs
Julie took some things from the set as a memoir. She took a golden ticks, a caddy wrapper and an Everlasting Gobstopper.
The audition for Wilder
According to the director, Mel Stuart knew that he found his Willy Wonka when Wilder came to the audition. After the audition, he completely convinced about his decision.
The Wonka Bars
According to the directors, most of the Wonka Bars were fake. They were made of wood.
Ostrum went through puberty
While filming, Ostrum hit puberty. Hence, his voice at the start of the movie was much higher.
Casting the Oompa Loompas
The movie was shot in Munich, Germany. But the producers at to go to other places to recruit people to play Oompa Loompas.
Sammy Davis to play candy store owner
Davis expressed his interest to play the candy store owner, Bill. But the producers and the director found it to be kitschy.
‘Candy man’ scene
After the store owner dispenses all the sodas in the fountain. But after that when he opened the pass through the counter, he accidentally hit a girl on the head.
The song during boat ride
The song, ‘There’s no earthly way of knowing…’ are the only lyrics taken from the book. The other songs were written precisely for the movie.
Forty takes for a scene
The line, ‘Not, ‘til you’re twelve, son’ had taken forty takes to film. The actor who played Teevee’s father couldn’t get it right.
Intro speech in German
Wilder gave an introductory speech in German before he entered the Inventing room. It was said to be phonetically and grammatically right.
Quaker Oats originally financed the film
The company Quaker Oats wanted to produce the movie to promote their new candy bar. It was later renamed as Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory.
Monty Python actors for Willy Wonka
Six cast members of Monty Python expressed their interest to play Willy Wonka. But they denied for not being an international star.
Peter Ostrum as Charlie
After Ostrum was won the role to play Charlie, there was no script for him at that time. He was given the book to prepare for his role.