The Willy Wonka Cast Then and Now

By Tom Pearson 7 months ago

Then - Gene Wilder

Image Source: Reddit
Gene Wilder is the iconic Willy Wonka character, and many of us still think that the original is the best. Gene has played a number of comedic roles in films, but is best known for his work in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He sadly passed in 2016.

Then - Johnny Depp

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If you were born in the late 1990's or early 2000's, then the 2005 remake of Charlie and the Chocolate factory will be the movie you think of when you hear the name Willy Wonka. Johnny Depp did a great job in his role and really did Gene Wilder proud.

Now - Timothee Chalamet

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American-French actor Timothee Chalamet is best known for his work in the box office smash, Dune, and more recently for undertaking the role of Willy Wonka in the new Wonka movie. He has received an Academy Award, 2 Golden Globe Awards and 3 BAFTA's!

Then - Peter Ostrum

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Many actors usually have vast and varied careers, but Peter Ostrum is slightly different. His big break came when he played the role of Charlie in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, but he never went on to perform in another film again...

Then - Freddie Highmore

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More recently, Freddie Highmore has been praised for his work in the hit television series, The Good Doctor. It is hard to think of him when he was a child and even crazier to remember that he played Charlie in the 2005 remake of the box office smash.

Now - Mathew Baynton

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British comedic actor, Mathew Baynton, has been gracing British television for over twenty years now. He is a comic genius, and if you grew up in the UK during the 2000's then he will be a familiar character from the television series, Horrible Histories.

Then - Denise Nickerson

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Age just 13, Denise Nickerson had her big break during the filming of the 1971 classic. Denise was elated to play the role of Violet Beauregarde, and loved the costume design. Denise went on to start in lots of television shows and further movies, like Smile and Flipper.

Then - AnnaSophia Robb

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AnnaSophia Robb added a new twist to the role of Violet, constantly chewing gum throughout her time in the factory. Violet was one of the main characters in the movie, and the creative team go to experiment with CGI when she swelled to a giant blueberry!

Now - Natasha Rothwell

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Age 43, Natasha Rothwell is an American actress, comedian and writer. Her role in the new Wonka movie was less prominent than that of the previous generations of Violet Beauregarde, but still all important. Natasha has won several award, including a NAACP comedy award.

Then - Paris Themmen

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The first iteration of Mike Teevee was played by Paris Themmen. Now age 64, Paris decided not to pursue a career in acting and instead went on to work in real estate and start his own business as a broker. He then went on to become a casting director.

Then - Jordan Fry

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Jordan Fry played the Mike Teevee character perfectly, and really came across as a TV obsessed spoiled brat. He has gone on to star in other movies since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but his role in the Tim Burton classic is surely his best work.

Now - Tom Davis

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Comedian and actor Tom Davis is a British staple, and a common sight on TV for Brits. He is a well establish actor, having starred and written his own shows, King Gary and Murder in Successville. He also has his own podcast, alongside co-star Romesh Ranganathan.

Then - Michael Bollner

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Born in Munich, Germany, Michael Bollner was the perfect fit to play the role of Augustus Gloop. He is known not only for his work in the Movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but also for the roles he played in movies M.U.G.E.N and Bizarre Transmissions from the Bermuda Triangle.

Then - Philip Wiegratz

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Philip Wiegratz is yet another German actor cast to play the role of Augustus Gloop. Philip has only starred in a handful of English speaking movies, but has made a new for himself on the German cinema scene. He has since stopped acting, but has a number of movies under his belt.

Now - Matt Lucas

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Matt Lucas is a British comedian, actor and television host, who is now widely recognized for hosting The Great British Bake Off. Matt Lucas made a name for himself in the comedy TV series', Little Britain and a later spin off series, Come Fly With Me!

Then - Julie Dawn Cole

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Julie Dawn Cole checked everything she had at the role of Veruca Salt, and her performance was fantastic. Julie went on to star in lots of films and television shows, in everything from the BBC series Angels to the classic movie, The Mill on the Floss.

Then - Julia Winter

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Julia Winter was one of our favorite characters in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, but did not go on to feature in another hit film for almost ten years! In 2014 Julia made her return back to the screen in the children's movie, Dolphin Tale 2.

Now - Ellie White

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Well known for her parody work of the British Royal family, Ellie White is an actress and comedian. Ellie is also a keen writer and has been involved in the writing of some great television shows like Stath Lets Flats, alongside her co-writter, Natasia Demetriou.

Then - Gunter Meisner

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Gunter Meisner is one of the great villain actors, and one of Germany's finest. He is most well recognized for his role as Arthur Slugworth and for his more sinister work playing the character of Adolf Hitler. Gunter never got to see the remakes of the movies, as he died in 1994.

Then - Christopher Lee

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Yet another actor who nailed the classic villain role was Christopher Lee, who played Willy Wonka's father and dentist in the 2005 remake. He had a lengthy 60 year acting career, but was actually an elite soldier in the British SAS before he took to the screen.

Now - Patterson Joseph

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Patterson Joseph is the new incarnation of the Arthur Slugworth character. Patterson is known for his work on British television, and specifically remembered for his role as Alan Johnson on the comedy television series Peep Show, where he stared alongside David Mitchell and Robert Webb.

Then - Jack Albertson

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The American comedian, dancer, singer and actor really was one of America's best performers. Albertson won numerous awards, including a Tony award, an Emmy and even an Oscar. He is among only 24 actors to win all three of these prestigious awards, known as the triple crown.

Then - David Kelly

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Irish actor David Kelly is almost as iconic as his big tinted spectacles. David has starred in numerous television series and movies, and starred alongside some huge names, like Vinnie Jones. He is best known for his work as Grandpa Joe, and nailed the role!

Now - Rowan Atkinson

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Rowan Atkinson has been chosen to make his debut in the Willy Wonka universe in the 2023 release. He is previously known for his work on his work on British Television, where he starred in Mr Bean and Blackadder. He is also well known for driving a McLaren F1!

Then - Nora Denney

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Also known as Dodo Denney, Nora stared as Mrs Teevee, the mother or Mike Teevee in the first Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. She was known for having no control over her spoiled child, and really set up the role for others to follow i her footsteps.

Then - Adam Godley

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The star of Suits also made a name for himself when he undertook the role of Mike Teevee's father in the 2005 remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Adam nailed the role, but put his own twist on it, as Mike Teevee originally brought his mother to the factory.

Now - Rich Fulcher

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Rich Fulcher is a comedy legend, and well known for hos work alongside Noel Fielding in the comedy series, The Mighty Boosh. As well as his role as Bob Fossil, Rich Fulcher was also cast to play the role of Edward Sheath in the American series Jon Benjamin Has a Van.

Then - Roy Kinnear

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Kinnear was an English character actor who was originally born and raised in Wigan, England. After finding success in movies like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factor and How I Won the War, Kinnear decided to up sticks and live in the Spanish sunshine.

Then - James Fox

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BAFTA award winning actor James Fox is a giant on the industry, and won an award for the most promising new comer when he began his acting career. His posh and pompous accent suited the role of Veruca Salt's father perfectly, and he really sold the part.

Now - Keegan Michael Key

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Best known as one half of the comedy pairing, Key and Peele, Keegan Michael Key is one of America's best up and coming actors. He has starred in a number of movies and television series, as well as helping voice the Super Mario Bros video game! Crazy!