The director of “Wonka,” Paul King, has been candid about what made him choose Timothée Chalamet for the role of the youthful, whimsical chocolatier: his old high school YouTube videos.
A rap song about the science of numbers and an impassioned rendition of Nicki Minaj’s “Roman’s Revenge” are just two of the many videos of Chalamet singing and dancing that can be found online.
King acknowledged that all he needed to do to cast Chalamet was to watch the videos in a July interview with Rolling Stone.Chalamet said that the videos “sort of” helped him get the part at the London premiere of “Wonka” on Tuesday night, but it isn’t the whole story.
Chalamet responded to a Variety question regarding the videos by saying, “I know, damn… they sort of did, in Paul’s words.”
He subsequently added, laughing, “That wasn’t the only thing that got me the part. He enjoyed the other films I made as well.
As for King, he maintained his remarks from the premiere, telling Variety that “This being the 21st century, his adolescence is very well-documented on YouTube. I’m so glad to come from a time when that was not the case for me, or I would never be allowed to go out in public again. But he may have just had the edge on me in the singing and acting department.”
Chalamet also shows off his dancing and singing abilities in “Wonka,” but he lacks the character’s unwavering passion for chocolate.
Chalamet said, “Honestly, no,” when asked if he had a favourite chocolate bar.
“I’m more like a Raisinets guy,” he continued. “I do like chocolate, but I’m more of a chocolate-covered raisins, milk duds, you know… These are the hard-hitting questions!”
Chalamet is the third performer to play the adored character created by Roald Dahl in his 1964 children’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Gene Wilder played the part of Wonka in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” while Johnny Depp played a darker version of the character in the 2005 film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
In relation to Wilder, Chalamet described “Wonka” as an extension of the 1971 movie and expressed his “huge” inspiration from his performance.
“It’s sort of untouchable — it’s like a perfect performance, so this is the accompaniment,” Chalamet said.
The planned musical “Wonka,” which narrates the origin story of the candyman, is scheduled for release in the United States on December 15 through Warner Bros. Hugh Grant, Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carter, Tom Davis, and Olivia Colman are among the actors who appear in Beyond Chalamet. King and Simon Farnaby collaborated on the screenplay as well. The original songs in the film were written by Neil Hannon, lead vocalist of Divine Comedy.