Timothée Chalamet didn’t realise at the time, but his high school singing performances ended up forming his audition for the lead role of Wonka.
Chalamet, who plays Roald Dahl’s legendary chocolatier in Warner Bros’ $125million prequel to the usual story, told The Times newspaper:
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“I sang a little bit in high school, but that doesn’t really prepare you.”
Chalamet grew up in New York and was educated at a high school for performing arts. This being the 21st century, plenty of his musical performances from that period have found their way to the internet, where they were watched by the film’s director Paul King.
King, who previously made the hit Paddington films, told The Times:
“Because we live in this ridiculous century, some of Timmy’s high school performances are on the internet and have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. If mine were on the internet I would never work again.”
Wonka is set 25 years before the story told in the book and in previous versions of the film. Alongside Chalamet are stars including Hugh Grant as a peevish Oompa-Loompa, and Oscar winner Olivia Colman as a landlady on the make.
Chalamet told The Times he sees this film as a “companion piece” to the celebrated 1974 version starring Gene Wilder, and believes the films share a sensibility.
“Compared to the version we see in both [the previous] films of this broken person, for want of a better description, the most crucial element of the young Willy Wonka is this undying spirit,” he said.
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