'Wonka' director Paul King cast Hugh Grant as Oompa Loompa 'Because he's the funniest, most sarcastic shit I've ever met'

‘Wonka’ director Paul King cast Hugh Grant as Oompa Loompa ‘Because he’s the funniest, most sarcastic shit I’ve ever met’

Having effectively triggered Hugh Grant’s resurgence after casting the British star as the main villain in Paddington 2director Paul King has once again approached the actor for a key role in his upcoming Roald Dahl prequel, Wonka (released by Warner Bros. on December 15). But it may not have been for reasons Grant approves.

Speaking at the official premiere of Wonka trailer in London, an early afternoon event where guests were treated to a buffet consisting almost entirely of Wonka-style sugary confectionary, the director explained why he cast Grant as a diminutive green-haired Oompa Loompa (who appears in the final moments of the trailer in hilariously deadpan fashion).

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With Wonka delving into the story behind how the Charlie and Charlie’s FactoryWilly Wonka’s , played by Timothée Chalamet became the world-famous chocolatier, King explained how he had to immerse himself in Dahl’s books for inspiration. When it came to the Oompa Loompas, he said that while Dahl didn’t give them much dialogue, the songs he wrote for them were “incredibly sarcastic and judgmental and cruel” to the children in the story.

“So I was just thinking about that character; someone who could be real shit, and then… ah, Hugh!” he said. “Because he’s the funniest, most sarcastic person he’s ever met.”

When it came to his leading lady, Chalamet, King was a little more polite in his praise.

“It was a very short list of people who could play Willy Wonka, and really, it was him,” she explained. “I really think he’s the most amazing actor of his generation, because he has this amazing ability to dive so deep into his own personal emotions and convey things with the roll of an eye – he’s very, very controlled, very intelligent and incredibly emotionally intuitive.”

Though he acknowledged Chalamet was walking “some extraordinarily big shoes” given the actors who have played Wonka previously (Johnny Depp and original star Gene Wilder), King said he thought “he’s more than a match for them. .. I think he manages to bring that kind of chaos and mischief but with a deep emotional underpinning, which is quite extraordinary.