Gene Wilder Would Only Play ‘Willy Wonka’ Under This One Condition

Gene Wilder Willy Wonka

This is so clever.

The tributes and homages to the late actor Gene Wilder have been flooding in since the announcement of his death yesterday at the age of 83.

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It’s safe to say that this man was greatly loved and respected in the acting world and was the star of a long list of absolute hits.

One of the roles that he is greatly remembered for was the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’. And while it was one of his most iconic characters, it turns out that Gene had a specific demand that he made before confirming he would play the character. He insisted:

When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the crowd carrying a cane and then walk toward the door with a limp.

After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet.

As I walk towards them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself, but I keep on walking, until I realise I no longer have my cane.

I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.

OK, yeah, so that was quite a funny scene. But it’s his reason that really makes this whole thing so special:

Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.

This just proves that Gene went above and beyond when playing a character. He didn’t just read out the lines – he truly added to the psychological portrayal of that person. That one detail laid out the complexity of Willy Wonka for the rest of the film. Pure genius.

RIP Gene – you were a true legend.

To watch a Willy Wonka remix, click HERE.


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