A "game-show host" and a "bratty child"–Johnny Depp's inspirations for his Willy Wonka

Those of you who have seen the trailer for CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY must have noticed the artificially chummy, toothy grin Johnny Depp sports as Willy Wonka. Those unnaturally pearly whites make perfect sense now that Johnny has confided to PREMIERE MAGAZINE that one of his inspirations for creating Willy’s character was “a game-show host.” The other inspiration? “A bratty child.” The February 2005 issue of PREMIERE contains a brief preview of CATCF and a short interview with Tim Burton, who stresses that he tried to keep his version close to Roald Dahl’s text. However, the screenplay does add “a backstory for Wonka, revolving around his relationship with his dentist father(Christopher Lee),” and several songs written by Danny Elfman. Those are authentic squirrels in the Nut Room sequences, though, and “non CG-Oompa-Loompas, each of which is played by the diminutive actor Deep Roy, shrunk to 30 inches onscreen.”

Burton also speaks enthusiastically about his other film venture of 2005, the stop-action animated feature CORPSE BRIDE, due for release in September. He is particularly pleased by the quality of his vocal cast, toplined by Johnny and Helena Bonham Carter, and including Emily Watson, Albert Finney, Tracey Ullman, and Christopher Lee. “I got lots of great people to do voices,” Burton told PREMIERE. “I feel so lucky ’cause people just wanted to help make it, doing it fairly low-budget, the good old fashioned way.” Thanks to DeepinDepp for posting the PREMIERE story on the News & Views board, and to JohnnyDeppFan, where the article was originally posted.

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