Timothée Chalamet Shares How His 'Wonka' Differs From Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp's Films (Exclusive)

Chalamet and co-star Hugh Grant spoke with ET in London on Wednesday.

The cinematic history of Willy Wonka is rich and layered, and Timothée Chalamet is excited to be adding to the pop-cultural tapestry of the iconic, magical chocolatier in Wonka.

Chalamet and co-star Hugh Grant sat down with ET's Cassie DiLaura during a press day in London on Wednesday, and the 27-year-old star opened up about "crazy" it feels getting to play the iconic character -- which has famously been portrayed by Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971 and by Johnny Depp in 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

"I grew up on that Gene Wilder film, and I'm hugely admiring of the Tim Burton/Johnny version," Chalamet said. "And this [version] is different. This is the origin [of] Wonka."

"It's not Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Chalamet explained. "People are suspicious of any new retelling of beloved characters. But I think Paul King, our director, pulled this one off. I'll let people judge for themselves."

In the film, Chalamet stars as the titular hero alongside Grant -- who portrays one of Wonka's iconic Oompa Loompas -- and a huge ensemble of other screen legends and comedy stars.

"It was a dream come true!" Chalamet shared. "I feel like an honorary Brit, with Hugh Grant and Olivia Coleman and Rowan Atkinson!"

"This is an insane cast and a very unique experience as a young American to walk into this world, this sort of Paddington creative universe that already existed," Chalamet said, referring to the famed 2014 British comedy also directed by King.

Chalamet had nothing but praise for getting the chance to work with Grant, and the 63-year-old English screen legend shared some love for his young co-star as well.

"I don't like anyone being too successful. So I was a little anxious about Timothée Chalamet. His graph was too vertical!" Grant joked. "But I will say, he kind of deserves it. He's a proper, old fashioned film star."

"The camera loves him, and he's just a natural film actor," Grant added. "So it's enraging, really."

Fans can see Chalamet's take on the iconic candy maker's origin story when Wonka hits theaters Dec. 15.


Latest News