8 Things You Didn’t Know About Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Most of the chocolate bars in the movie were made of wood.

Peter Ostrum (Charlie) never acted in any other movies – instead he became a veterinarian!


Gene Wilder agreed to play Willy Wonka on one condition: “When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd 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 toward 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 realize that 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.”

According to Gene Wilder, about a third of all the things in the Chocolate Room were really edible!

The chocolate river was, at least for a while, made of real chocolate – apparently it wasn’t particularly appetizing. Michael Böllner, who played Augusts Gloop, said it “vas dirty, stinking vater.”

Willy Wonka Chocolate River

Peter Sellers and all the members of Monty Python wanted to play Willy Wonka, but the director said that before the audition even began he knew Gene Wilder was perfect for the role.

While the novel is called Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, but the film was renamed because Quaker Oats was funding the film and also wanted to promote a line of “Wonka” chocolate bars they were going to release when the film came out.

Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum became friends, and would often eat lunch together – and finish off the meal by sharing a chocolate bar. (Of course.)


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