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The fun facts that you never knew about the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory movie

We share seven surprising facts about the original film.

Friday, 13th September this year is Roald Dahl Day.
To celebrate we're taking a look at one of our favourite film adaptations Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
We've shared a few random (and surprising) facts about the 1971 film below ...
Gene Wilder was incredible as Willy Wonka (Image: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - 1971)
  • Gene Wilder (who played Willy Wonka) was the one who suggested Wonka's first appearance on the movie. He wrote a letter to the director Mel Stuart, saying: "When I make my first entrance, I'd like to come out of a door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp."
  • The people who played the Oompa Loompas were "notoriously mischievous" on set according to Paris Themmen (who played Mike Teevee) and were often drunk after shooting. Themmen said: "We all stayed in a hotel together. In those days, when you wanted to have your shoes shined, you'd leave them outside of your hotel room door. One night the Oompa Loompas grabbed all the shoes, tied the laces together, and left them in a pile to be found in the morning."
Who didn't dream of a chocolate river? (Image: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - 1971)
  • Roald Dahl reportedly hated the film, and didn't like the fact it focused too much on Willy Wonka. He believed it should have had more of an emphasis on Charlie.
  • Unfortunately the chocolate river wasn't real, but was just dirty water with food colouring.
  • The reactions of all the kids when seeing the Chocolate Room and going on the scary boat ride is all natural! The director didn't let them see the sets until they filmed it for the first time. Themmen said of the boat ride scene: "Gene (Wilder) is so great in this scene, and it didn't take much acting on our part to play 'What the f--k is wrong with this guy?'"
WATCH: Willy Wonka cast reunites. Continues after video ...
  • Peter Ostrum (who played Charlie Bucket) was offered a three-picture deal after the movie but turned it down. He became a vet and lives in New York with his wife and two kids.
  • Some of the candy on set was actually real – but sadly, not the giant gummy bears or fruity wallpaper.

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