Hugh Grant has reportedly agreed to portray an Oompa Loompa in the upcoming Charlie And The Chocolate Factory prequel film, Wonka. The actor, 61, is said to have begun shooting his role at the University of Oxford’s Hertford College, as per The Sun.
It’s unclear how the 5′ 11″ celebrity would morph into one of the small factory employees, but film executives are apparently refusing to use Dwarf actors in order to prevent offence. Hugh’s small role is a far cry from his blockbuster roles in films such as Love Actually and Bridget Jones’ Diary. Hugh, 61, will co-star with Timothee Chalamet, 26, who portrays a young version of Roald Dahl’s eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka in the film. Interestingly, as per The Sun, The Oompa-Loompas were previously ruled out of the production due to studio executives’ concerns that they might create offence.
They have been dubbed a “racist” design by campaigners. Wonka is believed to have “imported” them from the “the deepest darkest section of the African forest where no white man had ever visited before,” according to Dahl’s 1964 novel. However, Timothée Chalamet is presently shooting as the quirky chocolatier in the next Paul King-directed thriller. On Wednesday, the actor, 26, was seen on set with young actress Calah Lane in Oxford, wearing a purple velvet tailcoat, a brown top hat, and a mustard yellow silk scarf, as per The Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, Timothée is the third actor to play Willy Wonka on film, after Gene Wilder in 1971 and Johnny Depp in 2005. Warner Bros. Pictures plans to release the film in March 2023.