Hugh Grant Did Not Like Playing an Oompa-Loompa in Wonka: ‘Like a Crown of Thorns’

Hugh Grant Oompa-Loompa
Hugh Grant Oompa-Loompa

Oompa-Loompas may be upbeat, joyous creatures, but Hugh Grant was anything but that while filming 2023’s Wonka.

Speaking at a recent press conference for Wonka, per NME, Grant said he didn’t particularly enjoy filming his scenes for Paul King’s upcoming Wonka movie, as he compared the experience to wearing a “crown of thorns.”

“It was like a crown of thorns,” Grant said. “I made a big fuss about it, I couldn’t have hated the whole thing more.”

Grant further explained that he was never quite sure whether he was supposed to act with his entire body or just his face when portraying an Oompa-Loompa. “I never received a satisfactory answer. And frankly, what I did with my body was terrible, and it’s all been replaced with an animator.”

Grant has worked with King prior to Wonka on 2017’s Paddington 2. King previously told Total Film about casting Grant as an Oompa-Loompa, “I was enchanted by the idea of these impossibly tiny beings, far smaller even than the child-sized me. The voice and the attitude of the Oompa Loompa came from revisiting the books – long songs full of humor, sarcasm, superiority and scorn. So it was really just thinking about that character – someone who can be a real shit. And I went, ‘Ah, Hugh [Grant]!’ Because he’s the funniest, most sarcastic shit that I’ve ever met!”

What is Wonka about?

“Based on the extraordinary character at the center of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl’s most iconic children’s book and one of the best-selling children’s books of all time, Wonka tells the wondrous story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today,” the official synopsis reads.

Wonka stars Timothée Chalamet in the titular role. Along with Grant, the movie also stars Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas,  Mathew Baynton, and Sally Hawkins.

Wonka release in United States theaters on December 15, 2023.

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