Johnny Depp Talks Willy Wonka

Posted on July 20, 2005

The new film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been a box office smash, taking in $55 million in its first weekend. But star Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton were understandably horrified when some likened Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka as a Michael Jackson-esque character who loves children. The two decided to set the record straight.

"It actually never crossed my mind. Michael Jackson was not an ingredient or inspiration to the character at all," Depp says.

"A few people have mentioned it and it kind of took me by surprise. I can on some level understand it, the look a little bit may evoke that. But you could just as easily think of some reclusive germophobe like Howard Hughes as well. Roald Dahl wrote this character in 1964 and Michael Jackson was a wee lad then."

Burton's response to the Jackson thing is to laugh derisively.

Tim Burton made an excellent point. He says, "Here's the deal: Michael Jackson likes children, Willy Wonka can't stand thems. To me, that's a big difference in the whole persona, y'know?"

Here's the trailer for the hit film with Depp as Willy Wonka.

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