Timothée Chalamet Said Yes to ‘Wonka’ Because It’s for an ‘Uncynical Young Audience’ at a Time ‘When There’s So Much Bad News’

Timothée Chalamet is playing the world’s most famous chocolatier in Warner Bros.’ upcoming musical “Wonka,” but it wasn’t necessarily the Roald Dahl source material that sparked his interest in joining the project. The Oscar nominee told Vogue magazine that he was drawn to playing Willy Wonka for the simple reason of making a movie for a younger, more optimistic demographic of moviegoers.

“To work on something that will have an uncynical young audience, that was just a big joy,” Chalamet said. “That’s why I was drawn to it. In a time and climate of intense political rhetoric, when there’s so much bad news all the time, this is hopefully going to be a piece of chocolate.”

“Wonka” is directed by “Paddington” filmmaker Paul King and co-stars Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins and Olivia Colman. Chalamet told press at CinemaCon in April that his version of Wonka would not be “cynical” like previous iterations played by Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp.

“This is a Willy that’s full of joy and hope and desire to become the greatest chocolatier,” said Chalamet, who also revealed he swam in real melted chocolate while filming scenes for the movie.

In footage shown to press at CinemaCon, Chalamet was seen singing and dancing as his Wonka searches the world for magical recipes. He later attempts to make people fly with his enchanted chocolates, a tease of the many wacky treats — like everlasting gobstoppers or snozzberries — that propelled Wonka to fame.

“Wonka” opens in theaters December 15 from Warner Bros.

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