Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory cast unrecognisable as child stars reunite in UK

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The cast of Hollywood classic Willy Wonka wowed fans yesterday (July 30, 2022), as they reunited at a special event, over 51 years since the film was released.

Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket), Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Paris Themmen (Mike TV), Michael Bollner (Augustus Gloop) and Rusty Goffe (Oompa Loompa) were reunited at Comic Con Manchester, which is being held at Bowlers Exhibition Centre between July 30-31, 2022.

Excited fans met the now adult cast, who looked incredible as they showed off their ageless appearances as they signed autographs and posted for photos with generations of people who grew up with the film.

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Speaking exclusively to Daily Star at Comic Con Manchester, Peter Ostrum and Julie Dawn Cole revealed what it was like working with icons including Gene Wilder, their favourite lines and what it was like to reunite with one another again.

Willy Wonka's The Chocolate Factory was originally released in 1971, featuring five upcoming stars who played the children who found the coveted golden ticket to enter the mysterious factory.

However, Peter and Julie revealed that despite the child stars appearing at reunion events throughout the years, including the Warner Brothers Willy Wonka 50th anniversary online reunion, the cast initially lost touch after the release of the film.

“We lost touch for like 25 years, but then thanks to the internet, everyone was connected again,” said Julie.

Describing the cast as “like family,” she explained that they are close friends and have since kept touch, adding: “We did Zoom a couple of times during Covid, which was nice to chat to each other. It was fun.”

Thinking back to their time on set, Peter paid tribute to his fellow cast members, which included icons such as Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson and Roy Kinnear.

Describing them as “a great group to work with,” he a sweet tribute to Willy Wonka actor Gene, saying: “There was not a dull moment working with Gene.”

Speaking about their favourite memories of making the film, Peter added: “I have memories like it just happened yesterday.”

“You replay that in your mind and you’re like, was that 50 years ago?”

Julie revealed one of her favourite moments from their time on set too, saying: “I liked the inventing room. That was fun. There was lots of cool stuff in there.”

She also shared her favourite line, adding: “I think I should have it as a ring tone – ‘Snozberry? Who ever heard of a snozberry?”

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Comic Con Manchester, which features incredible set builds of famous TV and film moments, also brought the memorable Wonka boat from the film to life in Bowlers Exhibition Centre – with Julie making a sweet revelation about her reaction to seeing the replica model at the event.

“You’ve got the model of the boat here and I actually went and sat in my seat.”

Despite hundreds of excited fans queuing to meet the cast of the beloved film, Julie and Peter admitted that they never expected the impact that it would have, with Julie saying: “We were just looking forward to what was going to happen the next day.”

Peter added “Not what was going to happen in 50 years”

They also recalled how Willy Wonka has left a legacy that has impacted generations of fans – describing the moment that fans recognise the now adult cast as “the Wonka Effect”.

Julie said: “When people know, or if they’re having a bad day, we kind of call it the ‘Wonka Effect’.

“If somebody is having a bad day and you just sort of mention it, you just see their mood change.

“It has just been a part of so many people’s childhoods.”


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