Wonka casting of Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa draws concern from actors with dwarfism

Roles like the Oompa Loompas were made famous by the little people in the original Willy Wonka and Hugh Grant portrays one in the prequel.

The trailer for Wonka, which showcases the rise of everyone’s favorite candyman, recently made its online debut. It faces the unenviable task of living up to a universally beloved family film classic, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The popular film adaptation of the Roald Dahl 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features the timeless performance of the legendary Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. However, audiences are already split on the reaction to the prequel, citing the questioned necessity of elaborating on a character intended to be shrouded in mystery.

Wonka has amassed a collection of talent with the likes of Timothée Chalamet and the director of Paddington, Paul King, who gives the project the edge in positive faith with fans. One of the casting decisions made for this film was having Hugh Grant portray an Oompa Loompa. Oompa Loompas are the heart of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and are famously played in the 1971 film by a group of little people. Variety reports that Hugh Grant’s casting is concerning the actors with dwarfism within the film community.

George Coppen, who portrays Sweet Cupid in The School for Good and Evil on Netflix, recently spoke with the BBC about Grant’s role in Wonka. “A lot of actors [with dwarfism] feel like we are being pushed out of the industry we love. A lot of people, myself included, argue that dwarfs should be offered everyday roles in dramas and soaps, but we aren’t getting offered those roles. One door is being closed but they have forgotten to open the next one.”

The Wonka trailer didn’t feature too many scenes involving Grant, but the reveal of his character included a comedic exchange in which Chalamet’s Wonka says, “So you’re the funny little man who’s been following me?” and Grant’s Oompa Loompa replies, “I will have you know that I am a perfectly respectful size for an Oompa-Loompa.” Coppen reacts to the clip, “They’ve enlarged his head so his head looks bigger. [I thought] what the hell have you done to him?”

Coppen’s acting credits also include Willow, which stars Warwick Davis.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/wonka-casting-of-hugh-grant-as-an-oompa-loompa-draws-criticism/

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