Your Oompa-Loompa questions

Posted by
Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity
Posted on
5:40pm, 25th June
Charity, Charlie
Roald Dahl with group of Oompa-Loompa actors during filming

Rusty Goffe answers your questions about filming Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory before Sunday’s charity Singalonga event

This Sunday 29th June, The Prince Charles Cinema in London's Leicester Square will be filled with fans giving their best rendition of 'Pure Imagination' and other tunes from classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as the Prince Charles hosts a special Singalonga event in aid of Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity.

Special guest Rusty Goffe - who played one of the original Oompa-Loompas in the film - will also be attending to help the Charity singalong and celebrate.

Ahead of his appearance, Rusty took over the Charity's Twitter account on Monday to answer fans' questions about the film.

Q Did they let you keep your wig?

A No I didn't keep the wig - it was horrible! The filmmakers thought every Oompa-Loompas' head was the exact same size so they tugged and pulled to fit the wigs on us. We were glad when 6pm came so we could take the wigs off!

Q Did you actually get to meet Roald Dahl? How many times have you dressed up as an Oompa-Loompa since the film?

A Yes, we did meet Roald Dahl [Rusty pictured above third in from left]. He was most charming. He kindly gave all the Oompa-Loompas a signed copy of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and I still have it today. I have only dressed up once as an Oompa-Loompa since making the film – it was for a television documentary.

Q How did the producers cope with the language barrier to those Oompa-Loompas who didn’t know English?

A The producers did not worry about the language barrier - they made the non-English Oompa-Loompas speak English! Although as the Oompa-Loompas were from Germany, Turkey and Malta, they were not in any songs due to lip-sync problems.

Q If you could be in another film adaptation of one of Roald Dahl’s books, which one would you pick?

A I would have loved to have been one of the creatures in James And The Giant Peach.

Q My 11 year old asks if it was easy or hard learning all the songs?

A It was very hard learning the songs correctly because although the tunes are very similar the words were different!

Q My 8 year old asks 'How did they make Charlie and Grandpa Joe fly? It's amazing" (You could just tell her it was real!)

A Ha! Great question. Charlie and
Grandpa Joe did fly - because they drank too much of the Fizzy Lifting Drink. And I wish I had some now - I would LOVE to be able to fly.

Q How long did it take to put the orange make-up on?

A It took about an hour to put on the orange makeup and white eyebrows and the makeup man kept putting more and more powder on. At the end of the day we scraped it off.

Q On the set how much of the chocolate room was really edible?

A Yes some of the items in the Chocolate Room were edible. The giant Gummy Bear that Veruca Salt eats had an ear made from jelly, and she also puts her hand in a large Gob Stopper and was eating strawberry jam. The Chocolate River was coloured water... it smelled a LOT!

The cup and saucer, which Willy Wonka drinks and eats at the end of song 'Pure Imagination,' was made of candle wax. Every time Gene Wilder took a bite he pretended to chew... when the director said "Cut!" Gene spat the wax out into a bucket, which was next to him. He did this many times!

Q What was your favourite room in the Chocolate Factory?

A Although every room was fantastic, my favourite was The Inventing Room. There was mess everywhere with strange looking machines. Some of the Oompa-Loompas were tripping over things on the floor but I was safe standing on top of a ladder putting coloured flavoured water into a jug.

Q Was chocolate freely available to the cast?

A No, sadly... we were not given any chocolate at all!

Q What was the best thing about the sets
you used in Wonka? What was the most difficult thing about working on film?

A Apart from The Inventing Room, the sets were big enough to do the various songs and dances. The most difficult thing was lip-syncing the songs.

Q What was it like working with Gene Wilder? What was the relationship like between him and the Oompa-Loompas?

A Working with Gene was a huge, great experience. The relationship between us all was fantastic and we all appreciated how hard it was to film.

Q What did you think of the recent film remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

A I liked parts of the remake - I particularly thought Deep Roy worked very hard as the only Oompa-Loompa. But I still think the original film had magic - and of course the best Oompa-Loompa song!

Q What for you was the best thing about working on the film?

A For me the best thing was all the friends I made on set, especially the late Roy Kinnear. He was a very talented and extremely funny man who kept cheering us up when we got bored on set.

Tickets for the first ever Singalonga Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory event on Sunday 29th June are available online from the Prince Charles Cinema. With free magic moment packs and plenty of interaction, this is a marvellous way to celebrate 50 years of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But hurry! Tickets are disappearing faster than Veruca Salt down the rubbish chute.

All proceeds will help Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity make life better for seriously ill children

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