When you think of Charlie from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ do you think of a blonde American kid in a polo-neck or a polite English boy with pasty skin?
Well it depends on if you grew up with the 1971 film ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’….
… or the 2005 adaptation ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.
Surprisingly the author Roald Dahl hated the first (and best) version, so it’s probably lucky he wasn’t around to see Johnny Depp channeling a drugged-up Michael Jackson whilst under CGI assault in the second.
What ever happened to all those kids – Charlie, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teavee and Augustus Gloop? I’ve track down both generations -
Check them out after the jump!
Freddie Highmore - Charlie Bucket
Freddie’s dad Edward is an actor who appeared in ‘Howard’s Way’ and his mum is Daniel Radcliffe and Imelda Staunton’s agent.
Before ‘Charlie’, Freddie had a breakthrough role opposite Johnny Depp in ‘Finding Neverland’. He has since starred in ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’, ‘August Rush’, ‘The Art of Getting By’ and a BBC film about food columnist Nigel Slater’s childhood called ‘Toast’. He also voiced the lead characters in ‘Astro Boy’ and ‘Arthur and the Invisibles’.
Helena Bonham Carter has played his mum (or step-mum) three time – ‘Women Talking Dirty’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Toast’.
He currently plays Norman Bates in a new HBO drama called ‘Bates Motel’, a loose prequel to Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’.
AnnaSophia Robb - Violet Beauregarde
Anna went on to star with Josh Hutcherson in ‘The Bridge To Teribithia’ and she recorded and released a song for the soundtrack (which got to number 90 in the charts).
She went on to play a younger version of Rachel Bilson’s character in ‘Jumper’ and starred alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in ‘Race To Witch Mountain’.
These days she plays a young Carrie Bradshaw in the ‘Sex and the City’ prequel ‘The Carrie Diaries’ (above). Her next big film will be ‘Life at these Speeds’ opposite Douglas Booth.
Julia Winter - Veruca Salt
Julia hasn’t acted since ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ – but I can tell you both her parents are Swedish and she was raised in London. That’s pretty much all the info we have.
Jordan Fry - Mike Teavee
Jordan went on to appear in an independent film called ‘Raising The Flag’ and he voiced a character in ‘Meet The Robinsons’.
His most recent role was playing a jock in the Amanda Seyfried thriller ‘Gone’.
Philip Wiegratz – Augustus Gloop
Philip has gone on to appear in loads of TV series in his native Germany along with films like ‘Lore’ and ‘Die Wilden Hühner’ (translation ‘The Wild Chicks’)
But what about the originals I hear you cry!
Well cry no more…
Peter Ostrum – Charlie Bucket
While on set Peter was popular with the ladies – both Julie Dawn Cole and Denise Nickerson later said they had major crushes on him. After ‘Willy Wonka’ 13-year-old Peter turned down the offer of a three movie deal. He tried acting again briefly as a late teenager but decided to become a vet instead.
For years he kept his childhood role a secret and his wife didn’t even know he was Charlie until he warned her that his mum might mention it. He lives in Lowville, New York with his wife and two kids where he is the local vet. As a treat to the local schoolkids he answers their questions about ‘Willy Wonka’ on the last day of school every year.
Julie Dawn Cole – Veruca Salt
Julie went on to appears in 1970’s TV series like ‘Poldark’ and ‘Tales of the Unexpected’.
During the 90’s she became a fitness instructor and was a regular contributor on ‘This Morning’, she played Barbara Hope on ‘Emmerdale’ in 2006 and is now psychotherapist.
She has two children with her ex-husband.
Denise Nickerson – Violet Beauregarde
Denise went on to appear in 1970’s TV shows like ‘The Electric Review’, ‘Dark Shadows’ and she had a guest role on ‘The Brady Bunch’. Apparently she was about to play the little girl Regan in ‘The Exorcist’ but her parents pulled her out of it at the last minute due to the subject matter – the part launched Linda Blair’s career.
Denise quit acting at 21. Her first husband died of a brain aneurism two years after they married, she had a son with her second husband and is now divorced.
Denise is an accountant and lives in Denver, Colorado.
Paris Themmen – Mike Teavee
The son of two classical musicians, Mike quit acting at age 14. He has had a number of jobs including real estate broker, Disney ‘imagineer’ (theme park designer) and financial adviser – he is now working on film production in New York.
Michael Bollner – Augustus Gloop
Michael apparently wanted to continue acting after ‘Willy Wonka’ but his dad made him concentrate on his education. He is now a tax accountant living in Munich – and he couldn’t look any more German.
Here are interviews with the cast from the 40th anniversary in 2011.
The casts of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Facory’, we salute you!