Johnny Depp's Childhood Trauma That Almost Cost Him Willy Wonka Role

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Cha Miñoza

Johnny Depp easily embodied his role as Willy Wonka in the 2005 movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But, did you know that he almost didn't get to play the role of Willy Wonka because of a little-known traumatizing childhood issue?

The 58-year-old star, who is known for his method acting, is a master at bringing to life eccentric characters. One of his most unforgettable roles is definitely the velvet-loving master chocolatier.

Many viewers didn't know that a past health issue may have affected his chances of getting this iconic role.

Johnny Depp Was Allergic To Chocolate

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According to Marie Claire, Depp was allergic to chocolate when he was a child.

His allergy was pretty severe that he would break out in rashes whenever he ingested chocolate. Thankfully, he outgrew the allergy as he got older.

But, according to his Chocolat co-star Juliette Binoche, she discovered that Depp didn't really like chocolate at all.

"I discovered that Johnny Depp actually didn’t like chocolate. He was spitting it out after each take and Alfred Molina didn’t like chocolate that much, either. It was a funny experience dealing with them and the faces they would make."

He Based Willy Wonka On George Bush

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Even if Depp wasn't a fan of chocolate, he still easily convinced the audience that he was Willy Wonka, proving how great of an actor he is.

His portrayal was outstanding but his inspiration for the role came from an unlikely source. In a 2012 interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the actor revealed that he based his Willy Wonka on a "stoned George W. Bush".

“The idea behind Will Wonka, certain ingredients you add to these characters like Willy Wonka for example. I imagined what George Bush would be like incredibly stoned,” he said. “And, thus was born my version of Willy Wonka.”

Gene Wilder Didn't Like The Remake

While Depp's version of Wonka impressed critics, Gene Wilder, who played the character in the original 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, didn't really like the remake.

"I think it's an insult. ... To do that with Johnny Depp, who I think is a good actor and I like him, but I don't care for that director. He's a talented man, but I don't care for him for doing stuff like he did," Wilder said in an interview.

Gene Wilder vs. Johnny Depp


Naturally, people couldn't help comparing the two actors. A Twitter user reignited the debate of who played the character better.

Although many vouched for Depp and explained that the Burton film was "darker" and more accurate to the book, majority still voted for the endearing Wilder. Fans of the movie argue that he didn't just play a character, he WAS Willy Wonka.