Here’s How Gene Wilder Created One Of Willy Wonka’s Most Iconic Moments

He apparently had more creative input than many people realised.

Willy Wonka

Last night we learned that legendary actor and comedic gem Gene Wilder had passed away at the age of 83.

The actor, who was best known for his role in family favourite Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, had been battling Alzheimers Disease for three years, before passing away yesterday with his family while listening to one of his favourite songs Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

In the years leading up to his death, Gene remained relatively private, giving his last major public interview in 2013, in which he talked about his most iconic character Willy Wonka.

In it, Gene explains how and why he chose to make the role his own in the character’s very first scene.

When I make my first entrance,” he explained to Turner Classics movie host Robert Osbourne, “I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet.

“As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.”

When he was asked why he wanted to present his character in this way, he simply said “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”

Let us leave you with that memorable scene.

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