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Hugh Grant's appearance as Oompa-Loompa in Willy Wonka movie gets called out by fellow actor – see why

The Love Actually actor stars opposite Timothée Chalamet in Wonka

Hugh Grant of "The Undoing" speaks during the HBO segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 15, 2020 in Pasadena, California© Getty
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
July 26, 2023
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Earlier this month, fans got to see the first glimpse at the upcoming Willy Wonka prequel, Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet, along with a first look at Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa.

Though fans of the famed Roald Dahl story (1964's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and its earlier film iterations were quick to share their excitement over the upcoming film, and many went wild over the Love Actually actor's appearance as the shrinked fictional character, it didn't sit right with fellow British actor George Coppen, who has dwarfism.

George, who is best known for playing Sweet Cupid in Netflix's The School for Good and Evil, in turn expressed his disappointment over the missed opportunity to cast an actor with dwarfism for the role, as was the case in the 1971 and 2005 films.

WATCH: The official Wonka trailer

"A lot of actors [with dwarfism] feel like we are being pushed out of the industry we love," the actor told the BBC.

He added: "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," noting: "One door is being closed but they have forgotten to open the next one."

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The first iteration of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to hit theaters was 1971's classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which starred the late Gene Wilder as the eccentric and chocolate enthusiast Willy, Peter Ostrum as main character Charlie Bucket, and various actors with dwarfism starred as the Oompa-Loompas.

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In 2005, director Tim Burton released his own version of the story, Charlie and the Chocolate factory, which had Johnny Depp as Willy, Freddie Highmoore as Charlie, and Kenyan-British actor Deep Roy as Oompa-Loompa #1.

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The upcoming origin story with Hugh and Timothée marks the first time an Oompa-Loompa is being played by an actor who does not have dwarfism in any of the film adaptations.

Hugh Grant stars as an Oompa-Loompa © Warner Bros
It is unclear if Hugh's Oompa-Loompa is the only one in the upcoming film

In the trailer, Hugh first appears encased in a glass jar during his first time meeting Timothée's Willy, who tells him: "So you're the funny little man who's been following me?"

Hugh in turn says: "I will have you know that I am a perfectly respectful size for an Oompa-Loompa."

The film also features roles from Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman, Matt Lucas, Jim Carter, and others.

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A synopsis released by Warner Bros. reads: "Based on the extraordinary character at the center of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl's most iconic children's book and one of the best-selling children's books of all time, Wonka tells the wondrous story of how the world's greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today."

Back in April during an appearance at CinemaCon 2023 in Las Vegas, Timothée said of his co-star: "It was a trip [seeing High as an Oompa-Loompa]. Hugh is one of our greats…it was a dream to work with him."

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