Timothée Chalamet Talks Willy Wonka and Recording Music at Abbey Road

He called the character "a celebration of being off-center"

Timothee Chalamet Willy Wonka character quote interview Abbey Road recording studio
Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka

    Earlier this year, Warner Bros. revealed that critical darling Timothée Chalamet is set to star as a young Willy Wonka in an upcoming prequel film to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After offering a first look over the weekend, Chalamet has now previewed his “off-center” character in a new interview with TIME.

    “It’s not mining the darker emotions in life,” Chalamet told TIME when asked about his role. “It’s a celebration of being off-center and of being okay with the weirder parts of you that don’t quite fit in.”

    Best of all, it looks like Chalamet’s confectionary role will double as a soundtrack opportunity. The movie, which is titled Wonka, is also a musical, which means fans will get to hear plenty of presumably charming songs belted by Hollywood’s young sweetheart.


    Chalamet spent an entire weekend recording music for Wonka at Abbey Road last month, an honor that was not lost on him. “I felt out of my league,” he said of the recording experience. “Like I was desecrating history!”

    Wonka will be directed by Paul King (of Paddington and Paddington 2 fame) and boasts a screenplay written by King and Simon Farnaby. The project is led by Harry Potter producer David Heyman, who apparently has been trying to get it off the ground since 2016. Alongside Chalamet, the cast includes Olivia Colman, Sally Hawkins, Keegan-Michaek Key, and Rowan Atkinson.  A release date is set for March 17th, 2023.

    For anyone keeping count, Roald Dahl’s classic 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been adapted by Warner Bros. twice before. 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starred Gene Wilder while Tim Burton’s 2005 film Charlie & the Chocolate Factory featured Johnny Depp. In his final interview, Wilder called the latter version “an insult.”


    Later this month, moviegoers will finally get to see Chalamet in two of his most highly anticipated films yet: Denis Villeneuve’s long-time-coming Dune adaptation and Wes Anderson’s star-studded flick The French Dispatch.