Thursday, June 02, 2005

Violet survived her squeezing

If you were to ask me, "How could anyone hope to improve on Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", I wouldn't say, "Have Tim Burton direct the remake." But hey, that's a great idea. I'm a Tim Burton fan, although I must say his latter day movies have never quite matched the promise of Frankenweenie. And I wouldn't say, "Cast Johnny Depp in the role of Willy Wonka," even though that's a great idea, too. I remember Depp from his 21 Jump Street days. He was just another pretty face. Who ever thought he had an edge? And yet, unlike wussie twenty-somethings like Matt Damon or Josh Hartnett, Depp has consistently chosen meaty (and dangerous) roles. To name a few: Dead Man; The Ninth Gate; Once Upon a Time in Mexico. (And then there's Pirates of the Caribbean, proof that no one bats a thousand.) No: I would say, "Kill off all the Oompa-Loompas." Me hates the Oompa-Loompas. There's something deeply offensive about beating the viewer about the head and shoulders with a message, any message. Guess director Mel Stuart felt it essential that every last two-year-old get it. But on to the point of today's blog: where are they now? I am happy to report than none of the Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory kids ended badly. Hey, not all child stars follow the same paths as Danny Bonaduce, Dana Plato, or Todd Bridges. Take me, for example -- Oh. That's another story. Here's the run-down. Michael Bollner (Augustus Gloop) is a tax accountant in Munich. Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee) works as a business manager for Disney. He had an uncredited roll in The Big Lebowski. Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde) gave up acting in 1978 and became a nurse. Her acting career is also notable for her involvement in a musical production of Nabokov's Lolita. Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca 'I want it NOW' Salt) is the only one of the five who is still in the biz. Julie is my personal favorite. A quick IMDB run reveals she has been very busy in the TV world. And (drum roll) . . . Peter Ostrum (Chuckie himself) is a farm animal vet in Upstate New York. Here's his full story. Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opens this July. Yippee! D.


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