It seems like just yesterday when Willy Wonka and the cast of kids from Roald Dahl’s classic novel first came into our hearts. Yesterday was, in fact, 1971.
The Today show sat down with the former Wonka children on Wednesday, November 11th only to discover that the sugary sweetness of the film ran far beyond the set.
Peter Ostrum (Charlie Buckets), Paris Themmen (Mike Teavee), Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Rusty Goffe, Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde), and Michael Bollner (Augustus Gloop) all admitted that the film created a lasting and unforgettable bond for which they’re grateful.
“We think of ourselves as a family, maybe a bit of a dysfunctional family, but a family!” Themmen said with a laugh.
Staying connected thanks to reunions at various events around the globe, most of the cast left the film industry on their own terms to pursue other dreams and careers. This is exactly why the Wonka kids, many of whom have children and grandchildren of their own, remain blissfully happy for what they consider the chance of a lifetime.
“Look I mean, we are the fortunate ones,” Nickerson said with a smile. “We’re here, and we got to really see it and experience it. And the first thing people do when they find out who we are is smile.”
In what the cast refer to as “the Wonka effect”, there’s no doubt that even they would agree with Wonka’s famous line, “For some moments in life, there are no words.”