Twitter Can’t Decide Whether Oompa Loompa Hugh Grant Is ‘Nightmare Fuel’ Or ‘Iconic’

The Wonka trailer just treated us to a first look at Hugh in Oompa Loompa mode.
Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant
David M. Benett via Getty Images

Hugh Grant’s Hugh-naissance is showing no signs of slowing down.

For the second act of his career, the one-time rom-com star has been taking on some truly weird and wonderful parts that couldn’t be further from the Richard Curtis roles that made him famous.

In recent years, we’ve had Hugh as a villainous thespian in Paddington 2, a dodgy dealer in a Guy Ritchie film, a charming-but-creepy surgeon in The Undoing – and now, we’ve been treated to a first look at the Bafta winner as an Oompa Loompa in Timothée Chalamet’s new movie Wonka.

Yes, you read that correctly. Hugh Grant, formerly of floppy hair and saying “um” in 500 different ways fame, has donned a green wig and orange face paint to play an Oompa Loompa in Wonka, a Charlie And The Chocolate Factory prequel charting Willy Wonka’s ascent to the top of the chocolate industry.

The trailer for the movie, which is directed by Paddington’s Paul King, finishes with a glimpse at what we can expect from Hugh’s performance, as Timothée’s Willy Wonka has a chat with an Oompa Loompa he’s apparently imprisoned in a glass case.

As the teaser comes to an end, the Oompa Loompa looks like he’s about to launch into the famous Oompa Loompa Song from the 1971 film Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, complete with dance routine.

“I’ve started dancing now,” he tells Wonka. “Once we’ve started, we can’t stop.”

It’s fair to say that the image of Hugh in full Oompa Loompa get-up (it’s not just the green hair – there’s also a purple suit involved) was a lot for film fans to process, and pure unadulterated shock was a common emotion...

Some even described it as the stuff of nightmares....

But for others, the prospect of the “Hughmpa Loompa” (a nickname coined by his co-star Timothée in a tweet shared shortly after the trailer) was enough to have them practically queuing outside the cinema.

Meanwhile, plenty of fans were just glad that at this stage in his career, Hugh seems to be having fun with the parts he picks...

Come to think of it, might Hugh’s Oompa Loompa transformation be proof that he’s one of the most versatile actors of his generation?

Speaking at the launch of the trailer yesterday, the film’s director revealed that when it came to casting the Oompa Loompa, he used the songs that author Roald Dahl wrote for them as a starting point.

Those songs, Paul noted, were “incredibly sarcastic and judgemental and cruel” about the children visiting Wonka’s factory, and Hugh (who he worked with on Paddington 2) just happened to pop into his head.

“So I was really just thinking about that character; somebody who could be a real shit, and then — ah! Hugh!” he explained. “Because he’s the funniest, most sarcastic shit I’ve ever met.”

Wonka is out in UK cinemas on 15 December.


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