Wonka Criticized for Casting Hugh Grant as Oompa-Loompa

After seeing Hugh Grant play an Oompa-Loompa in the upcoming movie Wonka, George Coppen called out the film for not casting an actor with dwarfism for the role.

By Elyse Dupre Jul 27, 2023 5:25 PMTags
Watch: Hugh Grant's Role As Oompa-Loompa in "Wonka" is Facing Backlash

With five months still left to go until the release of Wonka, the film is already facing backlash.

The Warner Bros. Pictures movie, set to be released Dec. 15, has been called out for having Hugh Grant play an Oompa-Loompa instead of casting an actor with dwarfism.

"A lot of actors [with dwarfism] feel like we are being pushed out of the industry we love," George Coppen, an actor with dwarfism who played Sweet Cupid in The School for Good and Evil, told the BBC in an interview published July 26. "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. One door is being closed but they have forgotten to open the next one." 

Coppen's comments come two weeks after the trailer for Wonka—which stars Timothée Chalamet as the title character—was released, offering a sneak peek at Grant in the movie.

"They've enlarged his head so his head looks bigger," Coppen continued. "[I thought] what the hell have you done to him?"

Timothee Chalamet's Best Looks

The scene shows Grant with orange makeup, white eyebrows, a green wig and purple suit for the role and his Oompa-Loompa in a glass case when he meets Wonka.

"So, you're the funny little man who's been following me," Chalamet says while portraying the chocolatier from Roald Dahl's 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Grant's Oompa-Loompa, who is 20 inches tall, then replies, "I will have you know I am a perfectly respectful size for an Oompa-Loompa." He later breaks into a dance.


According to the BBC, actors with dwarfism played the Oompa-Loompas in the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder. And in the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory featuring Johnny Depp as Wonka, Deep Roy portrayed all of the Oompa-Loompas. Like Grant, the actors playing the Oompa-Loompas in both films wore orange makeup and green wigs.

Warner Bros. Pictures

E! News has reached out to Warner Bros. Pictures and Grant's rep for comment but has yet to hear back.

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