'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' stars reflect on iconic film 50 years later

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' cast celebrates 50th anniversary remastered release
Fifty years ago, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" hit the big screen and now the iconic film has been digitally re-mastered and re-released to celebrate its golden anniversary.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Fifty years ago, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory hit the big screen -- a film adaptation of Roald Dahl's famous literary tale.

Now, the iconic film has been digitally remastered and re-released to celebrate this anniversary.

Alicia Vitarelli had a chance to chat with some of the original cast members as they look back at their roles in this film.

The children in the film are all grown up now. For all of them, this was their first-ever film. These breakout roles would go on to change their careers, change their lives and change the industry as we know it.

The film has now been remastered in 4K Ultra HD to celebrate its place in cinematic history, and introduce it to a new generation of fans.

Like an Everlasting Gobstopper, it never gets old.

Peter Ostrum played Charlie Bucket. Today, he's a veterinarian.

"I didn't continue on with acting, but I look back with love," Ostrum says. "And I still like chocolate! To be involved with a film that we're still talking about 50 years later has been wonderful. It was life-changing and kind of a game-changer."

Julie Dawn Cole was Veruca Salt. She wants to clear up one thing.

"It wasn't really Veruca who was the problem," she laughs. "It was just poor parenting."

She was 12 when they filmed the movie.

"It was an extraordinary experience," Cole says. "It's not just what it's meant for us, it's not lost on what it means to other people as well."

Michael Bollner played Augustus Gloop. He famously gets sucked out of the chocolate river through a tube.

Good news, he still drinks chocolate milk.

"And quite a lot," Bollner laughs.

Paris Themmen played Mike Teavee.

His very first role earned him a spot in cinematic history.

"I was 11 years old I and I did the thing that I will never match," Themmen says, "let's face it!"

Catch Alicia's full chat with the cast below.

Alicia Vitarelli interviews the original cast of Willy Wonka