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Actor playing Willy Wonka at disastrous fan event speaks out

Actor playing Willy Wonka at disastrous fan event speaks out


One of the actors hired to play Willy Wonka in an “immersive experience” fan event that became a viral sensation for all the wrong reasons is speaking out about what really happened behind the scenes.

The attraction of British fans Willy's chocolate experience — who was inspired by Roald Dahl Charlie and the chocolate factory but not officially connected to the book or film – promised to transport ticket buyers into a fantasy world. The organization used dramatic AI-generated photos to lure customers into a sterile and depressing warehouse (some photos below) which left parents furious and children in tears, with police called to the scene .

The independent spoke to actor Paul Connell, who was one of three hired to play the fanciful chocolatier at the event. Connell revealed that he was hired at the very last minute and given a script that was “15 pages of AI-generated gibberish of me monologuing these crazy things.”

“What struck me was that I had to say, ‘There is a man whose name we don’t know. We know him as the Unknown. This Unknown is an evil chocolatier who lives in the walls,'” he recalls. “It was terrifying for the children. Is it an evil man who makes chocolate or is the chocolate itself evil?

In both cases, the event apparently had no chocolate, although it was titled “Chocolate Experience.” “We were told to give [the kids] a jelly bean and a quarter cup of lemonade,” Connell said. “No chocolate during the chocolate experience. There was supposed to be a chocolate fountain somewhere but I never saw it.

Connell was also supposed to use a vacuum cleaner at the end of his monologue to suck the evil “Unknown Man” out of the factory walls, but the event didn't even have a vacuum cleaner, so he had to improvise frantically.

The actor ended up playing Wonka for almost four hours straight without a break while organizers urged him to move the children around the warehouse faster. “I didn’t know where I ended up and Wonka started,” he said. “At that point, I was losing my mind. »

Ultimately, the parents became very upset and the event turned into chaos. Connell decided to call it quits with some Oompa Loompas.

“There was an angry crowd at the door and they weren’t being let in,” he said. “People were screaming, those organizing the event were crying. There were arguments, people running everywhere, the decor had been trashed… Indeed, it was becoming quite dangerous for us. But it was heartbreaking, to be honest. There were children in costumes better than ours, crying… As actors, we were brought in at the last minute and we did our best for the children.

Connell also noted that the word “contract” was misspelled on his contract.

The Guardian Previously reported that event organizers refunded tickets and apologized for a “very stressful and frustrating day”, telling customers: “Unfortunately, at the last minute, we were disappointed in many areas of our event and we did our best to keep going and see it through to the end and we now realize that we probably should have canceled first thing this morning.




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