Josh O’Connor is a rising Hollywood star. Having kickstarted his career with a role as Charlie Stephenson in 2012’s Lewis,  he has appeared in numerous movies and shows over the years. These roles include Piotr in Doctor Who, and Johnny Saxby in 2017’s God’s Own Country, directed by Francis Lee.

Josh O'Connor in a still from The Crown
Josh O’Connor in a still from The Crown

O’Connor has mostly played supporting roles in his career. However, that changed in 2019 when he appeared as Prince Charles, Prince of Wales in the popular Netflix drama The Crown. When asked if there was a role he would like to play, he revealed it to be one that Dune star Timothee Chalamet played last year.

Josh O’Connor Disclosed the One Role That He Would Love Playing

Josh O'Connor in Challangers
Josh O’Connor in a still from Challengers

The Crown was the turning point of Josh O’Connor‘s career as he started landing roles in big productions. In 2020, he played the role of Mr. Elton in Autumn de Wilde’s period romance drama Emma, based on Jane Austen’s eponymous novel. His next prominent role was in the Kate Winslet starrer Lee and his most recent venture is the romantic sports drama Challengers, in which he stars opposite Euphoria star Zendaya.

Read More: “I don’t want to walk into something and…”: Zendaya Had a Very Noble Reason for Choosing Challengers after Dune 2 and No Way Home

Challengers premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival in 2023, but the release date had to be postponed to this year due to the dual Hollywood strike. The lead stars Zendaya, O’Connor, and Mike Faist have been promoting it actively through appearances in interviews and other events related to the movie’s release.

In one such promotional interview with WSJ. Style, O’Connor revealed that the role he would love to play would be of Willy Wonka. However, his idea for it is different from what the world witnessed in Timothee Chalamet’s Wonka.

“But I would really like to play a sort of a darker version of him.”

Read More: “It’s so nice to see you smiling”: Zendaya and Her Co-stars Were Pushed to a Darker Place For Their Villain-esque Roles in ‘Challengers’

Chalamet played a younger version of the chocolatier in the film, which was released last December. Although the movie’s success was initially doubtful, it grossed $632 million worldwide against a $125 million budget, becoming the eighth highest-grossing film of the movie.

The Actor Whose Portrayal of Willy Wonka Inspired Josh O’Connor

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in a still from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been adapted for the big screen several times. While all of them have not been famous, Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp’s versions of the chocolatier Willy Wonka in the story are two of the most popular ones. This list now also includes Timothee Chalamet’s version.

Read More: Timothée Chalamet Addresses Fans Concern While Comparing His Willy Wonka to Iconic Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder Movies 

During the interview, O’Connor spoke of Gene Wilder’s portrayal of Wonka.

“I think Gene Wilder’s version of him is very dark. And so it’s not, it’s not dark in this sinister necessary way. It’s just that I think he’s a really angry man.”

He further mentioned how the children win a competition that rewards them with a tour of a chocolate factory and they all seem to disappear suddenly. So, in his opinion, it is equal parts crazy and dark. Seeing as one movie about the chocolatier was released not so long ago, it is unlikely that someone would attempt to make one so soon. However, when and if someone chooses to make a dark version of Wonka, they could count on O’Connor to do the role.

Challengers is now in theaters, and Wonka is available for streaming on Max.

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