Willy Wonka’s Augustus Gloop looks unrecognisable 50 years on and now works as a lawyer

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He found fame as a child as Augustus Gloop in Gene Wilder's iconic movie Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory.

But even the mist die hard fan would have struggled to recognise Michael Bollner when he appeared on This Morning on Tuesday.

On the show to mark 50 years since the film's release, Michael, 62, revealed he long ago left his life on the stage behind him and now works as a tax lawyer in Germany.

But he wasn't the only cast member who had a drastic career change after the film, as leading man Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie Bucket, now works as a vet in the heart of New York.

Michael told hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield how he had no idea how successful the Hollywood hit film would be when it hit theatres in 1971.

Based on the classic Roald Dahl book, the film quickly became one of the biggest films on screen that year, and achieved more than $4.5 million in the box office.

Phil asked: “You were such a young boy at the time, did you realise what a big deal this was going to be?”

Michael replied: “No, not at all, I just went down to make this movie, stayed there for a few weeks and I didn’t really know what was going on, I thought this is just a movie and it will fade away very quickly.”

Phil chimed in with: “And here we are 50 years later still talking about it!”


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Michael explained that despite how much fun he had on set making the movie, he wished he could have got closer to Hollywood actor, who passed away in 2016 from Alzheimer's, but his poor English held him back.

He told viewers: “Gene Wilder was very nice to me and tried to have some conversation with me, but it was very limited."

Michael discussed his infamous scene where his character Augustus falls into the river of chocolate and recalled how cold and shallow the water was on set.

He shared: “It was cold water, old water, terrible stinking water. It had been there for weeks and it was very shallow, just 10cm deep.

“There was a small space of about a square meter where I had to jump in, it was dangerous because the water was not very clear.”

Nowadays, the former actor spends his free time attending film conventions for die-hard fans of the Hollywood blockbuster which is a huge contrast from his day to day job.

He said: “It’s really fun. It’s a kind of strange, different world for me. I am usually doing taxes, but having fans and being famous in the UK and USA it’s really great, fantastic."

Michael was joined on the show by fellow actor Rusty Goffe, 72, who played an Oompa Loompa in the film, and talked about how he landed the job without even attending an audition.

He recalled: “I felt amazed, it was my first ever movie. I got a phone call from my friends and they said, ‘We are going to Germany to do this film.’ They said, ‘There is no audition, you’ve got the job’.”

When asked why he thinks they snapped him up so quickly, he explained: “Because there weren’t many little people in this country that can act, and in fact there were only five or six of us.”

Rusty also revealed he had to do 76 cartwheels while filming the complex Oompa Loompa dance routine, and if any of the actors messed up the whole crew would have to reshoot the entire scene.

This Morning airs on weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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