'We are being pushed out of the industry we love': Hugh Grant's Wonka role slammed by actor with dwarfism

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 27 July 2023
Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant stars as an Oompa-Loompa in Wonka

Hugh Grant's role in 'Wonka' has been criticised by an actor with dwarfism, who believes the Oompa-Loompas should be portrayed by those with the condition

Hugh Grant's role in 'Wonka' has been criticised by an actor with dwarfism.

George Coppen believes the 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' star's role as an Oompa-Loompa should have gone to an actor with the condition because there are relatively few parts available to them.

The 26-year-old actor explained he first started thinking about the issue when he saw James Nesbitt in the role of the dwarf Bofur in 'The Hobbit'.

He told the BBC: "A lot of actors [with dwarfism] feel like we are being pushed out of the industry we love.

"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."

The 'Willow' actor was shocked when he first saw Hugh in the trailer for 'Wonka'.

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

'Wonka' director Paul King previously explained he had cast 62-year-old Hugh as the diminutive worker because he is the "funniest, most sarcastic s***" he's ever met.

Speaking at the premiere of the trailer in London,, Paul quipped: "So I was really just thinking about that character; somebody who could be a real s***, and then — ah! Hugh!

"Because he's the funniest, most sarcastic s*** I've ever met."

Timothee Chalamet plays the title role in the film and Paul hailed the 'Call Me By Your Name' star as the "most incredible actor of his generation".

He gushed: "It was a very short list of people who could play Willy Wonka, and really, it was him.

"I really do think he's the most incredible actor of his generation, because he's got this incredible ability to dive very deep into his own personal emotions and convey things with the turn of an eye — he's very, very controlled, very smart and incredibly emotionally intuitive."

'Wonka' is due for release in December.


  • 2023
  • UK / US
  • 1h 52min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Paul King
  • Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carter, Tom Davis, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant

An origin story for Willy Wonka featuring an all-star cast and directed by Paddington's Paul King.