Douglas Hodge's Willy Wonka will be "more Gene Wilder than Johnny Depp", the told Whatsonstage.com recently.
Hodge is playing the mysterious sweetmaker in the blockbuster new musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25 June 2013.
Speaking backstage at the Olivier Awards, he said that Wonka "has got to break people's hearts; he's got to move people - the fact that he's lost his innocence and wants to find himself again."
He added that Wilder's rendition in the 1971 film was "calm and gentle", embodying this contrast more poignantly than Depp's "Anna Wintour-inspired" interpretation in Tim Burton's 2005 version.
When asked how the army of orange Oompa-Loompas is being created on stage, Hodge remained tight-lipped. "I'd have to kill you if I told you how it was done," he said, but confirmed that children would not be playing the roles. "I can tell it'll be different in every scene," he added.
Helmed by Sam Mendes, who recently directed the acclaimed new Bond film Skyfall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opens on 25 June 2013 (previews from 18 May) at the West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane.