Timothée Chalamet can certainly rap, but according to “Wonka” director Paul King, Chalamet’s hidden talent is his classically “beautiful singing voice.”
Oscar-nominated actor Chalamet stars as Willy Wonka in the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” prequel film, which King noted is not a musical while still featuring singing and dancing.
“(Chalamet)’s got a beautiful singing voice,” King told Total Film. “The person it reminded me of was Bing Crosby. There’s quite a range, because it does go from a couple of bigger, showstopper-y sort of things, to moments of real, pure emotion and he can do it all…I’m going to sound like a crazed fan.”
He continued, “The Oompa Loompas sing a lot in the book, and Roald Dahl always uses poetry. But I didn’t want it to just become a musical where people are singing dialogue to each other for no discernible reason. I felt like it was more like a movie with songs than a musical.”
King previously said that Chalamet had the “voice of an angel,” with his triple threat talent inevitably going to “blow people away.”
Sally Hawkins, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Grant, Olivia Colman, and Rowan Atkinson also star alongside Chalamet in the film.
King didn’t even ask Chalamet to audition for the role of Wonka after watching Chalamet’s high school musical theater clips on YouTube.
“It was a straight offer because he’s great and he was the only person in my mind who could do it,” King told Rolling Stone. “But because he’s Timothée Chalamet and his life is so absurd, his high school musical performances are on YouTube and have hundreds of thousands of views. So I knew from stanning for Timmy Chalamet that he could sing and dance really well.”
He added, “I knew that was in his arsenal, but I didn’t know how good he was. When I spoke to him he was quite keen. He’d done tap dancing in high school and he was like, ‘I’d quite like to show people I can do that.’”
Chalamet will further show off his singing chops in the upcoming Bob Dylan biopic “A Complete Unknown.”