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Gene Wilder was so much more than his pitch-perfect work as Willy Wonka

Gene Wilder was so much more than his pitch-perfect work as Willy Wonka

What makes a great actor great? When I watch a performance, there are certain things I look for, and the biggest of those things is whether or not the actor is making choices about their work. There are plenty of actors who get through a scene just fine and who deliver their lines nicely and who never ever connect beyond that for me because it doesn’t feel like they’re bringing anything to the process aside from their physical presence. There are certain actors, though, who I am immediately drawn to because you can see how they’re taking the raw material of the script and they’re putting it through their personal filter so that the end result is something the writer couldn’t have imagined, that the director couldn’t have asked for, and that the actor never would have reached on his own. Gene Wilder was one of those actors,

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