Johnny Depp thrills crowds at 'Willy Wonka' premier

Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp sent the crowd wild tonight at the premiere of his new film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp sent the crowd wild tonight at the premiere of his new film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Thousands of screaming fans packed London’s Leicester Square to see the star, who plays Willy Wonka in the £80m remake of Roald Dahl’s much-loved children’s classic.

Depp shared the limelight with his 13-year-old British co-star, Freddie Highmore.

Freddie plays Charlie Bucket, the boy from a poor family who finds a golden ticket hidden inside his Wonka bar and wins a trip to the factory.

Depp recommended Freddie for the role in the film, directed by Tim Burton, after working with him in Finding Neverland.

Freddie said: “Working on the film was pretty cool. I’ve been really lucky.

“Johnny is a really nice guy. He made me laugh every day. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

His mum in the film is played by Tim Burton’s partner, Helena Bonham-Carter, and she said: “Freddie is really amazing. He’s so normal and delightful and he’s just a brilliant actor.”

Dahl’s widow Felicity also attended the premiere and greeted Depp with a warm hug.

The author hated the first film version of the book, a musical made in 1971 and starring Gene Wilder.

But she gave Burton’s movie her blessing and said her late husband would have loved it.

Burton explained: “We have stuck to the spirit of the book. We haven’t gone darker or lighter. It’s a modern fable about the weirdness of childhood done with a lot of humour.”

The film is released nationwide on July 29.

Stars at the premiere included Christopher Lee, Val Kilmer, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Lady Isabella Hervey and Alex Best.

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