5 items from 2016
As we bid farewell this week to the mighty Gene Wilder, find out how many of his movie roles you can recognise
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- Aidan Mac Guill
The sad news for fans of film comedy spread like wildfire earlier this week. Here’s the opening paragraph facts from the New York Times:
Gene Wilder, who established himself as one of America’s foremost comic actors with his delightfully neurotic performances in three films directed by Mel Brooks; his eccentric star turn in the family classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”; and his winning chemistry with Richard Pryor in the box-office smash “Stir Crazy,” died early Monday morning at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83.
A nephew, the filmmaker Jordan Walker-Pearlman, confirmed his death in a statement, saying the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mr. Wilder’s rule for comedy was simple: Don’t try to make it funny; try to make it real. “I’m an actor, not a clown,” he said more than once.
And what an actor. That’s from the »
- Jim Batts
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, »
- Drew McWeeny
Gene Wilder, the comedian known to a generation as Willy Wonka and an icon thanks to his works with Mel Brooks on The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, has died from complications due to Alzheimer’s Disease, according to Variety. He was 83.
Wilder's nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman revealed the actor died following a private three-year battle with Alzheimer's. "The choice to keep this private was his choice, in talking with us and making a decision as a family," Walker-Pearlman wrote. "We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this »
Public sightings of iconic actor Gene Wilder are as rare these days as public sightings of Willy Wonka (or Arthur Halliday). Three years ago, the retiree spoke with Robert Osborne at the 92nd Street Y in New York City in a rare public appearance. He discussed filming Mel Brooks classics like “Young Frankenstein” and “The Producers,” making Willy Wonka into his own and the state of modern Hollywood (including remakes of his own films!). The results will make you wish you could see Wilder back on the big screen.
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It’s safe to assume Wilder has an old sensibility towards the industry. In this talk, he touches on his dislike for profanity in today’s films (“When they’re swearing… can’t they just stop and talk? Instead of swearing?”), confusion over what a podcast is (“Would I come on your what? »
- Russell Goldman
5 items from 2016
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