As the Internet pays loving tribute to Gene Wilder, who passed away this week at the age of 83, old videos and interviews have also resurfaced. In a 2005 interview, for instance, Wilder attributed his ability to make others laugh to the confidence instilled in him by his mother. “She made me believe that I could make someone laugh.”
But while Gene Wilder was relentlessly positive, it didn’t mean that he liked everything. In fact, in his last major interview, he admitted why he stopped acting: He didn’t like what was being offered to him.
“I didn’t want to do the kind of junk I was seeing. I didn’t want to do 3D, for instance. I didn’t want to do ones where it’s just bombing and loud and swearing. So much swearing going on. If someone says ‘Ah, go f— yourself,’ well, if it came from a meaningful place, I’d understand it. But if you go to some movies, can’t they just stop and talk, just talk, instead of swearing? That put me off a lot.”
In the interview, Wilder also admitted he had a distaste for Tim Burton’s remake of Willy Wonka starring Johnny Depp.
“I think it’s an insult,” Wilder went on to say. “Johnny Depp, I think, is a good actor, but I don’t care for that director. He’s a talented man, but I don’t care for him doing stuff like he did.”
He’s not wrong. For a PG film designed for children, Burton’s movie had a number of unsettling sequences.
That’s less “pure imagination” and more “pure nightmare fuel.”