Why did you take the role of Wonka?
Johnny: He brought it up you know started talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then mentioned the character of Wonka and I don’t even think I let him finish the sentence and I was just was, you know, “I’m in.” As great as the material is, and as great as Ronald Dahl’s book is, it could have been anything you know, that Tim wanted to film and I would have said yes. So I mean I, it doesn’t matter what he wants to film, I would, you know, if he asks me to—
Tim: I’m doing the “Gypsy Rose Lee” story next
Johnny: Can I be Gypsy Ross Lee?
Johnny: I’m in.
The first time they met…
Johnny: We’ve never met
Tim: This is our first meeting. When he shows up on the set, I’m not there and when I’m there he’s not there, so this is our first actual meeting.
Johnny: He directs from a little trailer.
Tim: This is the first time he’s ever seen me
Johnny: Yeah. We met uh at a coffee shop in, was about 1990 or something? 89 or 90. We met at a coffee shop, drank about, I don’t know must have been about 5 or 6 pots of coffee. I remember leaving the meeting, like gnawing on a spoon, wired out of my head.
Tim: Yeah. In fact probably from drinking that coffee that’s where he got his Edward Scissorhands’ hair. It just started to grow in right there.
Tim: What was that? The whole Carroll thing “mad as a hatter” the research you did about you know about going through the whole, you know—
Johnny: Investigating things that begin with the letter “M.” Which was infact, it’s a it’s a little clue that Carroll drops in the book. And um if you do a little research you find out that the “M” he’s talking Mercury, Mercury poison for hatter’s was a very common uh uh uh issue back in the 19th century because there was Mercury in the glue they used. So they would all go a bit daffy. That’s where that term came from.
Interviewer: You also, you have your Mrs. whose whose brilliant as well, Helena Bonham Carter, in this of course. You have your Mrs. with an enormous head.
Tim: I know, her head seems very small to me now. It’s a little pinhead now. I got so used to the other way, you know.
Tim: We made her waist a little smaller too which she liked. The head big so, compensation you know.
Interviewer: Alice says six impossible things before breakfast uh which she wants to come true. So I wanna ask you both: Can you tell me six impossible things that you’d like to come true?
Tim: Before breakfast it’s just getting up and that goes through one through six. That’s all of them and just getting out of bed.
Johnny: Just taking those six steps to the coffee machine.
Tim: I believe in six impossible steps before breakfast.
Interviewer: You started out as an artist didn’t you?
Tim: Yes started as an animator at Walt Disney and I did that so badly I had to move on to live action films.
Interviewer: Were you good at all?
Tim: I was not good at drawing Disney characters, the first film I worked on was called “The Fox and the Hound.” And all of my foxes looked like they had been hit by cars. We took out the roadkill sequences and none of my work really survived that film.
Interviewer: Were you dismissed?
Tim: Well….they put me in another room—
Interviewer: What character are you going to draw?
Tim: Well I thought I’d draw the most complicated characters I’ve ever worked on which is from the Nightmare before Christmas. Cuz I love animated characters that have no eyes.
Interviewer: Mind you a child could do that
Tim: Well that’s why I
Interviewer: That’s why I chose it Johnny!