Watch: Wonka stars Olivia Colman and Tom Davis on singing for the musical
Wonka is a magical musical full of catchy songs and intricately choreographed numbers, and for Olivia Colman and Tom Davis the experience brought a lot of laughs when they performed to the song Scrub Scrub, they tell Yahoo UK.
The actors play villains Mrs Scrubbit and Bleacher, wash house owners who lure unsuspecting people into their establishment as a place to stay only to trick them into a lifetime of servitude — which they do to Timothée Chalamet's Wonka after he decides to make his dream of opening a chocolate shop come true but runs out of money and is left at their mercy.
Colman and Davis had one cue to keep track of but they reveal they often missed it, and joked that their singing ability meant their performances were reduced to one line and even then they would get it wrong.
As Colman joked they were "the best singers" in the film, jokingly adding that the creative team said: "'Shall we just keep it to the bit where they go Scrub Scrub?'"
"You know we had longer to sing and then gradually, as me and Olivia are doing more singing, they're like, 'maybe we should just be a little bit shorter.'"Tom Davis
Davis claimed their musical number may have been short but "even that took longer than some of the big big dance numbers that they did", adding: "With ours, it's like 'you two have two lines to get right as you come up the lift.'
"Sometimes we forgot to get out of the lift shaft. Those are the outtakes I'd like to see."Tom Davis
Colman shared that she "imagine[s] it's quite a lot of us" in the bloopers, with her co-star concurring: "There's a lot of laughter and a lot of fun and that's what's great about Paul [King] as well, is that collaborative way that he works."
The Crown star said of the director: "He's the worst giggler, the director is meant to be the grown up not the one ruining a shot because he's [laughing], which was really gratifying."
Working together to create the villains feel real
While they were playing villainous characters, the actors found solace in each other especially Davis who had just welcomed a child and found Colman to be a huge support during the filming process.
"I was a new father when we started and this lady was genuinely my rock," he explains.
"Someone said when we were doing reshoots 'do you remember shooting this?' and I don't remember, I was getting like 3 hours sleep a night. I turned up and Olivia would be there. That meant a lot, I think that was a really incredibly thing."
Colman describes their characters as "classic [Roald] Dahl-esque baddies" in terms of "the silhouettes of the two and their names" which meant it was "a free-for-all" to build the characters from scratch.
Davis adds: "It was such an amazing thing to be a part of, as a whole. They are evil and they're not very nice but they're quite vulnerable, there's a sweetness to them, they're both lost and looking for a bit of love."
"They want love, and if they'd had love earlier on, they probably wouldn't have ended up quite so messed up."Olivia Colman
Davis goes on: "It's easy just to make them sort of these grotesque characters, but actually there's sort of quite a sweetness to them and I hope that comes across."
On Timothée Chalamet's humble nature
The cast were led, of course, by Chalamet, who Colman and Davis commended for his humble and generous nature on set.
"He's beautiful, I don't mean just the obvious beauty, he's such a kind, gentle, generous person. And I think it's a stroke of genius to follow in the footsteps of Gene Wilder."Olivia Colman
Davis explains that Chalamet offered him a lot of advice when they first started working together, and as the film was Davis' cinematic debut he found the act incredibly meaningful.
"I was doing rehearsals quite early on with Timothée and the first week that we shot I think was the opening of the movie by the river," he says.
"We hung out quite a bit, and actually it's insane to say because of the size of him as a superstar, but he's a very normal young man. He's the same, you chat football and life, and he's a really humble person.
"As silly as it sounds because I think I'm old enough to be his dad, but I found that he'd be great at giving you a little advice, just chat through things. Very collaborative, lovely, he's really just a really sweet, genuine young man."
Wonka will be released in cinemas on Friday, 8 December.