The Hollywood star kindly granted me an interview, in which he shed some light on his acting career, books and writing in the movies.
Deep: When Tim Burton asked me to do Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he said to me “I’m looking for you to play the Oompa-Loompas and joining Jonny Depp to play Willy Wonka” – so I agreed – four Oompa-Loompas turned out to be 165! I played each one individually – definitely my most technically challenging role to date.
Clarissa: Were you a Roald Dahl fan before you got the part in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
Deep: Yes, I was a Roald Dahl fan. Loads of his books have been made into successful films. I think he was an amazing children’s writer … as was Dr. Seuss. They did Cat in the Hat and The Grinch – which I worked on. All these writers and authors are talented people. They have a vision, which they put on paper – and sometimes these visions are turned into movies.
Clarissa: Do you have any favourite books?
Deep: My all-time favourite book is Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard, which was made into a successful feature movie produced by Danny DeVito. I’m also a great fan of John Grisham and James Patterson.
Clarissa: You’ve worked with the biggest names in Hollywood as well as the biggest studios. Have there been any film producers or directors that you’ve particularly enjoyed working with during your career?
Deep: I think I’ve enjoyed working with each and every one of them. They are all talented writers and directors, like J. J. Abrams, who did Star Trek. I’ve worked twice with him and I’m going to be doing another Star Trek with him next year … he’s a prolific writer himself and a science fiction buff who’s revamped the Star Trek movies … and now also Star Wars. He’s a joy and a gentleman to work with, and so is Tim Burton. I’ve done four movies with Tim. What an incredible talent and vision he has. Not only does he do feature films, but he also does animation! Then there’s Wolfgang Petersen, I’ve worked twice with him – and last but not least Michael Bay, who directed Transformers II – another prolific director and writer.
Clarissa: What was it like working on the early Star Wars movies with George Lucas?
Deep: You know, it was amazing to portray Yoda, an Ewok, Droopy McCool and R2-D2 – even though I didn’t get the credit! [we laugh]
Clarissa: What would you say to anybody who wants to pursue their dream and reach for the stars?
Deep: … if I can do it, anyone can do it. If you’ve got the passion and the desire, you’ll get there. With hard work and a bit of luck, anybody can do anything!