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This guy played 165 roles in one Tim Burton movie, and we’re impressed

One of the best actors in this Tim Burton movie showcased real commitment to playing an enormous number of characters. He certainly earned his money on set.

This actor played 165 characters in one Tim Burton movie

The best Tim Burton movies are fiestas of the fantastical. Over the years, Tim Burton has earned a deserved reputation for crafting dark fairytales for audiences of all ages, featuring some of the best actors alive. One actor, though, managed to play 165 characters in a single movie.

Burton’s 2005 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory might not rank among the director’s best movies, but it proved to be a very memorable experience for British-Kenyan actor Deep Roy.

Roy played the Oompa Loompas in the movie. That’s right; every single one of them. And this wasn’t a case of simple CGI replication, for the most part. Roy had to work very hard indeed.

During an appearance at Alt Con in Florida (via Tallahassee Democrat), Roy revealed that he was originally asked to play four of the chocolate factory workers in the movie, but his workload quickly grew.

“Four turned out to be seven. Seven turned out to be 165 eventually,” Roy said. “Mentally and physically it was hard. I’m not a dancer or a singer so to coordinate that; it’s tough.”

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Roy had to perform song and dance routines dozens of times as the different Oompa Loompas, so that they could then be stitched together in post-production, as the above featurette explains.

The production did create a series of animatronic Roys for some of the crowd scenes but, for the most part, it was a low-tech situation in which the actor quite simply had to do loads and loads of dancing, singing, and playing instruments. None of these were skills he had before, having not had a career devoted to the best musicals.

Roy does great work in the movie, even if the film as a whole won’t be on many lists of the best movies based on books. And nobody can doubt his commitment. What an achievement.

For more from the movie’s director, check out our picks for the best Tim Burton movies and find out why Tim Burton needed a translator for Jack Nicholson on Batman. We’ve also explained why Michael Keaton is the best Batman.

Alternatively, check out the new movies on the way this year, including the Dune 2 release date. Dahl’s work is also back on the big screen for a new spin, with the Wonka release date.