Corden: Gene Wilder Refused TV Gig With Wonka Like Charm
Late, Late Show host James Corden has spoken of his heart warming encounters with the legendary comic actor Gene Wilder after his passing yesterday.
Corden told his audience that he was lucky enough to meet the star of classics such as Willy Wonka, Young Frankenstein and The Producers backstage after the British star had just performed in a play in New York.
"If anyone else came back stage, they'd stay for 5, 6, maybe 10 minutes tops. He sat in my room for half an hour, we sat on this couch and, I'll never forget it as long as I live, we just talked.
"The thing i remember is, all he really wanted to talk about was how my wife and son were adjusting in New York, and were we happy and was it fun."
When Corden later scored the job as host of the TV talk show he thought he would reach out to Wilder to see if he would be interested in appearing on the first episode of the show reprising his role as Willy Wonka.
While he knocked back the offer, Wilder did so in such a wonderful and magical way that highlighted his appeal to fans across several generations.
It's stories like this that make us realise how much we are going to miss him.