The Kids From 2005's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Have Grown Up To Be Gorgeous

Few fantasies have colored imaginations as wondrously and consistently as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" has since its inception nearly six decades ago. In 2005, Hollywood's in-house eccentric Tim Burton added another chapter to Roald Dahl's celebrated legacy with his own adaptation of the beloved novel. Burton brought Dahl's work to life on the big screen extravagantly, sparing no detail. Among the many aspects he was determined to get right — besides the use of real-life rodents — was the casting of children around whom the story revolves. 

In selecting the child actors for the group of Charlie Bucket, Veruca Salt, Mike Teavee, Augustus Gloop, and Violet Beauregarde, Burton relied on instinct. "Even though they're all good kids, there had to be a seed of what they are [in the characters], especially the ones that hadn't acted before," he explained to For instance, Freddie Highmore's pint-sized physicality worked just right for the lead role of Charlie, whose story is rooted in poverty. In Burton's words: "I wanted Freddie to look undernourished." 

Years have passed since the world re-entered Burton's chocolate factory with the kids, all of whom grew up to set off on their individual journeys. While a few of them nourished their acting careers and became stars we can still catch on screen, some of these recognizable faces withdrew in pursuit of other vocations. Take a look at where the kids from 2005's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" are now. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was an instant hit upon release

The timelessness of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" has traversed formats and years since Roald Dahl conceived it back in 1964. The story has been adapted many times over, with each rendition welcomed as warmly as its predecessor by audiences. Tim Burton's 2005 spectacle was no different. 

Probably the most vivid adaptation of Dahl's storybook masterpiece in millennial memory, Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" opened to rave reviews and a thunderous performance at the box office. Entertainment Weekly reported at the time that in its opening weekend alone, the film proved its success with a whopping $55.4 million in collections — this, despite its release coinciding with another fantasy book publication, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." At the cinemas, Burton's work surpassed worthy competitors like Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" and Marvel's "Fantastic Four." 

By the time Burton's film came into existence, the world was familiar with Charlie Bucket's story. But Hollywood's maverick magician was lauded for his take on what he believed was "children's literature that was a bit more sophisticated and dealt with darker issues and feelings," as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. It's hard to miss that tenor throughout Burton's film — reflected, in particular through his cryptic portrayal of Willy Wonka. Ironically enough, the original Wonka, Gene Wilder from the 1971 film, wasn't nuts about his successor, calling Burton's adaptation "an insult" during a talk at The 92nd Street Y.  

Tim Burton said it was harder to cast the kids than the adults

Few directors know how to engage audiences across ages, and one can safely declare Tim Burton to be the leader of that film club. Since the 1980s, the avant-garde filmmaker has commanded the niche of eccentric horror fantasy that delivers entertainment to children and adults alike. The humble, wide-serving essence of Burton's own filmography is exactly what appealed to him about Dahl's writing. 

"He didn't speak down to children," Burton told IGN, describing the legendary writer's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as "the kind of a book where you could read it at any age and get something out of it." It's probably this commitment that compelled Burton to put significant attention into casting the right child actors for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." 

"These kids all had what I would call a cinematic quality," Burton told "When they walked in, there was just something that I said you could see them on the big screen, and they were the more cinema version of those characters." While Johnny Depp unequivocally piloted the film's bold and bizarre elements as Willy Wonka, there were standout performances among the younger cast, too. According to Burton, it was important to him that the children playing Roald Dahl's iconic characters had some element that corresponded to the originals. The formula evidently worked; these actors, now grown, are still memorable in their kiddie roles even today! 

Freddie Highmore led the cast as Roald Dahl's iconic character

Freddie Highmore, the lead child star of Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," was already several films old by 2005, having captured audience attention in the Oscar-nominated fantasy "Finding Neverland" the year before — alongside Johnny Depp, no less. As the legend goes, it was apparently Depp who recommended Highmore for his role as Charlie Bucket. "You get to work with him, see what his abilities are, and he's super talented," the Hollywood icon said of his younger co-star in an IGN interview.

As for Burton, who hadn't watched "Finding Neverland," Highmore was a revelation, fitting Charlie's physicality and sensibility perfectly. "That's why I was lucky to get him because he's just got that gravity, and that was really important to it," Burton told 

For Highmore, who had read Roald Dahl's source novel, being on Burton's famously extravagant set was rather thrilling and, at times, overwhelming. The young chocolate lover was especially blown away by the fabled chocolate waterfall room and happy to have real, edible treats around: "There was a marshmallow plant that was quite nice. It had a sort of cream dome, and I sort of dipped into the marshmallow and ate it," he told IGN. Sharing screen space with his idol Depp was another highlight for the young actor, who was also not shy about declaring that his rendition of Charlie was "more pure" than the 1971 film's version. 

He graduated to working on popular television shows

The unusually sage-worded child star of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Freddie Highmore, had cast doubt over his future acting career on account of an alternate, adventurous one. "I think it might be quite nice to travel and see the rainforests, but I'm not sure if I'll stay in acting or not," he told IGN. 

His youth was definitely the greener part of his career, which sparkled with main roles for Highmore across titles like "Finding Neverland," "A Good Year," and "The Spiderwick Chronicles," featuring him alongside some of Hollywood's biggest stars. But contrary to the irresolute utterings of his childhood, Highmore continued to charm audiences well into adulthood on screens both big and small. 

While television was always a part of Highmore's credits — his portrayal of the iconic Hitchcockian character Norman Bates in "Bates Motel" standing out — he burst onto the scene again in 2017. He starred as Dr. Shaun Murphy on "The Good Doctor," an ABC series he also executive produced. Meanwhile, Highmore's movie presence has whittled down considerably but still fares better than his total absence from social media. Fans need not worry, though, since the fiercely private English actor – in defiance of the troubled child star myth — is still smiling. During an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in 2022, he revealed that he had tied the knot with "a very wonderful woman." 

Philip Wiegratz wore a fat suit to play Augustus Gloop

Augustus Gloop was the personification of gluttonous excess in Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" — a trait that made him a cautionary tale early on in the story. But let's be honest: who wouldn't fly off the handle in a factory filled with chocolate? The character's allegorical (and oftentimes relatable) greed was portrayed to perfection by Philip Wiegratz in Tim Burton's adaptation of the 1964 novel. 

The 2005 film was the first film credit awarded to the German actor, who was just 12 at the time of his big-screen debut. But it wasn't just stuffing his face that Wiegratz had to excel at to make his character believable. According to the New York Post, Wiegratz picked up skills that ranged from English speaking to swimming and, most significantly, adjusted to prosthetics to slip into the skin of the full-bodied Augustus. 

For all the effort he put into his breakthrough performance, Wiegratz soon bowed out of the acting scene in Hollywood. The remainder of his short-lived acting career was confined to German showbiz, with appearances in the "Wild Chicks" film series and a smattering of television shows. From his limited social media presence, it appears that the now-grown Wiegratz bears an adventurous spirit, enjoying his travels all the way from Norway to New York. He still isn't afraid to get his hands dirty — except now, he's graduated from glooping around in chocolate rivers to mud rivers. 

Julia Winter aka Veruca Salt left acting to pursue other interests

With mischievous eyes and bratty bearings flawlessly conveyed, Julia Winter brought the book character of Veruca Salt to life vibrantly on the big screen in Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." It couldn't have been an easy role to play by any measure because Veruca, by creator Roald Dahl's own description, was derived from the foul idea of warts — basically, "the very nastiest I could think of," per The Guardian. She was pictured as a fur-clad, pampered little girl whose spoiled demands at Wonka's factory led her to be given a strict lesson in the nut room – the most momentous scene in her story and also the most fun for Winter.

Ever the eccentric master of detail, Burton reportedly filmed parts of the legendary scene with real trained squirrels, per the Los Angeles Times. Luckily, Winter wasn't asked to share space with these furry co-stars — especially since she heard "their claws dug in" (according to the New York Post). But Winter got personal training from Burton himself, who showed her how to use her imagination in the absence of her rodent attackers who were later added in. 

"We must have looked ridiculous lying there, kicking and fighting off imaginary squirrels," Winter said. Later, Winter reportedly pursued a medical degree in Sweden, where she made a brief return to acting in a short film shot at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. 

AnnaSophia Robb really enjoyed her time as Violet Beauregarde

The gum-obsessed Violet Beauregarde was one of the most fascinating characters in Roald Dahl's chocolate factory world. To resurrect her on screen for Tim Burton's 2005 fantasy, AnnaSophia Robb was brought in. She had already had a brush with both television and film by then, but "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was presumably the young actor's most demanding project. 

To step into the shoes of the ultra-competitive Violet whose vice leads her to balloon into a blueberry, Robb had to prep a lot. "I wore prosthetics, a purple wig, and purple contacts. They put me in this 14-foot contraption and spun me around; that was like a roller coaster," she told the New York Post. 

In allegiance to Violet's trademark habit, Robb also had to take to chewing nearly six pieces of gum daily — an activity that initially caused her some discomfort but eventually got her hooked. Robb didn't complain, though. The star thoroughly gushed about her time on set and becoming fast friends with Julia Winter, the only other girl in the gang. "It was incredible," she told Showbiz Junkies. She added, "It just felt like I was in this chocolate candy valley and going to set with all these people that I love to be with, working with Tim, and being in London — it's so exciting!" The enthusiasm was genuine, given that Robb remains one of the most active in acting out of the chocolate factory kids. 

AnnaSophia Robb is excited to watch Timothée Chalamet as Wonka

Nearly two decades have passed since Tim Burton's Violet Beauregarde captured the audience's attention with her gum-chewing. While she's (hopefully) not eating candy as obsessively anymore, AnnaSophia Robb is still very much a mainstream celebrity figure. Her acting career has remained consistent since 2005 when she was rubbing shoulders with Willy Wonka. 

"When I was a kid, I don't think I understood how fortunate I was, but I'm glad I was unaware because I simply enjoyed it, enjoyed life, work, and school," she told Schön. Robb's passion for storytelling intensified in college and she kept firm on that path, "trying to enjoy the ride rather than the destination," collecting credits and awards along the way. 

In her post-Violet era, Robb immediately garnered more fame as the lead of the 2007 fantasy "Bridge to Terabithia," going on to work in serious films like "The Crash" and "Lansky." On television, her teenage rendition of the iconic Carrie Bradshaw in "The Carrie Diaries" elevated her status as a screen actor. Her newer successes didn't dim Robb's nostalgia for her chocolate factory days. The Coloradan, now grown, pouted over not being involved in the highly-anticipated prequel "Wonka" but told HeyUGuys that she was excited to watch Timothée Chalamet's portrayal of the quirky candy-maker. In 2022, Robb tied the knot with her beau Trevor Paul in a dreamy ceremony. 

Jordan Fry, who played Mike Teavee, had a memorable interaction with Johnny Depp

Roald Dahl made Mike Teavee's overarching trait obvious in his name. But what stood out more than his television obsession was his audacity to challenge Willy Wonka with cheeky boyishness that no other member of the chocolate factory gang dared to attempt. The expressive character found a worthy performer in young Jordan Fry, who, it seems, didn't have much trouble settling into his debut screen role. 

"Basically it's just human nature to give nasty looks, it wasn't that hard. The eyebrow one I've been practicing for a while — not to my parents, though," the child actor told the New York Post. His experience of being on Tim Burton's set was quite the joy ride, especially the parts where his cocky character was given free rein to smash things. The film proved to be a gold mine of memories for the young actor, who grew up to remember one incident in particular.

Fry's newbie zeal for the fantastic world of Willy Wonka at one point got a little too much for the nutty candy-maker himself. The film's famous glass elevator scene apparently got young Fry super psyched, much to the discomfort of other actors cramped inside the box. As Fry recalled for Revamp, Johnny Depp stepped in with a polite, personalized timeout message for him: "Hey, Jordan. It's a small space. There's a lot of us in here. Would you be able to turn it down a couple of notches?" 

He continues to be active in films and on Instagram

For all the ease he felt as a child actor, Jordan Fry never started intending to join films. His career was an offshoot of his mother's, a wannabe actor who took him along on her auditions. One such outing landed him the part of Mike Teavee in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." It would've been a proud moment for his mother to see him follow her along on her dreams but for young Fry, the attraction of getting into films lay elsewhere: "I just thought at least it takes me out of school for the day," he told Revamp. However, before the audition process was complete, Fry said he was concerned about losing his position as soccer team captain and considered dropping out of the auditions. 

"It's interesting because you don't realize when you're a kid the importance of what you're doing," he reflected. Fry was particularly blown away by Tim Burton's genius and the magnificence of a film set. 

Although his other projects were nowhere near as grand as his first one, Fry kept the lights on in his acting career by starring in understated, lesser-known films like "The Journey" and "Big Life." Much to the delight of his fans, Fry hasn't lost his quick-witted charisma that so defined his childhood. His wildly entertaining Instagram is soaked in nostalgia, harking back to his chocolate factory era every few posts.