Interview & Editor: Owen James Vincent
Roald Dahl's stories have been round for decades and so have the amazing films such as Matilda, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG and many more. Another popular Roald Dahl story was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which turned in to movies the original in 1971 and then Tim Burton's version from 2005 which starred Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.
We got to chat to Jordan Fry who played one of the spoilt golden ticket winners, Mike TeaVee. We chat to him about his time on set with Johnny Depp, being part of the world of Tim Burton and things he's done after the movie was released.
Hi Jordan. Thanks for chatting with us! How has 2022 treated you so far? It looks like from social media you’ve been traveling.
It’s been good so far. Especially after the pandemic when we weren’t allowed to leave our homes; once that all ended I was like I needed to go anywhere. My Dad and I took a mounting bike around Moab which was terrific and then after that doing stressful mountain biking, we then decided to go and hike the Grand Canyon. We spent 3 days in the Grand Canyon, hiked down and it was so much fun, very gorgeous down there and very hot!
Everyone would recognize you as the spoilt Mike TeaVee from Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. How was it being part of Tim Burton’s world and working with Johnny Depp?
It’s awesome! I didn’t really appreciate it at the time because I was eleven and I don’t think I saw any of his movies by that point. It’s interesting because you don’t realize when you’re a kid the importance of what you’re doing. Looking back you now think that was a big deal because Tim Burton is an incredible filmmaker and loved just how interactive he gets with every one of his projects as a kid it didn’t feel like acting a lot of times; I was amazed at the sets that they made because they built those sets. Some of it was the green screen but not a lot, I was more heavily leaning toward how they made these sets. So walking in for the first time I was mind blown! It was a whole other world! Tim Burton has an insane imagination and I’m so happy to be part of it.
Working with Johnny Depp was sooo good!
What was the audition process like?
Funny enough I never wanted to be an actor. It was one of those things that I kind of did. My Mum wanted to be an actress so she went and got an agent in Seattle she would go out and audition and she would take us with her. One day one of the casting directors came out and said to Mum your kids are adorable, do they wanna be in this project (this isn’t Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) [laughs] They asked if we wanted to audition, so we did and it turned out I got the part from my Mum’s audition, cut to five years later and the next audition that I got was for Mike TV in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and at the time I didn’t know it, I just thought at least it takes me out of school for the day.
It took four or five auditions, the first two were in Seattle and then L.A., and then the last one was in England (because the movie was filmed there), where we stood in three directions, and they took our pictures of the rest of the cast, and then they flew us back. But I remember during the third or fourth audition getting nervous because I felt like I was getting it and I asked my Mum at the time if I could drop out as I was team captain of a Soccer team. She was like see what happens but I’m glad that I did get it because it was a blast to do and it was so much fun!
Have you got any memories from being on set?
Lots of memories! There’s a classic go-to that I tell at parties and it involves Johnny Depp. So, Johnny Depp told me to shut up once [laughs]. We’re filming the glass elevator scene and I was super rambunctious as a kid and didn’t have good social skills. We had Freddie Highmore there but he had already starred in five movies, so he was like a little adult, and then Johnny Depp, David Kelly, and Adam Godley who played my Dad. They’ve all been in the industry for years, so they got this little kid who’s just bouncing off the walls in this five-foot by an a-five-foot glass box. It was towards the end of the day and Johnny turns to me and goes, “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?” and I just remember shutting up and not talking for the rest of the day but except to say my lines as I was so embarrassed but he was so nice about it.
Have you stayed in touch with any of the other golden ticket winners?
No, I haven’t. Last time I saw Annasophia (who played Violet) was when I was fifteen. Philip who played Augustus was just doing an American tour. So when I was in Moab, he was in Las Vegas, so I just missed him. A fan reached out to me and told me where he was and told us to meet up, I don’t know who’s keeping tabs on the five of us around the world but somebody is [laughs].
After the movie. What did you decide to do? Are you still in the acting world?
After I did Disney’s Meet The Robinsons but then I decided to go to high school and be a normal kid. I have done a couple of things since then like I’ve just done an independent movie that is coming out soon and did just film a short film in Michigan this summer. So, I’m slowly dipping my toe back into the acting world.
Lastly, have you got a message you would like to say to your ReVamp readers?
Don’t do drugs kids, become a rockstar and then they will give it to you for free!