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Depp says his Wonka wasn't based on Michael Jackson

Johnny Depp stars as Willy Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Johnny Depp stars as Willy Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Peter Mountain, Associated Press

Johnny Depp, star of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," says he didn't base his Willy Wonka character on Michael Jackson — and is surprised that some people see a resemblance.

Depp's demure voice, pasty complexion, perfectly bobbed locks, neo-Victorian garb and androgynous air seem to present a reflection of pop singer Jackson, recently acquitted on child-molestation charges.

"A few people have mentioned it, and it kind of took me by surprise. I really didn't expect that," Depp told reporters recently. "Michael Jackson was not a sort of ingredient or inspiration for the character at all."

Depp said he based the way Wonka speaks on children's show hosts he remembers from his childhood.