Willy Wonka's Chocolate River Scene Was More Dangerous Than You Think

The idea of swimming in a chocolate river might be every kid's fantasy, but it turns out that tasty-looking scene in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" wasn't all it's cracked up to be. We all daydreamed over the otherworldly edible wilderness that Roald Dahl created before the story made it to the big screen in 1971, so it's disheartening to be reminded that it was just a movie set and not a candy wonderland.

All the delectable treats of the land that Willy Wonka offered the lucky golden ticket recipients was, in fact, not delectable at all. The legendary chocolate river was actually "stinky water" as Michael Bollner, the 13-year-old actor behind Augustus Gloop, put it (via Polygon). Nearly all the performers reflected on the epic scene of Augustus' fall into the chocolate waves with unease and concern. The consensus of the other cast members was a relief they didn't get stuck with something of that stature in their scripts.

Bollner really took one for the team when plunging into the chocolate river

The scene stirred up so much alarm amongst everyone on set that Peter Ostrum, aka Charlie Bucket, remarked that the working conditions were likely not even approved by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). It would be one thing if Michael Bollner only had to tumble into the chilly, pungent "chocolate" water once, but according to Polygon they had to do multiple takes, and Bollner had to spend the whole day drenched in the same clothes. After carefully fumbling his way into the 10-centimeter-deep liquid, Bollner was jolted up the tube, only to be stuck powerless with water up to his mouth.

The pseudo chocolate concoction in Mel Stuart's "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" wasn't just stinky water. In addition to 150,000 gallons of water, cream and chocolate were swirled into the mix, confirms IMDb. The pungent smell wasn't in the air during the first day of filming in the chocolate room, but appeared later as the cream spoiled over weeks of stewing. As if the stench wasn't bad enough, folks on set were even using the mixture as a dumping ground for their leftover morning cup of coffee. The condition of the spoiled mixture only adds to the off-putting scene Bollner pulled off.