What The Cup Gene Wilder Ate In Willy Wonka Was Really Made From

It's been 50 years since Gene Wilder and the cast of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" hit the big screen with a golden ticket into viewers' hearts. There are many iconic scenes that have become classics since the film's release, like Charlie Bucket in the glass elevator, Augustus Gloop in the chocolate river, and Violet Beauregarde turning into a big blueberry. But there is perhaps no scene more magical than when the lucky golden ticket winners step into Willy Wonka's "Pure Imagination" performance. Reminiscent of when Dorothy steps into Oz, Wilder guides his guests into the Chocolate Room, and the rest is history. 

In a 2011 interview with Director Mel Stuart and Rusty Goffe, who played an Oompa-Loompa, they revealed that the child actors had not seen the giant chocolate room until the cameras rolled. Stuart wanted their reactions to be authentic, like a literal kid in a candy store.

Goffe explains that he himself was taken aback by the set that he and other Oompa-Loompa actors were working on, calling it "absolutely sensational." He also shares that "[Director Mel Stuart] had the great idea, when Willy Wonka said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, the Chocolate Room...', the first time those kids had ever seen it ... was when those words [were said], and he got their faces. Clever man. The man's a genius."

But what about the chocolate and candy itself? Was it edible?

Did the actors really eat the candy — and what was Willy Wonka's teacup actually made of?

Audiences can only hope that the entire set was filled with actually edible candy, and the late Gene Wilder shared that "about a third" of the candy in the was actually okay for consumption, per People. Fortunately for the child actors (and those watching at home who wanted a chocolate river of their own), this did include the chocolate river, which flowed with real chocolate. However, the lickable wallpaper wasn't actually edible. Actors Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie, and Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt, later revealed in a 2011 interview that the wallpaper "tasted like wallpaper" and was "disgusting."

Fans will remember well the adorable yellow teacup that Wonka sips from towards the end of the "Pure Imagination" scene, sitting down in his garden of candy. According to People, the tulip-shaped teacup that Wonka drinks from — and then eats — was not edible, but made of wax "which he had to chew on until the take was over."