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In 1970, Julie Dawn Cole was cast as the unforgettable Veruca Salt in the classic motion picture Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder. Since its release in 1971, this epic musical has endured as a favorite of children from around the world with a fan base that encompasses generations of movie goers. With its unforgettable characters, chocolatey landscapes In 1970, Julie Dawn Cole was cast as the unforgettable Veruca Salt in the classic motion picture Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder. Since its release in 1971, this epic musical has endured as a favorite of children from around the world with a fan base that encompasses generations of movie goers. With its unforgettable characters, chocolatey landscapes and everlasting music, this charming fairy-tale mixes these ingredients into what has been become a cinematic classic from literary legend Roald Dahl. Praised by critics worldwide and often featured in broadcasts with other masterpiece musicals, it remains a timeless treasure. Acclaimed film critic Robert Ebert wrote: "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is probably the best film of its sort since The Wizard of Oz. It is everything that family movies usually claim to be, but aren't: Delightful, funny, scary, exciting, and, most of all, a genuine work of imagination." Julie Dawn Cole has written an enchanting and richly illustrated memoir that offers a rare look behind the stage curtain to this ageless film. Splendidly illustrated with personal letters, never-seen-before photographs and documents; her mesmerizing story chronicles the entire production experience and tells of the remarkable journey of how she became known worldwide as a really bad egg. Filled with countless funny and touching memories, her story takes readers behind-the-scenes of Willy Wonka and the resulting coming of age journey that brought the cast together again after nearly a quarter century. I Want it Now! takes readers beyond the world of pure imagination and behind the scenes to this universally cherished motion picture. A true-to-life Charlie Bucket tale, Julie's story is unforgettable...


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In 1970, Julie Dawn Cole was cast as the unforgettable Veruca Salt in the classic motion picture Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder. Since its release in 1971, this epic musical has endured as a favorite of children from around the world with a fan base that encompasses generations of movie goers. With its unforgettable characters, chocolatey landscapes In 1970, Julie Dawn Cole was cast as the unforgettable Veruca Salt in the classic motion picture Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder. Since its release in 1971, this epic musical has endured as a favorite of children from around the world with a fan base that encompasses generations of movie goers. With its unforgettable characters, chocolatey landscapes and everlasting music, this charming fairy-tale mixes these ingredients into what has been become a cinematic classic from literary legend Roald Dahl. Praised by critics worldwide and often featured in broadcasts with other masterpiece musicals, it remains a timeless treasure. Acclaimed film critic Robert Ebert wrote: "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is probably the best film of its sort since The Wizard of Oz. It is everything that family movies usually claim to be, but aren't: Delightful, funny, scary, exciting, and, most of all, a genuine work of imagination." Julie Dawn Cole has written an enchanting and richly illustrated memoir that offers a rare look behind the stage curtain to this ageless film. Splendidly illustrated with personal letters, never-seen-before photographs and documents; her mesmerizing story chronicles the entire production experience and tells of the remarkable journey of how she became known worldwide as a really bad egg. Filled with countless funny and touching memories, her story takes readers behind-the-scenes of Willy Wonka and the resulting coming of age journey that brought the cast together again after nearly a quarter century. I Want it Now! takes readers beyond the world of pure imagination and behind the scenes to this universally cherished motion picture. A true-to-life Charlie Bucket tale, Julie's story is unforgettable...

30 review for I Want It Now! a Memoir of Life on the Set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    I want an Oompa Loompa NOW! Veruca Salt was always my favorite Dahl character simply because she wanted EVERYTHING. And I don't see anything wrong with that. I was an only child who wanted everything. Was I spoiled? I don't think so. For years, I asked for a pet lamb every birthday and Christmas, and I NEVER got one, so obviously, my parents didn't give me EVERYTHING I asked for... Julie Dawn Cole, who breathed life into the character of Veruca Salt for the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Fa I want an Oompa Loompa NOW! Veruca Salt was always my favorite Dahl character simply because she wanted EVERYTHING. And I don't see anything wrong with that. I was an only child who wanted everything. Was I spoiled? I don't think so. For years, I asked for a pet lamb every birthday and Christmas, and I NEVER got one, so obviously, my parents didn't give me EVERYTHING I asked for... Julie Dawn Cole, who breathed life into the character of Veruca Salt for the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, paints a magical view of paradise during the filming of this beloved movie. Packed with photos, and good natured behind-the-scenes gossip, it's a fun, very light-weight read. We learn that the boy who played Augustus Gloop spoke no English and didn't get to pal around with the other kids on the set. There was a rivalry with Denise Nickerson, who played Violet Beauregarde, over the affections of Peter Ostrum, the handsome young actor who played Charlie Bucket. (Ostrum, in case you're wondering, left acting after his one starring role, and is now a veterinarian in New York State.) Paris Themmon, who played Mike Teevee, was a bit of a troublemaker, leading Gene Wilder, when asked about working with the children during an interview, to quip, "Ah, four of them are fantastic, and one of them I’m going to shoot in the head tomorrow." Unlike most films, Willy Wonka was shot almost chronologically, and the young actors were kept from viewing the magnificent "Chocolate Room" until the cameras were rolling, so the awed expressions you see on their faces are genuine and unscripted. Cole got to meet author Roald Dahl, who told her the origin of the name "Veruca." He said that warts are horrible things, Veruca was a “wart of a girl,” and the nastiest place to get warts was on your foot; hence “Veruca.” Unlike her character, Cole was not fond of chocolate and having to eat so much of the "runny-textured chocolate gloop" made her ill. In the years after "Wonka," Cole appeared on British television, had children, worked as a voice-over actress and a fitness instructor, before heading back to school to become a psychotherapist. (Whew! This is what can happen if you're NOT sitting at home eating bonbons.) If there's a special place in your heart for this movie and/or the book it's based upon, you should enjoy this trip through the pure imagination to be found in these pages.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sleepless Dreamer

    So I'm part of that weird generation that grew up with this version and the Tim Burton one. I definitely have childhood memories from this and so, when I saw it's a thing, I had to read it immediately. Cole takes a few pages to describe her childhood, goes in depth about the filming experience and sums up the story by telling us about her adult life. I know that several people have been disappointed by how much of the book isn't Willy Wonka related but I found her adult life interesting. I mean, So I'm part of that weird generation that grew up with this version and the Tim Burton one. I definitely have childhood memories from this and so, when I saw it's a thing, I had to read it immediately. Cole takes a few pages to describe her childhood, goes in depth about the filming experience and sums up the story by telling us about her adult life. I know that several people have been disappointed by how much of the book isn't Willy Wonka related but I found her adult life interesting. I mean, guys, she was an actress, became a fitness instructor, and then went to uni and became a psychotherapist. That's some inspiration right there. Who says you have to pick a career? Anyway, the biggest miss in my opinion was that this book wasn't a collaborative effort. I mean, Cole was 13 years old during the filming of the movie so it makes sense that we would see the perspective of a 13 year old who left home for 10 weeks to go film in Germany. And that's fine but throughout the book, we don't see beyond her perspective. When I read this, I desperately wanted to hear all of the side stories that she skips over. She mentions that the actors playing the Oompa- Loompas were big partiers. I absolutely need to hear more about this. Or, I'd love to hear the perspective of the costume designers and what inspired them, I want to hear more about the dramas with Roald Dahl, I want to know the producing challenges of working on an American-German set. Heck, I want an entire chapter by Michael Bollner about acting in a film when you don't speak the language. I'm so curious if Peter Ostrum knew that both Julie and Denise (Violet) were into him and what made him change his career. These questions don't get answered and it's such a shame that Cole didn't let her cast and crew tell their story as well. I think it would have been a much better read. I'm sure that everyone has much to tell. Even within her own story, Cole skips over the drama. As I see it, when you write a memoir, if you decide to write about a certain topic you have a responsibility to dig deep. Like, she didn't have to write about all of her marriages but once she opted to mention it, I want to know the whole story and Cole does not give it. What went wrong with the marriages? Did it make her hesitant to marry again? Is it an impact of her childhood? Why didn't she connect with her father after that one phone call and what was even said in that call? What does she think about the new film? Did she ever connect with the actors there? I genuinely think there's a misunderstanding between what the audience wanted and what Cole was willing to provide. I think it's fair to say that most people don't know Cole's other works very well (or, in my case, at all). As a reader, I wanted more perspective about a childhood film of mine and I'm not quite sure how much I got from this. It mostly feels like a missed opportunity. So, do I recommend this? Cole comes across as a very nice person. She obviously works hard and has had an interesting life. If you're looking for gossip, this isn't the book for you but there is something very wholesome about this entire book, even with my criticism so there's that. What I'm Taking With Me - Cole opening a theater group in her hometown is so lovely. - I ended up watching a Matilda reunion and it was the sweetest thing I've seen in months, we don't deserve Danny DeVito and can Mara Wilson marry me? - On the topic, there's an entire area of the Internet dedicated to conspiracy theories about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My favorites would have to be that Grandpa Joe is a Nazi and that Willy Wonka had planned for all of this to happen and had built the rooms specifically to get rid of the other kids. - Also, I got into a long discussion with my sister about how all of the kids here are selfish, including Charlie. I mean, his family is starving and once he procures money, he goes to buy chocolate? That could have surely bought some food for everyone else but nope, he only thinks about himself. It's not different from Veruca Salt who only wants more of things, or Mike who can only see himself, or any other kid here.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Julie Dawn Cole's portrayal of Veruca Salt was one of my earliest crushes. It wasn't until I saw the Tim Burton version of "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory", and saw another actress play Veruca, that I realized fully how brilliant Ms Cole was. I hate memoirs that bog down in ancillary details, soft-peddling the "main event" as it were. In "I Want It Now!" Julie Dawn Cole strikes the perfect balance. She gives us some of her backstory, then a huge, wonderfully detailed account of "Willy Wonka"s fil Julie Dawn Cole's portrayal of Veruca Salt was one of my earliest crushes. It wasn't until I saw the Tim Burton version of "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory", and saw another actress play Veruca, that I realized fully how brilliant Ms Cole was. I hate memoirs that bog down in ancillary details, soft-peddling the "main event" as it were. In "I Want It Now!" Julie Dawn Cole strikes the perfect balance. She gives us some of her backstory, then a huge, wonderfully detailed account of "Willy Wonka"s filming in Germany. She adds stories from her post-Wonka career and personal life, but that works mainly as a bridge to recent years, and the spate of cast reunions. My two favorite revelations: first, Gene Wilder was kind, friendly, patient, and fun around the kids. Second, the guys playing the Oompa-Loompa's went out drinking many nights, bless them, and closed down Munich's pubs. Julie Dawn Cole has lived an interesting life--she works as a fitness instructor and psychotherapist, in addition to running a youth theatre program. She shares enough information to update her story nicely. She's a wise storyteller, though, in that she devotes most of this volume--both words and candid pictures--to her Wonka experiences. The feeling I got was that she sat next to me on a long flight, kindly answered all my questions, showed me some photos, then--after a pleasant chat--suddenly we're landing, and go our separate ways. Recommended. (Thanks to Kelly for telling me this was available free yesterday on Kindle!)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie P

    While reading this free Kindle book from Amazon, I found that I was constantly going into imdb.com and then back to the text to see the actors about whom Julie Cole was discussing, and also to see where the Wonka kids are now. It also made me desperately want to watch "Willy Wonka" again, and I will. Many times more. Cole brings a very gentle description of the movie process, from her humble beginnings through to her selection to play Veruca Salt, and then a very quick glimpse of her life beyond While reading this free Kindle book from Amazon, I found that I was constantly going into imdb.com and then back to the text to see the actors about whom Julie Cole was discussing, and also to see where the Wonka kids are now. It also made me desperately want to watch "Willy Wonka" again, and I will. Many times more. Cole brings a very gentle description of the movie process, from her humble beginnings through to her selection to play Veruca Salt, and then a very quick glimpse of her life beyond Wonka. I didn't need to work hard to discern that this film was a pivotal experience in Cole's life; she tells the reader that it was, and I don't doubt it. Even though it had to be very hard work on the set, Cole has nothing but fond memories of her time in Bavaria, and even her co-stars who were a bit annoying (Mike Teevee) get treated with respect. If you're looking for salacious gossip - you won't find it here. Cole turned 13 while filming, and to her it was a very pleasant and exciting experience. Too bad all memoirs aren't this nice. Wonderful pictures of both the film and candids of the children and some of the adult actors both on and off set. I'd write more, but I'm off to watch "Willy Wonka." Again.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    I picked up this book as a free Kindle book a week or so ago, especially since it covers the topic of one of my favorite childhood movies. The author is the actress who played Veruca Salt, and the book is mostly comprised of her memories of the time spent working on the movie, along with the experiences after the movie was revived in the 1990s for home video. The book is rounded out with some biographical details of the author's life, including her early schooling and later acting success on tel I picked up this book as a free Kindle book a week or so ago, especially since it covers the topic of one of my favorite childhood movies. The author is the actress who played Veruca Salt, and the book is mostly comprised of her memories of the time spent working on the movie, along with the experiences after the movie was revived in the 1990s for home video. The book is rounded out with some biographical details of the author's life, including her early schooling and later acting success on television. The book was well put together and had a good flow to it, and I really enjoyed the stories that the author had to tell. She goes over her memories from the audition through traveling without her family (just a studio-hired chaperone) for shooting in Bavaria, and it is a delightful mix of technical and behind the scenes information along with movie magic as seen through the eyes of a child. I especially enjoyed reading little bits about the movie development, such as the extra verses for "I Want It Now" (Veruca's song) which include the lines something like "and when it comes time for my marriage / I want nothing less than a king!" Her observations about her own relationships with other cast members, both then and more recently, are interesting and relatively even-handed, as she doesn't stint on appropriate criticism of her younger tween self. If you like the movie and enjoy biographies and behind-the-scenes vignettes, you will probably enjoy this book. It's not a very long one, however, and if you're looking for deep personal secrets about the author or her fellow actors, you won't find them so save your money. I enjoyed it, and would happily recommend it to others who think they'd like it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Armand Rosamilia

    Simply loved it! It brings back so many memories of the Willy Wonka movie from when I was a kid, and the many behind the scenes stories from Veruca Salt herself are great... Armand Rosamilia

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    2 stars I have observed a strange inverse parallel when children and the elderly tell stories. Quite often, both have a way of expelling (rather than telling) stories. Children share every small detail in a breathless rush, whilst the elderly share every small detail in a considered plod. I Want it Now! A Memoir of Life on the Set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a bit like listening to someone yammer on and on -- providing too much background -- and taking their sweet time about getti 2 stars I have observed a strange inverse parallel when children and the elderly tell stories. Quite often, both have a way of expelling (rather than telling) stories. Children share every small detail in a breathless rush, whilst the elderly share every small detail in a considered plod. I Want it Now! A Memoir of Life on the Set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a bit like listening to someone yammer on and on -- providing too much background -- and taking their sweet time about getting around to the bit of information that you desperately want to hear. I am 20% in, and we are just getting to the "life on the set" part. Oh.. wait... now Julie's giving us background on Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket). The top five reasons why I did not finish I Want it Now! A Memoir of Life on the Set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: 5. The book has been moldering in my Kindle content since November 12, 2012. 4. Veruca Salt brings to mind a 1990s band, not a spoilt film character. 3. Other than the Willy Wonka movie, I cannot tell you one blessed thing that Julie Dawn Cole has acted in. 2. Just because you played a spoilt character in a success film does not mean that your life makes for a fascinating read. 1. If the title states that the book is memoir of life on the set of the successful film, get to it! I do not care about your parents, your acting training, Julie Dawn Cole included photos and memorabilia, which makes me wish that I could have finished the book. Peter Ostrum's background, etc. Had this been marketed as a celebrity autobiography or memoir, I might have been more tolerant, but this was marketed as a memoir of the time on the set of a specific film. Like her most famous character, I did not have the patience to slog through all of the other information to get to the "meat" of the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    I loved Roald Dahl's book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and enjoyed the movie when it first came out. Sadly, the studio bosses decided to make a creepy remake that did neither the novel nor the original film any favours. Neither did this book. In spite of having a ghost-writer, this showbiz memoir is poorly written, repetitive, superficial, and apparently entirely un-proofread. The text itself is very short indeed, padded out with far too many photographs--many of which have nothing to do wi I loved Roald Dahl's book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and enjoyed the movie when it first came out. Sadly, the studio bosses decided to make a creepy remake that did neither the novel nor the original film any favours. Neither did this book. In spite of having a ghost-writer, this showbiz memoir is poorly written, repetitive, superficial, and apparently entirely un-proofread. The text itself is very short indeed, padded out with far too many photographs--many of which have nothing to do with the movie the book purports to be about, and the captions of which re-state to great, great length much that was written in the text. The last 20 pages of the ebook edition are a uselessly detailed index. Pure padding; also, if you have the ebook version, you can't see the photos clearly enough to see who's who, and the many many letters are unreadable. The book needed a decent proofreader and editor; even the captions of the many, many photographs generate howlers such as "Amy Collins" in one line becoming "Amy Jennings" just a few lines further down. At first I thought Cole had written the book herself, which in these days of direct-download would not be surprising. Some of the sentences don't make much sense, and it's obvious that neither she nor her ghost writer knew what some of the words they used mean, let alone how to use them correctly. The adults "ostentatiously took over" their parts as parents in the movie, eh? She and her child co-stars were "on the brink of teenage-hood" (more than once, so it wasn't an oversight) instead of the English word, "adolescence." On a reunion trip to Germany, they all "looked deeply into the landscape" and she speaks of someone "becoming devastated to learn" blahblahblah. A hotel has a "long and well-used past" while the script writer had "love and fluency for classic literature." He had fluency for literature? Pure gibberish. Even when the text is comprehensible, there's not much here about the movie mentioned in the title. It's mostly lists of everyone involved's other work, both pre- and post-Wonka. To hear Cole tell it, every single moment of her life is her "most treasured memory", "most memorable experience", "most special/fulfilling/satisfying moment" etc., but on the other hand, there's a lot of quiet dissing that goes on, carefully prefaced by remarks like, "Now I have no evidence to support this, but..." Fully a third of the text is her own life after Wonka. This could have been developed, but Cole and her ghost writer are content with tossing out a statement or two and giving no details at all. She worked herself to exhaustion and found out she was in the early stages of tuberculosis. And that's all she has to say about that--nothing about how long it took to get well; we are led to believe that she slept all weekend and then got up and went back to work. She worked in panto, but you'll only find that out from the many, many photos--in spite of most English actors saying that panto is a great place to learn the craft, apparently she knew it all by 12. We learn that she returned to university (which one?) to study psychotherapy--and it's all covered in about two sentences. Nothing at all about how different university is to acting--or anything else. She mentions marriage to her "first husband" in 1981, but never mentions his name! No wonder the marriage didn't last 5 years; her second attempt at matrimony didn't take, either. She even manages to give herself the credit for launching Pierce Brosnan's career, in a very left-handed sort of way. "If it hadn't been for me, he might still be making my tea!" And yet to hear her tell it, she just adored everyone she ever worked with and they're still friends today. Of course they are. Too much luvvy-drooling, too little substance. Whatever she paid that ghost writer was too much.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Don S.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A lot of firsts in this book. First memoir with nothing bad to say about anyone. First memoir of a child actor that did not include abuse. First memoir I’ve read that did not chronicle some level of destructive substance abuse. Julie Dawn Cole played Veruca Salt in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory along side, among others, Gene Wilder. Her book covers her early life and entrance into performaing and touches a bit on her time after Wonka, but the lion’s share of the narrative dea A lot of firsts in this book. First memoir with nothing bad to say about anyone. First memoir of a child actor that did not include abuse. First memoir I’ve read that did not chronicle some level of destructive substance abuse. Julie Dawn Cole played Veruca Salt in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory along side, among others, Gene Wilder. Her book covers her early life and entrance into performaing and touches a bit on her time after Wonka, but the lion’s share of the narrative deals with her time on the set of the now classic film. Cole paints a portrait of a wonderful experience from beginning to end – the only tribulation being her having to leave her mother and sister at home in England while she filmed in Bavaria. She reports getting along great with he costars, including having a crush on Peter Ostrum who portrayed Charlie Bucket. She claims that the director was tough but fair, Mr. Wilder was a lovely man, and being in the movie was every bit as wonderful an experience for her as it was for the audience. In a word, this book was boring. I suppose I’m jaded, but when you read a story by a child actor and there is just about nothing negative mentioned in it at all, you have to wonder if there is a gap in honest recall or a desire to cast things in a rosy hue. Cole does throw in some interesting stories about things that went on while filming – sort of behind-the-scenes stuff. An interesting read for fans of the film – which is most folks my age and younger – but a bit flat overall.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Man, talk about a diva! While Julie Cole spends so much energy trying to convince us that she is NOT like Veruca Salt, she manages to complain and whine about every single aspect of her childhood, filmmaking, premiers, adulthood, etc. She comes off sounding ungrateful, entitled, and bitter. It's annoying! The pictures are, by far, the best feature of this book, and so I do think it could have been whittled down to a very enjoyable, picture-heavy magazine article. Glad I read it for free on Amazo Man, talk about a diva! While Julie Cole spends so much energy trying to convince us that she is NOT like Veruca Salt, she manages to complain and whine about every single aspect of her childhood, filmmaking, premiers, adulthood, etc. She comes off sounding ungrateful, entitled, and bitter. It's annoying! The pictures are, by far, the best feature of this book, and so I do think it could have been whittled down to a very enjoyable, picture-heavy magazine article. Glad I read it for free on Amazon Unlimited!

  11. 5 out of 5

    AH

    Kindle freebie during Christmas 2011. Interesting insight in what it was to be a child actor in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, one of my favorite movies. Lots of pictures and stories about the sets. The author also recounts her acting experiences throughout her career. I wasn't wowed by this and I mostly skimmed through to the parts about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Some nice photographs of the kids and how they look today. Kindle freebie during Christmas 2011. Interesting insight in what it was to be a child actor in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, one of my favorite movies. Lots of pictures and stories about the sets. The author also recounts her acting experiences throughout her career. I wasn't wowed by this and I mostly skimmed through to the parts about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Some nice photographs of the kids and how they look today.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    If you are a lover of all things Willie Wonka, this is a MUST READ. I was so excited to learn everything I could I never put the book down and finished it in less that 24 hours. This was not hard to do as it is set up like a scrap book, with TONS of photos. My favorite fact is why Ronald Dahl chose the name Veruca! (no spoilers here!) Fun Fun book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ed Martin

    Really enjoyable look at a great movie through the eyes of the young actress who played a most unlikable character. She gives a short history of her life growing up in England with her mother and sister, her early acting roles in school and elsewhere and what it was like to be away from her family filming the movie. She also gives talks about her co-stars. Lots of fun background info.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Interesting behind the scenes account of the making of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by one of the actors -- the woman who was Veruca Salt. Many photos in the book. And an interesting bio of her life both before and after the movie.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

       Part of what makes an actor an actor is being able to portray a character who is little to nothing like the actor him/herself. We see that very much so with Ms. Cole, as her growing up is so vastly different from that of Veruca Salt’s. She paints her childhood with large brushstrokes, giving the finer details only to the more relevant aspects of her story: her acting experiences. How she started, how she went to acting school, and of course, her experiences on set for “Willy Wonka and the Cho    Part of what makes an actor an actor is being able to portray a character who is little to nothing like the actor him/herself. We see that very much so with Ms. Cole, as her growing up is so vastly different from that of Veruca Salt’s. She paints her childhood with large brushstrokes, giving the finer details only to the more relevant aspects of her story: her acting experiences. How she started, how she went to acting school, and of course, her experiences on set for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.    If it came across as a bit of name-dropping early on in order to situate who all was where (and some of their filmographies in the meantime…), it was clear that it was more to situate her interactions with these people, and how much she admired them and all she learned from her on-set experience with them. She includes some of the acting tips she learned, as well as special moments such as when she would beg Roy (playing Veruca’s father) successfully to say a Scottish short tale/ballad in a Scottish accent, or when her, Denise and Peter would skip rocks on the river by the hotel they stayed at in Munich. Ms. Cole provides a unique insider look into her experiences on the set and off, and the moments that shaped her in filming (and after) “Willy Wonka”.    Perhaps, for some, there might not be quite enough of these moments, and towards the end she does go over her ensuing acting career and beyond, but I found the anecdotes she had to relate quite enjoyable, and touching. It is clear how much the various people she has met along her journey mean to her, and how each one has touched her. We get insider looks at set life, at what it was like to be in the various rooms in the Wonka factory, ways that filming was both enjoyable and difficult… including some insider asides to things to pay attention to in the movie when inevitably you watch it after finishing this memoir!    Alas, I do have a few constructive criticisms to add. Because color and activity were so important in the movie, and with the impressive number of photographs included in this book, it is highly unfortunate that none of them were reprinted in their original color. While I can assume why color was not chosen (cost prohibitive?), it would surely enrich the experience, even if the color pages were just in the center – though of course, having the pictures in their original places in full color would be even better. On a more technical side, it could have done with an extra-once over during editing to fix the typos below and more importantly, fix some picture captions. These latter were for typos or even for mislabeling – I would not be surprised to learn that there were some last-minute photo changes before publication which would explain why a couple captions were either slightly or, in the case of one on page 14, were completely off.    All in all, though, this is a tantalizing glimpse into one young actress’s experience living a dream role of getting to explore the wondrous Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory, and is enough to make anyone reading it want to revisit the movie through new eyes and pick up a Wonka bar for themselves. Or maybe a Scrumdidilyumptious bar. Ah, why not both – after all, “I want it now!” Typos: There were some strange comma usages, including that rarely used “pausing comma” which appears between the subject of a sentence and its verb (though thankfully it wasn’t used nearly as much as in Touch not the cat!), as well as some strange phrasings, but the latter might have just been more of an English thing than an American thing. Maybe. (view spoiler)[A very young photo me holding a jar of tadpoles at my great grandmother’s cottage … -- caption for picture on page 14: One, should be “photo of me”, but Two, Ms. Cole does not appear in the photo in question, jar of tadpoles or no. …for his role in The Subject was Roses, … -- page 37 – “was Roses” should be italicized too. …going away to appear in very big movie! – page 40 – Maybe it’s a dialectical thing, but shouldn’t it be “appear in a very big movie”? …ticket home was still away off. – page 105 – “away” should be “a way” A Tony-Award winner for his Broadway role in Leonard was a veteran actor in popular film and television… -- page 120 – Sounds like two sentences got smashed together here, and we lost the title of the Broadway show, and instead his name was italicized. …actually discovered that Günther, unlike Slugworth was extremely nice and amiable. – page 141 – missing a comma after “Slugworth” Dodo Denney (who played Paris’s mother and referred to him as meine kleine maus, German for “my little mouse” was one of the first… -- apge 143 – Missing ending parantheses after “my little mouse”. …I was a still a kid,… -- page 156 – remove the first “a” to make it “I was still a kid” …with one of the directors of the series Roger Tucker, was not to run smoothly. – page 171 – should have a comma before “Roger”. …Peter Ostrum , Paris Themmen and myself – page 206 – the comma after Ostrum ended up on the line below instead of right after the name. (hide spoiler)]

  16. 5 out of 5

    W. Frazier

    This memoir is like a scrapbook. The chapters are snippets of memories enhanced with photos and images of keepsakes. Author Julie Dawn Cole spends most of her time describing her experiences on the set of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” And it’s here where her narrative shines, with some great trivia about the movie production and cast. However after “Willy Wonka”, the book takes a major tumble, with no real hook to continue reading. In all, the experience feels more like shuffling thro This memoir is like a scrapbook. The chapters are snippets of memories enhanced with photos and images of keepsakes. Author Julie Dawn Cole spends most of her time describing her experiences on the set of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” And it’s here where her narrative shines, with some great trivia about the movie production and cast. However after “Willy Wonka”, the book takes a major tumble, with no real hook to continue reading. In all, the experience feels more like shuffling through a box of mementoes than actually reading a book. (The visual elements are key.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This was a fun read. The first half of this book hit me perfectly in two ways. First, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a favorite movie from my childhood. (I still love it, in fact. I admit I cry when Charlie finds the Golden Ticket. Everyone does, right?) Second, when I was a kid, I had a couple of books that were behind-the-scenes looks at movies that featured child actors. I particularly remember one about Annie and another about E.T.. I LOVED these books and read them over and over, i This was a fun read. The first half of this book hit me perfectly in two ways. First, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a favorite movie from my childhood. (I still love it, in fact. I admit I cry when Charlie finds the Golden Ticket. Everyone does, right?) Second, when I was a kid, I had a couple of books that were behind-the-scenes looks at movies that featured child actors. I particularly remember one about Annie and another about E.T.. I LOVED these books and read them over and over, imagining myself as a child star, auditioning, getting the role, memorizing the script, being tutored on set, and so forth. I was shy enough that I never pursued acting at all, but I always had an interest in film-making thanks to those books. So, I really enjoyed the first half about how the actress who played Veruca Salt got into acting, secured the role, etc, and I loved all the candid photos and memorabilia from the Willy Wonka set. So awesome. I was less interested in the last half, as it described her later projects and pursuits, but I think it is in part because it all got rather brief treatment. Relationships, marriages, break-ups, etc... I can't say for certain I'd have been interested, necessarily, but the limited detail left no chance of me getting hooked in. The descriptions felt impersonal, especially compared to the warmth with which she describes her experiences on the Willy Wonka set. Still, a fun read if you're a fan of the old Wonka movie. And it's a Kindle freebie at Amazon!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    this is a pretty quick fun read. Julie Dawn Cole played Veruca Salt in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I had fond memories of watching this movie when it came out in 1971. I am the same age as the actor who played Veruca,Charlie, and Violet. at least half of this memoir is Julie's recollection of the filming of Willy Wonka. she had many fond memories of filming this movie. sharing with the readers details of filming the scenes. the rest of the book is about some of the this is a pretty quick fun read. Julie Dawn Cole played Veruca Salt in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I had fond memories of watching this movie when it came out in 1971. I am the same age as the actor who played Veruca,Charlie, and Violet. at least half of this memoir is Julie's recollection of the filming of Willy Wonka. she had many fond memories of filming this movie. sharing with the readers details of filming the scenes. the rest of the book is about some of the other shows she filmed on television. she does not talk too much of her other roles and much about her life. but if you liked the movie Willy Wonka and would like a bird's eyes view of the movie this is a fun read. this is not a tell all. she mostly has nice things to say about the filming. the director sounded like a jerk. i got this on my kindle. she was also very generous with many pictures she took while filming the movie.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Elizabeth

    For fans of Wonka there are easter eggs galore in Julie's memoir. For the rest of you, you're not likely to get much out of reading this. It's fairly light on, and by that I mean you notice the same stories or same sentences get reused throughout the book, and the repetition gets a little tiresome. It certainly feels like repeating the same stuff is in order to make the book feel more substantial, as there obviously wasn't enough scandal on set or in her life to fill a book. If you want that, re For fans of Wonka there are easter eggs galore in Julie's memoir. For the rest of you, you're not likely to get much out of reading this. It's fairly light on, and by that I mean you notice the same stories or same sentences get reused throughout the book, and the repetition gets a little tiresome. It certainly feels like repeating the same stuff is in order to make the book feel more substantial, as there obviously wasn't enough scandal on set or in her life to fill a book. If you want that, read Maureen McCormick's book "Here's the story..." where there's drama galore. The photos in this book are quite special and candid, and as I said, its these bits and pieces that will delight Wonka fans, giving another glimpse into the magic of Wonka's factory, the Oompa Loompas and Gene himself. You're not going to burst any brain cells reading this, but it's interesting nonetheless.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Keely Milligan

    Loved it! Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite movies when I was a child. I was excited to read this book and get an insider's view of the production. There are many wonderful photos throughout the book and it was never dull. It never occurred to me to look up what the cast did after the movie and I am impressed that they all seem like normal people. So many child stars can not handle the fame. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the movie or also people that Loved it! Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite movies when I was a child. I was excited to read this book and get an insider's view of the production. There are many wonderful photos throughout the book and it was never dull. It never occurred to me to look up what the cast did after the movie and I am impressed that they all seem like normal people. So many child stars can not handle the fame. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the movie or also people that love older British television and theatre. Julie was very involved with both and also has many photos of different shows such as Angels. Finally, I have always loved Gene Wilder and it made me very happy to read that he was such a wonderful person off screen as well as on.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brett Dunst

    This is a decent memoir that spends most of its time recounting the events of 40 years ago on-set shooting the film. Nostalgic and sappy at times, it's clear that Julie has no shortage of "precious memories" and things that she "truly treasures" and "will always hold dear" and yadda yadda. There is a drinking game here if you read between the lines. A solid 25% of the (e)book is taken up by image captions which, in some cases, could be chapters themselves. And in fact they often do repeat the text This is a decent memoir that spends most of its time recounting the events of 40 years ago on-set shooting the film. Nostalgic and sappy at times, it's clear that Julie has no shortage of "precious memories" and things that she "truly treasures" and "will always hold dear" and yadda yadda. There is a drinking game here if you read between the lines. A solid 25% of the (e)book is taken up by image captions which, in some cases, could be chapters themselves. And in fact they often do repeat the text from within the chapters. There's also an enormous unneeded index in the back of the book. A very quick and easy read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Quick, light read. Good if you're a fan the Willy Wonka film (I loved it as a kid). The title is a little misleading. Only about 60-65 percent of the book is concerned with the film and maybe 40-45 percent about life on the set of the film. The rest is more a traditional memoir, briefly covering the author's life before and after Willy Wonka. She is very accomplished as an actor and beyond but sadly, living in America, I am unfamiliar with any of her other work (Julie Dawn Cole is British). I di Quick, light read. Good if you're a fan the Willy Wonka film (I loved it as a kid). The title is a little misleading. Only about 60-65 percent of the book is concerned with the film and maybe 40-45 percent about life on the set of the film. The rest is more a traditional memoir, briefly covering the author's life before and after Willy Wonka. She is very accomplished as an actor and beyond but sadly, living in America, I am unfamiliar with any of her other work (Julie Dawn Cole is British). I did enjoy her tales and memories from both on and off the set. Anyway, it was worth price I paid - free (Kindle deal).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    There was potential for this to be much better. I had a hard time with the captions on the pictures. Some of them covered the entire page and then repeated in the actual text of her story. That was way too redundant and unnecessary. I was also annoyed by Julie's tendency to jump back and forth and not follow a linear time line. Plus the title implies that the entire book is going to be about the filming of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, when in reality, that's only 50-60% of the book. There was potential for this to be much better. I had a hard time with the captions on the pictures. Some of them covered the entire page and then repeated in the actual text of her story. That was way too redundant and unnecessary. I was also annoyed by Julie's tendency to jump back and forth and not follow a linear time line. Plus the title implies that the entire book is going to be about the filming of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, when in reality, that's only 50-60% of the book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    It's no piece of literary genius, but it brought back great memories of watching the movie as a kid and helped me appreciate some of its nuances. Felt like listening to one of my aunts tell a story about her childhood. It's no piece of literary genius, but it brought back great memories of watching the movie as a kid and helped me appreciate some of its nuances. Felt like listening to one of my aunts tell a story about her childhood.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eva Ruff

    I was pretty surprised at how little there was to this book. Of course, the events all happened when Dawncole was pretty young so a lot of detail wasn't really expected but reading through started to seem repetitive. I was pretty surprised at how little there was to this book. Of course, the events all happened when Dawncole was pretty young so a lot of detail wasn't really expected but reading through started to seem repetitive.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Simon Leonard

    Great insight into the character and film I loved reading this book as it gave, a great insight into how willy wonkas chocolate factory film was made and I really enjoyed reading about Julie's thoughts during filming and afterwards Great insight into the character and film I loved reading this book as it gave, a great insight into how willy wonkas chocolate factory film was made and I really enjoyed reading about Julie's thoughts during filming and afterwards

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    i didn't actually finish this book. It was too disjointed and poorly edited. I decided it just was not worth the time and effort i didn't actually finish this book. It was too disjointed and poorly edited. I decided it just was not worth the time and effort

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Just OK. I read it because it was a free Kindle Deal of the Day. It was worth what I paid for it. :-)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather Dine Carter

    Only about a quarter of this book is about the movie - if you are looking for a book strictly about the movie, this is NOT the book to read - the title is misleading.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    Everyone was lovely, well behaved, blah blah blaaaahhh. Tedious book. Julie Cole was no. Barbara Windsor.

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