Did Timothée Chalamet really sing in Wonka, and what instruments can he play?

19 December 2023, 09:59

Does Timothée Chalamet really sing in new film ‘Wonka’?
Does Timothée Chalamet really sing in new film ‘Wonka’? Picture: Alamy

By Siena Linton

Timothée Chalamet’s enchanting ‘Wonka’ wonderland hits UK cinemas on 8 December, but is it really him singing in the film?

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French-American actor Timothée Chalamet has taken the world by storm with his performance in the new musical film Wonka, where he plays a singing and dancing Willy Wonka, the amazing chocolatier. But is it really his voice we hear, singing ‘Pure Imagination’ so sweetly?

Chalamet broke into mainstream success when he appeared in Call Me By Your Name, amazing fans with a delicate Bach piano caprice and a guitar-playing scene to boot.

2023 sees Chalamet bring even more musicality into his work, portraying a young Willy Wonka in a new film inspired by Roald Dahl’s infamous eccentric chocolatier, Wonka.

The film sees Chalamet dance and sing in his role as the enterprising young confectioner, with a sneak peak at the actor’s rendition of ‘Pure Imagination’ released in a teaser by Netflix in October 2023.

Chalamet is also set to appear as Bob Dylan in a new biopic, A Complete Unknown. Filming is due to begin in February 2024 after four years of delays, and it’s rumoured that Chalamet may be reprising his musical skills in this one too.

But is it really the young actor’s voice we hear, or some very well-executed lip-syncing? And while we’re at it, what other instruments can the talented young performer play?

Read more: Timothée Chalamet sings enchanting ‘Pure Imagination’ in new sneak-peek at Wonka movie

Watch the second trailer for Wonka

Can Timothée Chalamet sing?

Timothée Chalamet is a real triple-threat, and Wonka is just the film to prove it. Acting, singing and dancing his way through the trials and tribulations of becoming a world-famous chocolatier, Chalamet’s real vocals feature throughout the film.

Most notable is a new rendition of ‘Pure Imagination’, first sung by Gene Wilder in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

For the many devoted Chalamet fans, however, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The beloved actor has previously shown off his vocal talents in 2019’s A Rainy Day in New York.

He also attended a specialist performing arts school in New York, which set the ball rolling for his future career. His loyal fanbase has even tracked down videos of him performing as Oscar Lindquist in the musical Sweet Charity.

Timothée Chalamet performing "Sweet Charity" with Caitlin Gann from the musical "Sweet Charity"

Does Timothée Chalamet play piano?

Timothée Chalamet is no stranger to the 88 keys of the piano.

He played the instrument in his 2017 role as Elio in Call Me By Your Name, with a variation of a Bach caprice in the style of Liszt.

Unlike many actors who choose to mime playing an instrument while a professional provides the real recording, Timothée Chalamet took lessons in piano – as well as in Italian – in preparation for the film.

The actor reportedly had piano lessons for a few years when he was younger, but stopped playing aged 12, before reprising the skill for his big acting break.

Read more: Can Timothée Chalamet really play piano? Watch his Bach performance in Call Me By Your Name

Call Me by Your Name Movie Clip - Play That Again (2017) | Movieclips Indie

Does Timothée Chalamet play guitar?

Call Me By Your Name sees Chalamet playing not only the piano, but also the guitar. In fact, it’s this instrument that he first plays his Bach arrangement on, before heading indoors to repeat it on the piano.

Never one to shy away from hard work, it appears Chalamet learned to play both instruments for the movie.

And we haven’t seen the last of Chalamet’s six-string strumming just yet. 2024 brings a new role for the actor in Bob Dylan, the harmonica-wielding guitar-playing American singer-songwriter. If all the rumours are to be believed, we may yet be treated to more of Chalamet’s dulcet tones in A Complete Unknown...

Read more: Is Austin Butler really singing and playing guitar in ‘Elvis’ movie?