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Olivia Colman Praises Timothée Chalamet’s ‘Magical’ Willy Wonka Performance: ‘It’s Such a Treat’

olivia colman, Timothée Chalamet
Getty Images/Warner Bros.

Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.”

Timothée Chalamet’s “Wonka” co-star Olivia Colman promises us we’re going to “love” the actor’s turn as Willy Wonka in Warner Bros’ upcoming origin story “Wonka.” “He’s doing something different,” Colman told me at the Los Angeles premiere of her Sam Mendes drama “Empire of Light.” “It’s such a treat. He’s so beautiful on-screen. He’s magical.”

Also on the red carpet, Colman’s “Empire of Light” co-star Micheal Ward says he looked to another British actor to help him through his nude beach scene in the film. “What made me comfortable getting my arse out is watching Jude Law in ‘Talented Mr. Ripley,’” Ward said. “I was like, ‘If Jude could do it, I could do it.’”

Ward laughed as he recalled seeing his buttocks on the big screen for the first time: “It was different, weird, but nonetheless all good.”

“Empire of Light” is one of my top films of the year. Mendes does a tremendous job in showing how devastating mental illness can be for those living with it and the people around them. Hopefully the film leads to more open dialogue about mental health. My favorite line is when Colman’s character, a woman battling mental illness in the 1980s, says, “Shame is not a healthy condition.” “Shame is the source of so many things,” said Mendes, whose script was inspired by his mother’s struggles. “People don’t deal with life because they are worried about shame.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 10: Elizabeth Hurley attends the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Hot Pink Party at The Glasshouse on May 10, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images) Getty Images

Elizabeth Hurley is taking a look back almost 30 years to when she was Hugh Grant’s girlfriend and wore that iconic Versace gold safety pin dress to the 1994 premiere of “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” Funny to think about it now, but the gown caused quite the controversy — and catapulted Hurley to worldwide fame — because critics deemed it too revealing. “Hugh and I lived together in a tiny little one-bedroom flat without a full-length mirror, so I hadn’t even seen the [full] dress until I saw it on the papers the next day,” Hurley, who stars in the new romantic holiday feature “Christmas in the Caribbean,” tells me on this week’s “Just for Variety” podcast. “But of course, people also didn’t know that his movie was going to be a sensation. We were completely and utterly clueless. So the next day when the papers went demented, both about the movie and, bizarrely, about my dress, it was very surprising to both of us. But, of course, we’re both very grateful for both those things happening.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 18: Aldis Hodge attends the UK Premiere of “Black Adam” at Cineworld Leicester Square on October 18, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Warner Bros. ) Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Aldis Hodge may have co-starred in “Black Adam” as Hawkman, but he says he didn’t know Henry Cavill would return as Superman in the DC film until just a few days before its premiere. “They were working on that for a good while, but I knew nothing,” Hodge tells me. “I understood why they kept it under wraps, but they could have trusted me. I wouldn’t have told nobody. My sister even asked me after it came out. She was like, ‘What’s happening?’ I said, ‘I can’t say. Just watch the movie.’”

As for a Hawkman spin-off, Hodges says, “I hope it’s something that does happen. I hope it’s possible…It would be awesome one day to see a Hawkman thing happen.”

Ahead of Variety’s Hitmakers brunch on Dec. 3, I tweeted that I would love to hear Omar Apollo cover Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen,” and for the legendary singer to tackle the rising star’s “Evergreen (You Don’t Deserve Me at All).” I asked Apollo about my idea when we caught up on the Hitmakers red carpet in downtown L.A. “That would be insane. I would love that,” he said. “I’m down.”

Here’s hoping for a Streisand-Apollo collab. If Elton John and Britney Spears can do it, so can this “Evergreen” pair.