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We Finally Know What Gene Wilder Was Really Eating On Willy Wonka

As a child, you likely had a shared passion with millions of other children around the world: A love of sweets. The 1971 classic "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" gave us a glimpse into a fantastical land of candy that would make any kid cry tears of joy in the titular Wonka's factory, complete with a chocolate river, giant gummy bears, and trees full of hard candy. The film even inspired real-life versions of some of its most iconic treats, including everlasting gobstoppers and scrumdiddlyumptious bars.

Aside from the original "Willy Wonka" film, the magic was revisited in the 2005 remake titled "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and is soon to be explored yet again in the upcoming prequel film titled "Wonka," which boasts a star-studded cast. Though these films are unique in their own ways, they all share the wonder that comes with childhood — along with a mouth-watering tour of Wonka's creations.

Among all the delicious treats we got to see in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," some of them were actually edible, though some were just props. Here's what Gene Wilder, aka Willy Wonka himself, actually ate during one of the film's most magical moments.

Gene Wilder had to chew some inedible props in Willy Wonka

One of the most iconic scenes in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" is when the children enter The Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka's factory. Aside from the famous song "Pure Imagination" that Wonka sings while giving a tour of the facility, the endless candy is a true feast for the eyes and makes the moment stand out as one of the most memorable in the film. And as it turns out, most of the set actually was edible.

According to People, about a third of the set was made up of real food that the actors could eat, including the chocolate river. However, one featured prop that Wonka bit into was unfortunately inedible, and we imagine it probably didn't taste too great. "The teacup that Wilder chows down on at the end of the scene, for the record, was not [edible] — it was made out of wax, which he had to chew on until the take was over," the publication explained.

Thank you, Gene Wilder, for taking one for the team and chomping on a wax cup, as well as providing us with one of the best kids' movies of all time. You can watch the original "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" on HBO Max.