Look, I’m not saying I want to be the person whose job it is to choose which celebrities live and which celebrities die, but if I did have that job, I can tell you right now, I would not have chosen David Bowie, Alan Rickman and now Gene Wilder to pass away in 2016, or probably ever.

Mostly known for his utterly flawless performance in ‘Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory‘, he was a charming, whimsical, magical man whose comedy ranged from massive, sweeping, outrageous animosity to the tiniest machinations of an unbelievably deadpan face. 

Gene touched many people, including comedian and host of ‘The Late Late ShowJames Corden, who took time out of the show tonight to tell a story about meeting him and subsequently being rejected by him.

Corden met him after Wilder came to see him perform in a play in New York, and got to spend a while talking to him backstage after the show:

“If anyone else came back stage, they’d stay for 5, 6, maybe 10 minutes tops. He sat in my room for half an hour, we sat on this couch and, I’ll never forget it as long as I live, we just talked. 

“The thing i remember is, all he really wanted to talk about was how my wife and son were adjusting in New York, and were we happy and was it fun.”

He then talks about, having received Wilder’s email address that night, later asking him if he’d appear on his show in a Willy Wonka themed sketch.

He says no, but in a wonderful, whimsical, charming way that is just so throughly him. Have a watch:

Personal note: I did not realise how sad I would be when Gene Wilder died, fuck.

Source and photo: Uproxx.