The Unknown star of viral Willy Wonka event unmaskedon March 3, 2024 at 9:32 am

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Felicia, 16, was cast as The Unknown, a creepy character from Willy’s Chocolate Experience in Glasgow.


A teenage actor who played a stand out role at a cancelled Willy Wonka-inspired event in Glasgow said she was shocked by the response to her creepy character.

One video, which has had millions of views, shows the mysterious figure appearing from behind a mirror to whimpering children.

But now The Unknown has been unmasked as 16-year-old Felicia, from Glasgow.

And she is thrilled her first paid acting job has gone viral.

The villain was met with confusion worldwide as The Unknown was noticeably absent from the plot of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Felicia told BBC Scotland News: “It was so ridiculous it was actually funny.”

In the lead up to last month’s event the organisers, House of Illuminati, advertised a “journey filled with wondrous creations”.

Willy Wonka was a fictional chocolatier who ran a competition for lucky finders of a golden ticket to visit his factory.

But visitors who hoped to relive the classic book and movies – including the 1971 original starring Gene Wilder – were bitterly disappointed when they arrived at a sparsely-decorated warehouse.

The event was held last weekend in an industrial estate in Whiteinch, where actors tried to make the best of some sad-looking props and a small bouncy castle.

Children were offered a half-cup of lemonade and a small ration of jelly beans on their trip to the imaginary sweet factory.

Parents paid up to £35 a ticket but were so appalled they called Police Scotland.

Within hours the event was abruptly cancelled, leaving some families unable to get in at all.

According to the script, which is said to be the result of artificial intelligence, The Unknown was an evil rival chocolate maker who lives in walls.

The Unknown

The story involves his attempt to steal Willy’s “Anti-Graffiti Gobstopper”.

Felicia was originally cast in the starring role of Willy McDuff – seemingly inspired by Willy Wonka – before opting for The Unknown.

A video of the villain, dressed in a silver mask and black cloak, emerging from behind a mirror to unhappy children took off on social media last week.

The teenager said: “There weren’t any rehearsals. I got there early to practise but it hadn’t been set up.

“The actors came up later and it still hadn’t been set up.

“We were all saying it was a mess and there hadn’t been any organisation, but we were just hoping that together it wouldn’t be that bad. But it was.”

Chocolate experience props

The actors were told to improvise on the day, so Felicia waited behind the mirror for each of the three Willy McDuff characters to pass through with their group.

She said: “My character didn’t make any sense without the Wonka explaining who I was, that I was The Unknown, an evil chocolate maker who lives in the walls.

“So I was just sitting behind the mirror trying to act creepy because that was the only direction I was given.

“It was definitely a mixed bag of reactions. Some people loved it, some people were terrified of it.

“But I think most people didn’t really know what I was there for – which was the same for me.”

‘It was going so wrong’

Felicia said her concerns about the performance intensified just 45 minutes after the doors opened.

She recalled: “The first few runs were actually working quite well because there was order in it.

“But people were straggling in and then it was just all going wrong.

“In the room next to the mirror, one of the Wonkas had been in there for like an hour straight and he hadn’t left and the other two Wonkas had just disappeared.

“During that time more people were coming along and it would build up and build up.

“I was sitting behind the mirror texting my mum saying it was going so wrong.”

Felicia said each Wonka led a group of about 60 people and often they could not all fit in one room.

She added: “One of the other Wonkas made up a storyline that if the children pulled a silly face at me, I would be scared and hide back in my corner.

“That worked really well and it would kind of make sense with the plot.

“But that didn’t happen every time so sometimes I just had to awkwardly walk back to my corner.”

felicia revising

Felicia revealed she still has the costume from the event and said it was “quite funny” that people had been asking for it.

After the experience was shut down, the actors went to the pub for a debrief.

She recalled: “When we came back it was just a big massive mob outside.

“There were like four police cars outside. It was really crazy.”

But despite the backlash, Felicia said the response had been positive on the whole.

She added: “At first I was really embarrassed about it. But when we went to the pub after, we were just laughing about it.

“It was so ridiculous it was actually funny.

“And now it’s become viral, it’s genuinely life-changing and I’m really happy I did it.

“Everybody loves the character and posting about it, so it makes me happy that people can see the funny side.”

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