The legendary comic's latest novel, The Woman Who Wouldn't, hit shelves March 4. His life and work will be featured in a Turner Classic Movies special on April 15.
This is your third book. Will you act again?
I'll always leave the door open, but it's not open very wide. I like writing so much now. I write after breakfast, then have a cup of tea, give my wife a little kiss and write some more. Then I have a tuna salad and write some more. It's very relaxing.
You starred in the original Producers movie. Were you happy to see it hit Broadway?
I was nervous. I saw it in the preview, and my heart was pounding. But after three minutes, when Nathan Lane started his first big number, everything relaxed, and I laughed maybe the loudest.
What did you think of Johnny Depp's reprised role of Willy Wonka?
I haven't seen it. I like Depp, but when I heard they were doing a remake, I heard: mistake. When I saw clips on TV and I saw what Depp was doing, I thought, Don't see the movie you like Depp too much. I always get comments: "Yours is better." I know they're talking about Willy Wonka.
You weren't always called Gene Wilder, right?
I was Jerry Silberman. When I was accepted into the Actors Studio, I couldn't see "Jerry Silberman in Macbeth." I changed my name overnight.
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