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By Chris Gore | January 25, 2001

Hollywood circa 1970 is the setting for “Bit Players,” a short film about short struggling actors. Starring Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” the film captures Verne in the midst of reciting lines from a Tennessee Williams play, “The Glass Menagerie.” In serious tones, Verne belts out a diatribe. Practicing his lines in front of the mirror is quickly interrupted by the thespian’s acting partner, who berates Verne’s hopes and dreams of becoming a serious Hollywood actor. Verne’s chance meeting with Burt Reynolds becomes the launching pad for a progressively angry discussion.
As the two carry on a combative conversation about the highs and lows of “making it” in the movie business, they put on some bizarre make-up little by little. (No pun intended.) First comes the black and white striped pants, then the orange make-up and last comes the green wig. You guessed it – they’re Oompa “f*****g” Loompas! The two begin going through their lines and blocking as they sing out: Ooompa, Loompa, doopity-doo, I’ve got another puzzle for you.
With the 30th anniversary of the release of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” this year, “Bit Players” could not be more well-timed. Its inside look at the life of little actors is both touching and damn funny.

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