Are Jeremy Allen White and Gene Wilder Related?

Jeremy Allen White is one of the biggest stars to emerge in the last few years. The young actor first rose to prominence on the long-running family drama series Shameless (2011-2021) as Phillip “Lip” Gallagher, the rebellious eldest son of the notoriously chaotic Gallagher family.

However, it was White’s leading role as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto in The Bear (2022-present) that made him a household name. But is he related to another acting superstar?

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto in ‘The Bear’ is sitting in a kitchen.
Image via Hulu

Thanks to his new level of prominence in pop culture, White has been compared to beloved comedic actor Gene Wilder (1933-2016), best known for the titular role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), The Producers (1967), and Blazing Saddles (1974). It’s no wonder, either — their facial features and signature dirty blond curls make for quite a resemblance. It’s also a highly flattering comparison, as the late actor is widely considered a master of both comedy and drama.

Since the trailer for Wonka (2023) dropped, those less-than-impressed with Timothée Chalamet’s casting as the iconic Roald Dahl character have thrown Jeremy Allen White’s hat into the ring as a preferred choice to take over from Wilder — although Jeremy might have preferred that suggestion come from social media users prior to the new film starting production.

Recently, rumors have spread online that the two actors are biologically related, and with such a striking resemblance, who can blame the believers?

In a December 2023 puppy interview with Buzzfeed, discussing the new movie The Iron Claw, Jeremy Allen White finally addressed the rumors of his relation to Gene Wilder – with the help of co-stars Harris Dickinson and Zac Efron.

When asked the question “what’s the craziest rumor you’ve heard about yourself?” Jeremy brought up the internet’s burning question.

“I’m not related to Gene Wilder,” the 32-year-old stated outright. “I think a lot of people think I am.”

“I’ve addressed it before, but [the rumor] is still a thing.”

Hearing about this urban myth immediately brightened up Zac and Harris, who hadn’t heard of the rumor before. “That’s hilarious!” Efron replied. Soon, the actors started teasing their co-star.

“Are you Gene Wilder?” Harris quipped, causing Jeremy to jokingly reply “I am Gene Wilder!”

Given the popularity of Buzzfeed puppy interviews, Jeremy has probably put the rumors to bed for good – he is not related to Gene Wilder, and their shared likeness is a mere coincidence of the DNA jackpot – but then again, addressing it in the past has done little to prevent such widespread speculation. If there is any connection between the two beloved actors, it’s so distant that Jeremy is unaware of it.

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