40 going on four – Chris Martin’s Willy Wonka-themed birthday party recreated his childhood dreams

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The Coldplay frontman went all Roald Dahl as he celebrated his 40th birthday in Malibu

To celebrate his 40th birthday, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin decided to create his own fantastical (para para) paradise, in a wild recreation of Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, set in the confines of his swanky Malibu home. As you do.

It turns out Martin isn’t one to do things by halves – it was like Willy Wonka himself had been let loose on the property. Giant cupcakes, toadstools and lollipops had been dotted around the place. A giant sign reading “Pure Imagination” – a Gene Wilder song from 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – could be seen from the outside. This was anything but understated. 

It reportedly took a day for everything to be set up. Presumably the birthday boy was elsewhere, sipping piña coladas while the outrageous props were installed. He’s Chris Martin. He does what he wants.

Chris' bday👌🏻🍬 📸: @effiestrinkets_

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From Chris' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed birthday party 🎉

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Despite the extravagant outdoor decor, it remains a mystery as to what exactly the inside of Martin’s pad looked like. Magic carpets, ‘out there’ wall art and a river of chocolate? Oompa-Loompas serving canapés? (Bit tasteless, but you never know).

What we do know is that every A-lister with a copy of ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ turned up, golden ticket in hand. Orlando Bloom was there, Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. showed up, James Corden ditched his carpool for a timely appearance. Super-couple Beyoncé and Jay Z showed their faces. And Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Muse’s Matt Bellamy and Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul were also in attendance.

Martin’s ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow also attended the evening, posing in a sweet-decorated photo booth after paying tribute to her former husband on Instagram by saying: “HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY to the best daddy in the world!!! We 💖you so much,” posing with their two children, 12-year-old Apple and 10-year-old Moses.

HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY to the best daddy in the world!!! We 💖you so much!

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Perhaps he’d been inspired by a flick through Roald Dahl classics. Maybe he was bored of having paint fights in India and wanted to do something different. Either way, Chris Martin threw one of the most bizarre rockstar birthday bashes for quite some time.