Thursday, September 12, 2013

Colin Firth to play Paddington Bear, Hugh Bonneville will play Mr. Brown

A softer role: Colin Firth will be playing Paddington Bear in a new film from the man behind the Harry Potter film


Colin Firth will play Paddington Bear in a movie from the man behind the Harry Potter films.

And Nicole Kidman has signed on to play the villain in the film.

Firth, who won an Oscar for The King’s Speech, will give voice to the bear from darkest Peru.

‘Paddington will be computer generated, and I will speak his lines with, I suspect, a slight Peruvian flavour,’ the actor  told me.

‘Every other character in the film will be real, live, human beings,’ he said.

‘But the idea is that Paddington will have something of me in his DNA because I’m going to do some sessions wearing one of those helmets with cameras to capture my face muscles, and all that data will somehow be incorporated into Paddington.

Because Paddington is digitally created I’m spared having to over-indulge in marmalade sandwiches,’ Firth joked, referring to Paddington’s habit of keeping a stash of sarnies under his hat for emergencies.

The bear was created by Michael Bond and first appeared in the book A Bear Called Paddington in 1958.

He was sent to England by his Aunt Lucy, when she went to live in a home for retired bears in Lima, and was discovered by Mr Henry Brown and his wife Mary at Paddington Station. He was wearing a note round his neck stating: ‘Please look after this bear, thank you.’

Paddington was taken in by the Browns and their two children and lived in a Victorian semi at 32 Windsor Gardens off the Portobello Road.

Heyman confirmed to me that Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey’s Earl of Grantham, and Sally Hawkins, soon to be seen in Woody Allen’s superb movie Blue Jasmine, will play the Browns.

Julie Walters has been cast as Mrs Bird, their housekeeper, and Jim Broadbent may also take a role.

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