Saturday, 26 July 2014

Ben Whishaw is the new voice of Paddington

The voice of Paddington in the new live action/CG blend film starring everyone's favourite hirsute Peruvian immigrant has been somewhat up and down of late. Colin Firth (The King's Speech) and the film's producers mutually agreed that he wasn't finding quite the right tone for a character who was coming off younger than originally envisioned. Cue a search for a new set of vocal chords, one that has ended with Ben Whishaw stepping up to the mic.

Whishaw, who is perhaps currently best known as the fresh, younger version of Q from Skyfall (2012), is the man now tasked with bringing new voice to the bear.

"I resisted a little bit, because I had a bad experience doing this kind of work in the past and I thought I was no good at it. But I was persuaded to go, slightly grudgingly," Whishaw tells Baz Bamigboye, admitting that he had "no relationship to Paddington whatsoever, other than that I knew he wore a duffle coat and a hat". He was eventually convinced, however, by the idea that it'll please his 18-month-old niece.

The movie will set the ursine explorer on his path from Peru to Paddington Station. The 'bear out of water' capers that ensue in the Big Smoke reintroduce old favourites like the Browns (Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin), housekeeper Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters) and the cranky Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent), as well as a new nemesis in the shape of demented taxidermist Millicent (Nicole Kidman) looking to seize Paddington for her collection.

Paddington is set to arrive on 28 November.

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