Belfast Telegraph

Whishaw: I turned down Paddington

Ben Whishaw has revealed he originally said no to voicing Paddington Bear in a new movie.

The James Bond actor has taken over the part from Colin Firth, who stepped down from the role earlier this year, admitting that he was having trouble finding the Peruvian bear's voice.

The film - which also features Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters - blends action with CGI to bring Michael Bond's famous bear to life on the big screen.

Ben told Marie Claire magazine: "I said no the first time. I just thought, I'm not very good at doing voices, I can't do it and I don't think I'll be right for it."

Asked what changed, he said: "[Director] Paul King sent me a very sweet note asking me to reconsider. I had imagined I'd just be putting my voice to something but they actually filmed my face and mouth and took footage of my movements so there was a blending of me and the bear. I tried a few different things with my voice and over time realised that it should sound like I do in real life."

Paddington, due out in the UK on November 28, sees the bear despatched from his native jungle by his Aunt Lucy, smuggled aboard a boat to England and named after the London station where he is found.

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