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England’s most famous stuffed bear arrived in Hollywood on Saturday for the latest installment of the Paddington series.
Sally Hawkins may be Hollywood’s actress of the moment for her Golden Globe-nominated performance in The Shape of Water, but on Saturday, she was happy to discuss how she learned to act with an animated bear.
“We’re in the world of make-believe and that’s what I do for a living. It’s a weird thing to do, so it feels a bit like theater, so it felt like an extension of that,” she said.
“Sometimes we just had a cliche of a sticker or a mark on the wall or on the end of a stick that you couldn’t quite see for an eye line, but you sort of know what you’re looking at in your imagination. It feels a bit like theater.”
Hugh Bonneville, who returns to reprise his role of Henry Brown, told THR how he learned to act with a stuffed animal.
“It was quite weird on the first film because you got an inanimate, three-dimensional bear there, but it hasn’t got the humanity or whatever you want to call it of being a real thing,” he admitted.
“And then as soon as I saw the finished rendering of the bear in the first film, it was so startling and so utterly real for me that really on the second film it felt like he was there.”
While stars walked the red carpet, their children were able to enjoy a festive preparty in the heart of Westwood village. The street directly in front of the theater was transformed into a carnival, complete with games like Skeeball and ring toss, as well as stations for candy and cookies — plus an In-N-Out truck serving up burgers for hungry guests.
Grant plays the film’s villain, Phoenix Buchanan, and he showed off his trademark droll wit when he shared with THR why he decided to take on the role.
“It was a strange offer in that it came with a cover letter saying, ‘We’re doing Paddington 2 and there’s a part of an actor who used to be really famous and is now bitter and obsessed with himself and unpleasant and we thought you’d be perfect, Hugh,’” he quipped.
While everyone was happy to see the film’s human stars it was a life-sized Paddington himself who drew the biggest reaction from fans. Children flocked to have their pictures taken with the bear character, and he even stopped for brief interviews on the red carpet.
Paddington 2 opens on Jan. 12.
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