[dropcap]H[/dropcap]e may be from Darkest Peru, but there’s no doubt that Paddington Bear is an honorary Brit. It’s therefore great news for fans that Colin Firth has been announced as the voice for the children’s favourite, in the feature film that will be out in just over a year’s time.
Writing about the subject in June of this year, I had hoped that the job would go to a British actor who brings a touch of class to proceedings – so who better than a former Mr Darcy/George VI?
You couldn’t get more upper crust than a Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice alumnus, and it’s pretty safe to say that Firth will do the characters and stories justice. Speaking about the 21st-century incarnation as a computer-generated image amongst real people, Firth said: “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.” One of the said real people is Nicole Kidman, who will be cast as a no-good taxidermist in hot pursuit of our cuddly friend.
Clearly excited with landing the part, the Aussie actress exclaimed: “I just had to do the bear film.” It’s not as if Paddington needs a seal of approval, but every little helps! Coincidentally, Kidman also co-starred with Firth in The Railway Man, which premiered recently in Toronto. Rounding off the extra-shiny, all-star cast are Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters and Sally Hawkins – we can feel the cockles of our hearts warming already.
No doubt the author of the original tales, Michael Bond, will approve of the casting of someone who has portrayed royalty on the big-screen, and that will surely go double for audiences everywhere when the film hits cinemas in late 2014.