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'Skyfall' actor Ben Whishaw replaces Colin Firth as voice of Paddington Bear

By Daniel S Levine,

Ben Whishaw, the young British actor who played Q in Skyfall, will be testing his skills as a voice actor for Paddington. He has been picked to replace Colin Firth, who was producer David Heyman’s original choice for the iconic bear.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, Heyman, who produced Harry Potter and Gravity, said that Firth did a great job, but was “ultimately, too mature” for the role.

Heyman realized that they needed “a slightly more open, and younger, voice” for Paddington and Whishaw was the best fit.

Whishaw admitted that he was a little reluctant and surprised by the offer. “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,” he told the Daily Mail.

The actor, who is set to star in Hamlet in London next month, alsos said that he didn’t have a childhood connection with the Peruvian bear character. The only thing he knew about Paddington was that “he wore a duffle coat and a hat.”

Firth left the project just days after a trailer was released. However, animation appears to be completed, so the change shouldn’t affect the release date. SudioCanal is releasing it in the U.K. on Nov. 28 and The Weinstein Company picked Christmas Day for the U.S. release.

The human cast for Paddington includes Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi.

image via INFphoto.com

 
 

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