Hugh Grant plays a hilarious villain in the tasty “Paddington 2”. To persuade the star to “Love Actually” to play a nerdy and arrogant actor, director Paul King did not really show tact…
Paddington 2 : trouble for the English bear
Three years after his first adventures in the cinema, the famous British bear created by Michael Bond is back in 2017 in Paddington 2. Always orchestrated by Paul King, these new adventures around the hero dubbed by Ben Whishaw – and Guillaume Gallienne in the French version – are also tasty and rich in marmalade.
After finding his place in the Brown family, led by the excellent Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville, Paddington dreams of sending a piece of London to his aunt Lucy. Unable to offer him the only copy of a pop-up book revealing the wonders of the English capital, the bear decides to work.
But as he begins to raise the funds necessary to acquire the precious work, it is stolen by Phoenix Bucchanan, a picky actor who dreams of making his big comeback on the front of the stage, played by a Hugh Grant in great shape. Accused of being responsible for the theft, Paddington is therefore sent behind barswhere he must make a place for himself among the inmates, among whom an inconvenient cook played by Brendan Gleeson.
Still mixing animation and live action as well, Paddington 2 manages to keep the same spirit as its predecessor while offering an original evolution to its main character. The feature film brings together a prestigious cast who are having a great time. Starting with Hugh Grant, who plays wonderfully with his image as a pretentious actor.
Hugh Grant unlikely
As soon as the script was written Paddington 2director Paul King and his co-writer Simon Farnaby immediately had the actor of Love at first sight in Notting Hill lead for the role of Phoenix Buchanan. During a question and answer session with other members of the film crew, including the two authors, Hugh Grant reveals that the latter had recourse to a slightly vexing technique to convince him to join the project.
By sending him the script, Paul King wrote a letter that was original to say the least. This is what the actor says with humor:
(The screenplay) was accompanied by a letter. “We wrote a role. He’s a has-been, nerdy, puffed-up actor. You’d be perfect.” It hurt me. I read the script anyway, because I needed to work.
To maintain this momentum, the star then adds:
No, it was fantastic. You know, I’ve been an actor for 30 years and I hate all my colleagues. It was sweet revenge.
An anecdote confirmed by the director during the promotion of the film. Paul King also considers himself very happy that Hugh Grant took his letter with humor. The pleasure experienced by the actor in interpreting this former glory, who swears only by Laurence Olivier while living on advertisements for dog food, is infectious. His composition of this hilarious and pathetic villain is one of the many successes of Paddington 2. She earned him a BAFTA nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category.