Cape Town – The iconic Paddington Bear will make his big screen debut in his very own movie later this year.The movie follows the misadventures of Paddington as he moves to the big city.Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters star alongside Paddington.In this exclusive interview with Paddington we get to know him a bit better as he dishes about the movie, the Browns, travelling and everything in between.
How does it feel to be starring in your own movie?
It feels rather strange and exciting all at the same time. I sometimes get a bit of a surprise when I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror so I’m not sure how I’m going to feel when I see an enormous version of myself on a cinema screen. I’ve been warned that I may be expected to sign a lot of autographs when I’m a film star but bears aren’t very good at writing so I hope people won’t mind getting pawprints instead.You always mind your P's and Q's. Why is it so important for children (and bears) to have good manners?
I think it’s important for everyone to have good manners, not just children and bears. My friend Mr Gruber believes that the world would be a much better place if everyone was always polite to each other and, as Mrs Bird often says, good manners cost nothing. One of the reasons I like wearing a hat is that I have something to raise when I meet people.What's your favourite London landmark?
That’s a difficult question to answer because London has so many interesting places to see. I think my favourite place is the London Eye, especially when it is beginning to get dark and all the lights are coming on. It’s magical and makes me feel how lucky I am to live in such a special city.What is your favourite snack for elevenses?
I almost always have my elevenses with my friend Mr Gruber. On my way to see him I stop off at the baker’s to buy some buns and then Mr Gruber makes cocoa. In the winter we share our buns and cocoa sitting on an old sofa at the back of his antiques shop, but in the summer, when the weather is warm, we sometimes sit in deckchairs on the pavement outside.What advice do you have for children in looking after their own bears?
Bears, like most people, enjoy company so it’s important to talk to them. In fact, they make very good listeners and if you share your secrets with them you can be sure they won’t tell anyone else. Aunt Lucy summed it up very well when she tied a label on me before she sent me to live in England. She wrote on the label: Please Look After This Bear. Thank You.What's in your suitcase?
I never go anywhere without a good supply of marmalade so there’s always a jar in there. I also carry a photograph of my Aunt Lucy and my important documents. There’s a secret compartment inside my case but of course if I told you what I kept in there it wouldn’t be a secret any longer!Tell us about your first attempts at having a bath / taking the tube…
When I first arrived in London I found everything was very different from Darkest Peru where I was born. I’d never come across a bath before so I did get into rather a lot of difficulties. Mr Brown was quite upset by the mess and said he might have trouble with something called his insurance policy after I’d tried to take my first bath.
I had just as many problems when I travelled on the underground for the first time. There are signs everywhere with all sorts of complicated instructions and then, because I’m not very tall, I managed to get myself stuck in the ticket barrier.
Did you enjoy your first Christmas with The Browns?
Bears have two birthdays a year, just like the Queen, and my winter one is on Christmas Day. When I spent my first Christmas with the Browns there was the biggest pile of presents that I’d ever seen. There was also lots of lovely food to eat although I was worried I’d found a bone in my Christmas pudding. Judy had to explain that Mrs Bird always hides coins in the pudding. I thought it was rather a strange place to keep your money but I was much too polite to say anything.
Have you been to see your statue at Paddington station?
Yes, I have been to see the statue. I didn’t get too close to it though because I noticed a pigeon nearby and I was worried it might get me confused with the statue and land on my head by mistake.
Is there anything under your hat?
I always keep a marmalade sandwich under my hat for emergencies. Except when I’ve just had an emergency, of course. Then I replace it as fast as I possibly can.
Did Aunt Lucy teach you the "hard Paddington stare"?
She didn’t actually teach me. I was helping her with the washing and I was turning the handle of the mangle and caught her pinafore in the roller. She gave me a very hard stare indeed. I don’t use it very often but when I do it seems to work a treat. What is your favourite pastime with Jonathan and Judy Brown?
Jonathan and Judy are often quite busy so we don’t spend a lot of time together although I do miss them when they’re at school. I enjoy it when we all go out as a family together, especially in the summer when Mr Brown suggests an outing such as a picnic on the river or a day at the seaside.What has been your favourite outing with Mr Gruber?
I think my favourite outings are what Mr Gruber calls his mystery tours when I don’t know where he’s taking me. Mind you, it can also end up being a bit of a mystery to Mr Gruber when he gives me the job of reading the map.
What is the most valuable thing Mr and Mrs Brown have taught you?
It’s not so much something that Mr and Mrs Brown have taught me but more something I have learned since coming to live with them. When I first arrived in London I felt alone and a long way from my home in Darkest Peru. But then I met the Browns who were kind enough to take me in and make me a part of their family. So I’ve learned to count my blessings and that the best one of all is having friends and a family who care about me.See Paddington in action in the trailer:
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