Paddington 2 premiere: On the red carpet with Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Paul King and cast
The first Paddington feature was such a hit that a sequel was practically inevitable. When a character is considered a national treasure, however, the pressure to do him justice is even greater than usual. Director Paul King and his creative team seem to have struck the right note by taking the beloved bear through an emotional and perilous journey that will reduce many a viewer to tears. The story picks up where it left off, with Paddington now integrated in the community, but his desire to perform a kind gesture leads to serious and unexpected dangers.
We attended the world premiere at the BFI Southbank where we caught up with the cast and the key figures behind the making of Paddington 2. The playful and magical atmosphere of the film was recreated on the red carpet, with plenty of jam jars, jugglers, and live music inspired by Paddington’s South American background.
Ben Whishaw, who brings Paddington to life with his voice, spoke of the experience of reprising this special character, and he also tells us that he is equally excited about his next project: the much anticipated Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel of the 1964 classic film.
Hugh Bonneville talked about audience reactions to the film so far and the wonderful cast involved in making it.
Actors Julie Walters and Ben Miller spoke very warmly about the migrant bear, too, and about the project as a whole, and they also share some behind-the-scenes particulars about their personal experience on the set.
Hugh Grant steals the show in the film as villain Phoenix Buchanan, a vain has-been actor. Director King, who had Grant in mind for the role from the very beginning, tells us how he first approached the actor, fearful that he may be offended by the offer. He also tells us why he felt the desire to make a sequel.
We also spoke to co-writer Simon Farnaby who gave us an insight into the creative process that lay the foundation to the film, and to Karen Jankel, daughter of Paddington creator Michael Bond.
The overall atmosphere was one of warmth and cheer, confirming Paddington’s magical power to spread goodness on every occasion.
Videos: Marta Starczynowska
Paddington 2 is released nationwide on 10th November 2017. Read our review here.