Paddington is the world’s best known Peruvian bear. He has been causing a stir since his arrival at Paddington Station in London and is the star of his own movie, PADDINGTON. We found him in a busy train station café to find out more about his movie career.
STARBURST: What can you tell us about the movie?
Paddington: Well, it’s really my life story I suppose. Except that it only tells the very first part about how I came from Darkest Peru and arrived in London where I met the Brown family. I’ve had quite a lot of adventures since then, so if they made a second movie there would be plenty to choose from.
What was it like it on set?
It was like being part of a large family. Of course, that was quite strange for me because the actors were playing my friends and family. Apart from Miss Kidman, of course. She was playing the part of an evil taxidermist so she didn’t count as a friend although she turned out to be very nice and friendly in real life. Sometimes when we were filming we had to pretend we were in 32 Windsor Gardens except that it wasn’t there at all but somewhere completely different called Elstree Studios.
Do you have any problems with all the cameras?
The cameras weren’t really a problem, but there were lots and lots of cables and equipment everywhere so I nearly had a nasty accident on several occasions. I also found that having fur I got very hot under all the lights, especially when I had to wear my duffle coat.
How are you finding the celebrity life?
It was very exciting at first although I have found that one of the drawbacks is that it takes me twice as long to get anywhere as it used to. Every time I walk down the Portobello Road on my way to have elevenses with Mr Gruber people keep stopping me to ask for my autograph. I’m not very fast at writing so I usually offer to give them a paw print instead.
What is the best thing you’ve found out about Great Britain so far?
I like the fact that there are no earthquakes. Our home in Peru was destroyed by an earthquake which is why I emigrated and my Aunt Lucy had to go and live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima. I also like the fact that there are so many interesting and different people living in London and there is so much to see in this country.
What other projects do you have planned?
At the moment, I’m still recovering from all the excitement of my movie. It’s only just opened in some countries so it’s a bit soon to be thinking about my next project. I think I’d just like to have a bit of a rest for a while because being a movie star is quite tiring although if Mr Heyman asked me I’m sure I would enjoy making another film.
Is it true that you’re being followed everywhere by a calypso band? What’s that like?
I didn’t realise they were following me but now you come to mention it I do seem to bump into them quite often. Someone told me the band is called D Lime and I must admit that whenever I hear their music I can’t help stopping to listen to them and it always makes me want to tap my feet.
What has been your favourite adventure so far?
That’s hard to say because I’ve had so many but probably it’s been some of the places I’ve visited to promote my movie. Did you know that I’ve just come back from China where I met the Duke of Cambridge? Some people call him Prince William. It’s a bit like me really because I’ve also got two names. In Peru I was called Pastuzo, but the Browns decided to call me Paddington after the station where they found me.
If you’ll forgive the pun, you’ve been walking around London bare-footed for a while now. Don’t your feet get wet?
My fur does get quite soggy sometimes although bears’ paws are designed for walking around outside. I didn’t wear Wellington boots in the movie although I do own a pair that I sometimes use when the weather’s really bad.
What is your favourite novel?
I enjoy reading, but I’m quite slow at it so I’ve never read a really long book. Mr Gruber has suggested that I might enjoy some of the books by Bear Grylls and I’m sure that anyone with a name like that ought to have had some exciting adventures.
How many marmalade sandwiches can you eat in a day?
That all depends on how many emergencies I have. I’ve never stopped to count but Mrs Bird sometimes says I’m going to eat them out of house and home. I would never do that of course because the Browns were so kind to invite me to go and live with them.
Paddington was very well behaved throughout the entire interview. His movie, PADDINGTON, is out on DVD and Blu-ray on the March 23rd.