If proof were needed that good friendships stand the moving of experience, examine no further than actors Hugh Grant and Hugh Bonneville.
Almost 20 years when they are starred together in Notting Hill, the two Hughs have reunited for the brand-new Paddington movie – and both am telling the mutual affection hasn’t waned.
“When I first participated Bonneville, I threw him to the storey and tried to kiss him, which is what we used to do, ” says Grant, who plays the film’s villain( Nicole Kidman’s role in the first cinema ), washed-up actor Phoenix Buchanan.
“But he’s so aged now, he articulated his back out. It cost us a couple of days filming.”
Given that Grant, 57, is four years Bonneville’s elderly, there’s a hint of a wind-up in the air.
It’s compounded by this curveball story: “And he still does embroidery between makes.
“It’s charming. But he makes God-awful occasions. No impression what they’re for.”
Still, alliance and acceptance are of course primary to Michael Bond’s Paddington storeys – and superintendent Paul King’s films.
At the heart of every tale, our ursine Peruvian superstar struggles to navigate his nature through a confusing world apparently to take in order to trip him up. But he persists in meeting the best in everything and everyone.
Bond succumbed at 91 the beginning of this year on the last day of filming – an occasion Bonneville describes as “very sad and terribly sudden”.
“It was very stroking for us and effected a little bit of thoughtfulnes, ” says the actor, who returns as Mr Brown, head of Paddington’s surrogate family.
“We redoubled our thoughts, efforts and wishes that this second film would do him justice.”
He adds that Bond’s wife Sue and daughter Karen have given the final trim their blessing.
This follow-up to King’s 2014 hit is as charming, quirky and inventive as before – perhaps even more so.
Paddington is on a mission. He desperately craves a very special and costly pop-up book of London for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100 th birthday.
He takes to odd-jobbing to give the pennies. Hairdressing is a disaster. Window cleansing attests ultimately to be a better bet.
But all falls apart when the book is stolen – by the dastardly cash-strapped Phoenix. Poor Paddington ends up in the make and providing 10 years behind bars.
In this movie we interpret more of the Browns’ neighbours, played by some of best available British acting expertise – including Joanna Lumley, Richard Ayoade, Dame Eileen Atkins, Jessica Hynes and Tom Conti.
“Everyone sounds up, ” says Bonneville. “I ponder Paul King went through his part address book and they all wanted to join us.”
But as one of the film’s conducts, newcomer Grant does more than time pop in and( with apologetics to Paddington) he pretty much steals the show.
Phoenix is a splendid send-up of the stereotypical self-obsessed actor( with a impres of Grant’s self-mocking hurled in ). Once famous and rich. Now over-the-hill and cracked, hitherto hell-bent on making a resurgence.( Get the tongue-in-cheek identify .)
“I wallowed in caricaturing the crazy psychosis of every actor, ” says Grant. “The breathtaking narcissism, self-love and anxiety. Deep down, that’s all playing is.
“I’ve always the case equivocal about acting to say the least and I still am. It’s torture certainly. The insecurity is unbearable. The panic of failing.
“Even Ben Whishaw[ who enunciates Paddington] requested which part of the job I experience. I said, ‘None of it certainly, ‘ and he said, ‘No , nor me! ‘”
But there is huge fun to be had by both Grant and the audience as Phoenix borrows a range of zany masquerades.
And where Bonneville dressed up as a cleaning lady in Paddington 1, it’s Grant’s turn to take on the female invests – as a nun.
And, son, did Grant enjoy it – or is that a wind-up bell we discover again?
“Loved it – I used to do a lot at my all-boys academy where I took the girl roles in plays, ” says Grant.
“I was a late make, with the least beard, relatively somewhat and with the right various kinds of eyelashes.
“I was peculiarly good as Brigitta Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.”
Grant’s career seems to be undergoing a bit of renaissance( Phoenix again, but this time true-life ). After the oft-berated rom-coms, then a variety of minor role, it was 2016’s Florence Foster Jenkinsthat marked a turnaround.
Now, he’s midway through filming the TV drama A Very British Scandal, in which he plays dishonor 1970 s legislator Jeremy Thorpe . Whishaw, incidentally, participates Norman Scott, the ex-lover Thorpe was accused of conspiring to slaughter. Thorpe was later tried and acquitted.
The wider range of capacities is one of the few benefits of age, says Grant.
“You stop being offered the romantic leads. They’re difficult to do without being monotonou or naff. So when you start going offered personas that are more nuanced and with darker indicates and more emblazons, it’s a relief.”
Age is an issue for Bonneville more. Onscreen, Mr Brown is going through a mid-life crisis. Off-screen, Bonneville says he knows how his person feels.
“He speculates his life is falling apart, he’s missed out on a promotion, he’s incapable and moving grey and he moves to an extreme word of yoga as a remedy.
“I can certainly relate to some of that. Not the yoga, but the residue – tick, ticking, tick! “
Not career angst, surely.