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What Paddington Looks Like In Real Life

Though the "Paddington" books have always been a staple for children in the United Kingdom, the bear became a worldwide phenomenon with the release of the 2014 film. Directed by Paul King, the live-action adaptation remains true to its roots, including featuring a mostly British cast. Upon release, the children's flick was met with critical acclaim, resulting in a whopping 97% critics rating and an 80% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The pic, which focuses on the Peruvian Paddington Bear navigating his way through the bustling streets of London, grossed north of $250 million worldwide, kicking off a beloved franchise. The first sequel manifested in 2018, which proved to be even more popular. At the time of its release, "Paddington 2" was the best-reviewed movie ever on Rotten Tomatoes

Much of the franchise's praise has been for the titular adorable bear, who was brought to life via CGI by the London-based visual effects company Framestore. While speaking with Pocket-lint, animation director Pablo Grillo opened up about how difficult it was to create the character's signature fur. Luckily, his team had tools in place to help make the process work. "We've adopted a rendering process that's based on light bounce [...] that's really just revolutionised the way that we work – to the point that we're able to very quickly generate low-resolution images that show what that final Bear looks like, before going to the final quality," Grillo explained. 

Dozens of man-hours led to the creation of the iconic bear's "live-action" appearance, but what does Paddington look like in real life? 

Paddington is voiced by Ben Whishaw

Kudos have to be given to the film's animation and design team, as well as the voice behind Paddington Bear, Ben Whishaw. The actor, who you might recognize as Q from the Daniel Craig-led "007" films, looks absolutely nothing like the film's cute lil' star. In part, this is because he stands at 5 feet, 9 inches tall, which is considerably taller than the relatively short bear. Though Whishaw has a number of intriguing roles under his belt, it's fair to say that headlining "Paddington" is his most iconic gig. His contributions to the franchise are even more impressive considering he wasn't the original actor to land the role. 

Colin Firth of "Mama Mia!" and "Love Actually" fame was first brought on board to voice the bear. Unfortunately, Firth and director Paul King came to the conclusion that the actor didn't have the right voice for the child-like bear, and the decision was made to recast the character. Things ultimately worked out, as Whishaw has received tons of praise for breathing life into the quirky oddball. With two films and an animated series under his belt, the actor is now unable to escape the role — and he's glad that he can't. "[I]t's a massive part of my life now. And I do love it," he told GQ. "It's another thing that I never imagined I would be doing. But it is a real pleasure." Now, all eyes are on "Paddington 3," which takes place in the bear's homeland of Peru

Obsessed with the marmalade-loving bear? Check out these fun "Paddington" facts to get your paws into