Hugh Bonneville has told Sky News he’s no stranger to the stereotype behaviour that comes with a mid-life crisis.
The actor, who is best known for playing Robert Crawley in ITV’s Downton Abbey, returns to the role of Mr Brown in Paddington 2.
At the start of the film, the insurance broker just recently lost out on a promotion and, in a bid to stay young, has taken up smoothies, yoga and dying his hair.
Bonneville admitted he regularly catches himself doing the same as his character.
Constantly! All the time! I die my hair, I do yoga – in fact all the things that are in the film frankly, he said.
I can’t quite do the splits as well as I could in the movie but I’m working on it, yeah.
The film is a follow-up to 2014’s Paddington, and the big-name cast has been further bolstered by some new additions.
As well as Dame Julie Walters, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent and Ben Whishaw among those returning to their roles, new cast members include Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson and Joanna Lumley.
I’ve been a huge fan of Brendan Gleeson for yonks, Bonneville said.
And Tom Conti is a legend – he plays our judge, and it’s nearly twenty years since I worked with Hugh Grant on Notting Hill.
So we’re surrounded by this great gang of terrific British actors, and it’s a testament to Paul King [the film’s director] and everyone’s love of Paddington that they all wanted to come and play.
Sam Joslin, who plays Jonathan Brown, said for him it was the arrival of Hugh Grant that was a special moment.
The first time I knew it was Hugh was when I arrived on set and I saw a silver Ferrari F12 TDF and I just knew it was Hugh, he said.
I was just like ‘Yes! I’m going to ask you about these cars. I’m going to talk to you about them’.
He was really nice, he was a really nice guy and he’s someone to look up to with his methods and I think he’s something to aspire to for me.
While Madeleine Harris, who plays the Brown family daughter Judy, said it was a returning cast-member that she was keen to spend time with.
I have to say one of my favourites was working with Julie Walters, she said.
She’s such a down-to-earth person, she just gets everyone’s humour… You can kind of say anything to her, she’s just hilarious.
And Bonneville agreed, calling the Bafta-winner the glue of the family.
Paddington 2 is out in cinemas in the UK on 10 November.