When last we saw Paddington 2’s Phoenix Buchanan — the dastardly master of disguise and pop-up book thief, played to perfection by Hugh Grant — he was whiling away his 10-year prison sentence by entertaining his fellow inmates with a jaunty song-and-dance routine. But now that Grant has publicly declared that Paddington 2 might be “the best film I’ve ever done,” is it possible that the Emmy-nominated actor might be willing to reprise his role one more time? EW posed the question to Grant during a recent interview on The Awardist podcast.
“No,” says the actor with a laugh. “I think he’s found himself strangely happy in jail. It’s like that character in Shawshank Redemption — when they let him out, he couldn’t cope, and committed a crime so he could go back in. I think he loves those big men in those stripey uniforms. He’s found his place.”
Though Grant says Paddington 2 “never quite got the theatrical audience we hoped it would get in America,” he’s heartened to know that the film — which grossed more than $227 million worldwide — continues to find through streaming platforms. “It’s a ridiculously good film,” he says. “Every shot is so crafted and witty and has so many cinematic references just like a Tarantino or a Scorsese, and all that with proper comedy, and genuinely funny. And [it has] the kind of morality that sounds trite but is strangely moving. I don’t see any reason for us all not to follow Aunt Lucy’s philosophy of life.”
To hear more from Grant — including why he made the move to TV for Amazon’s A Very English Scandal — listen to the full interview below. (The conversation starts at 23:30.) You can also listen and subscribe to The Awardist podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio.com, or wherever you get your podcasts.