Paddington 2 filmed in grounds of Knebworth House
- Credit: Studio Canal
Film crews swapped darkest Peru for Knebworth Park to shoot scenes of the new Paddington movie.
Paddington 2, the much-anticipated sequel to the 2014 worldwide box office smash, opens at UK cinema screens on Friday, November 10. Watch the Paddington 2 trailer above.
Amongst other iconic British landmarks, the live-action/CGI animated adventure comedy was partly shot in the grounds of Knebworth House.
Filmmakers transformed Knebworth Park into a fairground for a key scene in the second instalment of the adventures of Peru’s most famous, marmalade sandwich-loving bear.
The grounds of the Hertfordshire stately home were filled with hundreds of extras as revellers on the funfair rides and playing various carnival characters. See the YouTube video trailer above for the fairground scene where Paddington meets the master of disguise Phoenix Buchanan for the first time.
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A-listers Hugh Bonneville, Hugh Grant, Julie Walters and Sally Hawkins are among the stars featured in the scenes filmed at Knebworth, along with the duffle coat wearing Paddington, who is voiced by Clifton, Bedfordshire-born actor Ben Whishaw.
• Watch the video below about Hugh Grant’s character Phoenix Buchanan.
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However, the production of the heart-warming adventure involved some pretty chilling moments. In the movie, the fairground scenes are set during a summer’s evening, whereas in reality, filming took place at the end of January around the time of the cold snap, with temperatures reaching minus figures.
Knebworth House’s operations manager Trish Washer said: “Paddington Bear is one of those characters that you can’t help but to fall in love with.
“The first film was a true delight to watch and we jumped at the opportunity to be involved with the second one.
“The directors did an excellent job at managing such large numbers of people and the entire production team’s professionalism really shone through.
“We would be more than happy to be involved if there was to be a Paddington 3.”
Fans have had to wait three years for the release of the second film, but the producers were adamant on “doing things properly”, rather than making a rushed follow-up.
The original Paddington movie includes scenes shot at Hatfield House.
In the long-awaited sequel, Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes.
While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, the anthropomorphic bear spots a unique pop-up book in Mr Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it.
To Paddington’s dismay, baddie Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) steals the book from the antique shop and frames Paddington in the process.
With no evidence and facing a lengthy spell in prison, Paddington must call upon his friends and family to help him unmask the thief.
Paddington 2 is dedicated to the lovable bear’s creator, Michael Bond, who sadly passed away in June.
A Heyday Films and StudioCanal production, Paddington’s return to the big screen is helmed by BAFTA-nominated director Paul King, and written by Paul King and Simon Farnaby.
The film is produced by multi-award-winning David Heyman, the producer of all eight of the Harry Potter movies.
Paddington 2 hits UK cinema screens from Friday, but it isn’t the first blockbuster released this year with scenes shot at historic Knebworth House.
Movie audiences have already seen Victoria & Abdul, which saw the real-life friendship between Queen Victoria, played by Dame Judi Dench, in her later years and her Indian servant Abdul Karim, played by Bollywood superstar Ali Fazal.
The smaller grossing Goodbye Christopher Robin, which was released in September, was also partly shot at Knebworth.
The film offers a behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne, with a bittersweet interweaving of fact and fantasy, youthful innocence and adult trauma.
Knebworth’s Trish Washer added: “The Lytton family have been long standing lovers of Winnie the Pooh and an early edition of the book signed by both A A. Milne and Christopher Robin Milne can be seen in Knebworth House.
“Working with the production team was a delight and we were so pleased that we were able to play a part in the film’s creation.”
A spokesperson from Knebworth House hinted at there being other productions in the pipeline.
So keep an eye out for the Gothic stately home the next time you are watching the cinema screen.