With Paddington now on Netflix, it feels about the right time to revisit one of its many interesting facets. not only is the children’s movie now considered to be one of the greatest of all time, but it also features the leader of Ukraine.
The president and leader of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is a fascinating figure, having been an actor and comedian before he turned to politics in 2018, starting his campaign that would result in success the following year. During his relatively short stint in the entertainment business, Zelenskiy worked throughout television and film, appearing in the Russian films Love in the Big City 2, Rzhevsky Versus Napoleon, 8 First Dates and Love in Vegas, before taking on the role of a famous contemporary icon.
Becoming the unlikely hero of British cinema in recent years, Paddington and its sequel have garnered international acclaim both critically and commercially for its universal charm and overwhelming optimism.
Translated into several different languages for countries across the world, it was Volodymyr Zelenskiy that took on the voice of the titular bear when the film was released in Ukraine in 2014. This news has recently been revealed amidst the ongoing battle between Russia and Ukraine, with British actor Hugh Bonneville who starred in the original film, tweeting his findings online alongside a message that read, “Until today I had no idea who provided the voice of Paddington Bear in Ukraine. Speaking for myself, thank you, President Zelenskyy”.
Alongside the tweet that referenced a behind-the-scenes clip of Zelenskiy voicing the part, Bonneville also included a link to a Unicef appeal in collaboration with the influential Paddington series.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has received worldwide support for his defiant stance against Vladimir Putin in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, as his intriguing life before politics is fascinatingly explored.