Monday 5th November 2018
Christopher Robin, the young boy who shared countless adventures with his stuffed animal friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, is now grown up, living in midcentury London and dealing with the stresses of adulthood. As an efficiency manager at Winslow Luggage, he juggles long hours in the office with his commitments at home and has all but forgotten the endless days of wonder and make-believe that defined his childhood. But sooner or later your past catches up with you.
After canceling plans to go away with his wife, Evelyn, and daughter, Madeline, in order to work through the weekend, he is reunited with Winnie the Pooh and his old friends from the Hundred Acre Wood, remembering the times when doing nothing with a best friend was the very best kind of something. But as Christopher Robin returns to London to address financial problems at the company, some important work papers from his briefcase go missing, and the animals decide that it is up to them to save their friend.
Following a chance encounter with Madeline, Christopher's young daughter, Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet leave the forest and take an excursion into the city to hand-deliver the documents to the offices of Winslow Luggage, surprising Christopher Robin. As a result of their efforts, he begins to see things from a fresh perspective and comes up with a plan to save the company as well as his job, and in the process rediscovers the joys of family life, the value of friendship and remembers to appreciate the simple pleasures in life once again.
A heartwarming live-action adventure, Christopher Robin is directed by Golden Globe(r) nominee Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Oscar(r) winner Tom McCarthy and Oscar nominee Allison Schroeder and a story by Greg Brooker and Mark Steven Johnson based on characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. The producers are Brigham Taylor, p.g.a., and Kristen Burr, p.g.a., with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers.
The film stars Golden Globe(r) winner and Emmy(r) nominee Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin; Golden Globe nominee Hayley Atwell as his wife, Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter, Madeline; and Emmy winner Mark Gatiss as Giles Winslow, Robin's boss. The film also features the voices of Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, three- me Emmy winner Brad Garre as Eeyore, Golden Globe nominee Toby Jones as Owl, Nick Mohammed as Piglet, Oscar(r) winner Peter Capaldi as Rabbit and Oscar nominee and Tony Award(r) winner Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.
The characters Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh first appeared in a collection of verses written by English playwright turned author A.A. Milne entitled "When We Were Very Young" in 1924, but it was the publication of "Winnie-the-Pooh" in 1926 that truly resonated with readers around the world. The book of short stories about the imaginary adventures of the carefree boy, his honey-loving bear and the rest of his animal friends from the Hundred Acre Wood, accompanied by E.H. Shepard's timeless illustrations, is considered one of the most popular children's books of all time.
Additional stories by Milne featuring the beloved characters followed with the publication of "The House at Pooh Corner" in 1928 and were equally as popular. Since then, these stories have been embraced by readers of all ages, and the affection for the characters has continued to grow, reaching across all mediums to endure from generation to generation.
Milne's stories advocate the values of a healthy imagina on and represent a me in our lives when we have to say goodbye to childhood... goodbye to unlimited free me...goodbye to a mother's protec on. In fact, "The House at Pooh Corner" ends with Christopher Robin telling Pooh he's going away to boarding school, his way of saying life can no longer be about frivolous pursuits and that it's me for him to grow up and become more serious.
It was this bi ersweet moment in Milne's book that served as the inspira on for an en rely new take on these classic characters set years a er the two friends part. The idea of approaching the story from this perspective dates back 15 years to when producer Brigham Taylor, then a production executive at Disney, pitched this idea to the studio. Though the timing wasn't right as there were other Winnie the Pooh projects in the works, Taylor and his colleagues knew there was a special kind of promise to the idea of meeting a familiar and beloved character in a whole new world.
Years later, Taylor transi oned into a producing role for the studio, taking on films such as "The Jungle Book" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." During a meeting with long time executive Kris n Burr, she encouraged him to dust off the concept and the two began developing the idea together. "The studio was really suppor ve of taking classic characters and finding ways to reinvent them and tell new stories, so it was sort of a revival of an old idea that we had," says Taylor.
The simplicity of Milne's characters appeals to children, and their imperfections - timidity, bravado, a false sense of superiority - are easily recognisable to adults. They show warmth, love, kindness and connectivity with one another, especially Pooh, and the issues are ones we can all relate to: the responsibilies of adulthood that pull us away from the carefree days of our youth and how we go about recapturing what we've left behind.
Winnie the Pooh, who often makes insighful comments such as People say nothing is impossible but I do nothing every day, is the conduit by which Christopher Robin is able to pull himself back and remember the things in life that are valuable to him... things that can still be a part of his life as an adult. "Pooh is the perfect vehicle because he literally represents-through his image, his attude and his personality-the concept of just hanging out and doing things that you love with people that you love and not being distracted by less important things," says Taylor.
Once a working script was in place, Taylor and Burr approached Marc Forster and were thrilled when he came aboard to helm. The acclaimed director known for his eclecOc range of films-including Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace and The Kite Runner - grew up loving Disney live-action films and was immediately drawn to the story. It had a sense of magic realism, and he believed it had the potential to become an artistic, emotional, funny and timeless film.
"When you are able to make people laugh and cry in the same movie and you are able to tell the story with integrity and ground it in reality and have the magic realism on top of it, it lifts your spirits and connects you with the people you love," says Forster.
And this is a story Forster believes has never been more relevant. "I think it's something we desperately need in the world," he says. "We could all use a little bit of Pooh's heart and wisdom right now."
Forster and Taylor began prepping to shoot in London as Burr transiOoned into her own producOon shingle on the lot, making the transiOon from execuOve to producer. At the same Ome, they turned their attenton to castng both the human and animal characters.
Finding someone to personify an adult Christopher Robin posed a unique challenge for the filmmakers. The boy forever immortalised in E.H. Shepard's iconic illustration sitng with his best friend on their thinking log has grown into a loving husband and father and a hard-working employee at Winslow Luggage, but the burdens that come with adulthood have caused him to forget the good Omes of his youth and he has lost sight of the person he once was.
"Christopher Robin feels a lot of responsibility and a lot of guilt, which weighs heavily on him," says Burr. "He doesn't smile anymore, he doesn't laugh anymore and he doesn't act silly anymore, and by attempting to support his family and secure their livelihoods he is actually neglecting them."
Forster adds, "Christopher Robin tries to relate to his wife Evelyn and his daughter Madeline, but he's not able to connect to himself, and unOl he develops that kind of personal awareness, he isn't able to emoOonally connect with his family."
"There were very few actors who could give us that sense of weariness that sets in as adults with responsibili es weighing you down, but also let you see that boyish nature that lies underneath," says Taylor. "Ewan McGregor is able to take you on that journey visually."
The star of Moulin Rouge!, Trainspotting and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, who recently appeared in Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast and the acclaimed FX series Fargo, immediately related to the character of Christopher Robin. He was also pleased to see that Pooh and the other creatures were such an integral part of the story.
"I was quite charmed by the script and loved that they made Christopher Robin a man my age and that Winnie the Pooh comes back to him at a diffcult me in his life," says McGregor. "I found that really moving. Christopher Robin is the father of a daughter who he's not very close to, and he recognizes that and would like to be closer to her. And certainly, you get the feeling that she would like to be closer with her dad as well, and there's something about this coming together of a father and his daughter that really appealed to me as a father of girls."
He continues, "I've always loved the films of Jimmy Stewart, and I could imagine Jimmy Stewart playing this role back in the day. Reading the script made me feel like this might be my Jimmy Stewart sort of role."
As the efficiency manager of a luggage company in the years following the war, when most people can't afford to go on holiday, much less purchase luggage for the trip, the pressure to keep the company afloat and protect everyone's' jobs rests on his shoulders. "Christopher Robin works very hard and probably works too much, and his rela onship with his family is strained as a result," say McGregor.
"Ewan and I worked together before [in the 2005 thriller Stay], and I knew he was perfect as Christopher Robin," says director Marc Forster. "He has this sense of manliness about him but an incredible playfulness as well, which was really crucial for this character."
The role of Evelyn Robin also came with its own set of cas ng challenges. "You don't want to have someone play this character in a two-dimensional way and come out as a nagging housewife," says Forster. "You want to make sure the actor has her own drama c strengths and comedic skills to keep the character very much alive."
Hayley Atwell (Howards End, ABC's Agent Carter) was cast as Evelyn Robin. A fic ous character married to Christopher Robin, she personifies home and love and holds the family together. "They were very happy at the beginning of their marriage, but she sees him becoming a workaholic and losing that connec on with his family," says the actress, who previously worked with McGregor on Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream.
She continues, "He is clearly traumatised by the war and overworked and trying to find his place in the world, yet Evelyn and Madeline are right there in front of him and are everything he could possibly need."
Bronte Carmichael plays Madeline Robin, the bright nine-year-old who, much like her father, has a passion for make-believe. She wants nothing more than to have her father read to her every night before she goes to bed, but he wants her focused on her studies. "Bronte is incredibly sweet but also very soulful, and she has an ability beyond her years in terms of portraying the emo ons of her scenes," says Taylor. "It was very exciting seeing her at work."
"Madeline is a very serious girl at the beginning of our story and really wants to please her father, studying very hard all the me," says Forster. "She is prepared to go to boarding school, but what she really wants is to stay home with her family."
When Madeline comes across a box belonging to her father with a drawing of Pooh and his friends along with other keepsakes from the Hundred Acre Wood, it gives her a glimpse into his childhood for the first me. "Times were different then, and so was the way people related to their kids," says McGregor. "You can see that she wants love from him in a way that isn't just him providing for the family, and that's what the story is about really, and by the end of the film he is able to give her that."
Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen) plays Giles Winslow, the spineless and incompetent son of the company's owner who oversees the day-to-day opera ons at Winslow Luggage. When the company is in danger of going under, he puts Christopher Robin in charge of finding a solution.
Jim Cummings provides the familiar and comfor ng voice of Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin's devoted best friend. A cuddly, slightly-worn teddy bear full of op mism, whose tummy is always rumbly, he often delivers simple thoughts on life that turn out to be surprisingly profound. Cummings has voiced the character for the past 30 years.
"We were so lucky to get Jim," says Burr. "As soon as you hear him read his lines, a feeling of nostalgia washes over you and makes you smile."
Cummings also provides the voice of Tigger, a character he has voiced in numerous tles over the years. Tigger is the fearless, outgoing, energetic and incredibly self-assured orange and black-striped ger who often leaps before he looks.
Brad Garre of "Everybody Loves Raymond" fame has voiced characters in a number of Disney animated titles, including Finding Dory and Ratatouille. In Christopher Robin, he is the voice of Eeyore, the old gray donkey with a melancholy - but endearing - disposition and a penchant for sarcasm. Eeyore tends to wallow in misery and proceeds through life with very low expectations, but he is loved by Christopher Robin and his friends.
British actor Nick Mohammed (The Martian, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie) is the voice of Pooh's sidekick Piglet, a petite, angst-ridden pig who is shy, soft-spoken and easily frightened. The kind-hearted female kangaroo, Kanga, is voiced by Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees, Hotel Rwanda). Kanga is mother to Roo and a warm and maternal figure to Christopher Robin and all the animals.
Toby Jones (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is the voice of Owl, who, while undoubtedly wise, is a stickler for rules and order and has a tendency to pontificate and embellish his true intellectual abilities. Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) provides the voice of Rabbit, who often butts heads with Owl. He is the self-appointed leader of the animals in the Hundred Acre Wood, but often comes across as pompous and overbearing.
The creative team put in place by director Marc Forster on "Christopher Robin" includes: director of photography Ma hias Königswieser (All I See Is You, Perfect); production designer Jennifer Williams (The Amityville Horror); Oscar(r)-nominated film editor Ma Chessé, ACE (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace); and two-time Academy Award(r)-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road, The King's Speech).
While Forster originally aligned with Oscar(r) nominee Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario, The Theory of Everything), the composer sadly passed away just as he began working on the project. The film includes a dedication on his behalf. Subsequently, GRAMMY(r)-nominated composer Jon Brion (Lady Bird, Trainwreck) was brought in, with additional support coming from Emmy Award(r)-winning Geoff Zanelli (Into the West, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales).
Disney legend Richard M. Sherman provides three new songs for the film. Two songs appear in the end credits and one, "Goodbye, Farewell," which is performed by the animals from the Hundred Acre Wood, can be heard in the opening scene. "Busy Doing Nothing" and "Christopher Robin" are both performed by Richard Sherman himself.
"Winnie the Pooh became a dear friend of mine when Walt gave us the assignment to write songs for the first Winnie the Pooh short film," says Sherman, "and here, so many years later, it is very special to be back in the Hundred Acre Wood again."
Sherman continues, "There's something sen mental and sweet and nostalgic about Pooh. He's like your childhood buddy, who we sometimes forget about when we get older, but when he finds out that Christopher Robin is in a bit of trouble, he comes back to remind him what it's like to have an imagination and to have wonderful times together doing nothing."
"I think Pooh will be around for the next 200 years because he is so special and so dear," he says. "There will always be people rediscovering Winnie the Pooh or finding about him for the first me."
The two-time Oscar(r)-winning composer and his late brother, Robert B. Sherman, who passed away in 2012, wrote the music and lyrics for the majority of the animated films featuring Winnie the Pooh and his friends distributed by Disney (Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, among numerous others). They also wrote scores for such iconic Disney films as The Jungle Book and Mary Poppins.
Principal photography on Christopher Robin took place at Shepperton Studios outside London and on locations throughout the U.K. Supervising locations manager Emma Pill (Spectre, Cinderella) and production designer Jennifer Williams both began researching the project in January 2017, studying E.H. Shepard's original watercolour drawings from the A.A. Milne books which are housed at the New York Public Library, and visiting Ashdown Forest in East Sussex for inspiration.
The Hundred Acre Wood from Milne's books, an enchanting place where Christopher Robin's animal friends reside and where imaginations thrive, is based on Ashdown Forest and, more specifically, an area in the forest known as the Five Hundred Acre Wood. Located in the lush Sussex countryside about 30 miles south of London, the woods are still visited by thousands of tourists every year, all eager to walk the areas featured in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
But, according to Forster, the Hundred Acre Wood is more than just the place where Christopher Robin played with his friends as a child. "It represents the discovery of nature and play-time and the concept that there's nothing more important than taking your me," he says.
And it was important to the director that the Hundred Acre Wood seen on screen looks and feels similar to the one from Milne's books, so scenes taking place in the Hundred Acre Wood were filmed in the real Ashdown Forest (as well as in Windsor Great Park). He also wanted the bustling city streets to provide a stark contrast between this real world and the natural world that is the Hundred Acre Wood, as seen through the eyes of both Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin.
Pill and her department of 20 spent weeks looking for London streets that were similar in style to the paintings of English artist L.S. Lowry and which could look busy and evoke the time period. Seventeen main unit locations in the U.K. were used during filming, many of which were London streets and U.K. thoroughfares, including: the intersection of Great Smith Street and Great College Street; Inner and Middle Temple Lanes; Lambeth Bridge and County Durham's Hownsgill Viaduct. Vintage action vehicles and hundreds of period-attired extras were used to help fill the streets and sidewalks.
The characters created by A.A. Milne that reside in the Hundred Acre Wood are the heart of the film, symbolising the simple, idyllic pleasures of childhood. Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl make their first appearance in a live-action film as three-dimensional characters in Christopher Robin, something that would not have been possible five years ago without the sophisticated computer animation technology that exists today.
Cinematographer Ma hias Königswieser chose to shoot the film with tradi onal handheld cameras to help the stuffed animals' motions look more believable. They would then be brought to life via photo-realistic computer animation in post-production, which would immerse these characters in mid-century London as well as in nature. But first, individual looks for each character had to be designed. The process was a collaboration among creature visual effects, visual effects and the costume, camera and art departments, with Marc Forster supervising the designs. It was important to the director that the stuffed animals look real, not animated.
Forster worked with character concept artist Michael Kutsche (Ant-Man and The Wasp, Thor: Ragnarok) early on in pre-production to discuss what he envisioned for each character, which included elements of E.H. Shepard's watercolor illustration, the early animated films and worn-out stuffed toys that had been played with for years.
Conceptual art of the final designs was then provided to the creature visual effects team at Animated Extras, the Oscar(r)-winning special effects shop at Shepperton Studios. Actual stuffed animals (or "stuffies", as they were affectonately referred to on set) were physically created for reference when blocking scenes and for interaction with the actors.
"We wanted to make it easy for the actors to interact with something that wasn't actually there but at the same me know exactly where they should be and how they should move," explains Taylor. "We spent a lot of time determining how they were going to move in real me and space so we were suffciently prepared when filming."
A great deal of care also went into their crea on, with special a en on being paid to Winnie the Pooh's tummy (to make sure it had the proper cuddle factor), to Tigger's expressions (so he could effectively register surprise, anger and bewilderment) and to Eeyore (to make sure he had the proper amount of sag).
These efforts were greatly appreciated by the talent, as the human interaction added gravitas to their performances. "Marc is a very trusting director with the people he has asked to work with him," says Ewan McGregor. "He gives you guidance when needed, but he makes it feel like it is his and my work and that he's not imposing very much on me, which I liked."
Adds Hayley Atwell, "Every so o en he'll do something out of left field or he'll really like what an actor is doing and want to explore that further. He's an independent, original mind, and when he is taking characters that are so well known and so beloved, he obviously respects them, but then he comes in and puts a little bit of his own take on it."
Oscar(r)-winning visual effects companies Framestore (Blade Runner 2049, Avengers: Infinity War) and Iloura VFX (Thor: Ragnarok, Game of Thrones) stepped in upon completion of principal photography to create the final computer-generated character animation, taking care not to make the stuffed animals look too polished but aged and loved, and a little rough around the edges.
Disney's Christopher Robin brings the meless charm and nostalgia of A.A. Milne's stories and characters to the big screen in an imaginative tale about the joy and purity of youth. Speaking to the child in all of us, the film is a gentle reminder to let some of those qualities infuse our adult lives.
"Translating a lovely, simple story with an uncomplicated, targeted message into a feature film can make one's own life a better experience for the effort," says director Marc Forster. "The simpler things in life are, indeed, often those that make us the happiest. And in 'Christopher Robin' we see a man who has lost sight of that which tethered him to humanity in broad strokes, and who is reminded of his better self through reconnecting to his childhood, his own imagination and to a love of wonder. In so reconnecting to his own better spirit, he finds his way back to the loves of his life, his wife and daughter, and for that, his life is enriched. All for remembering that the simpler things in life are not to be left behind or forgotten."
"Life goes by so fast, but hopefully this film will remind people to take a look at their own lives and re-evaluate how they spend their time... and with who," says Forster.
Once hailed as one of the finest actors of his genera on, Ewan McGregor (Christopher Robin) consistently cap vates audiences with a diverse line-up of roles across a multitude of genres, styles and scopes. McGregor has recently been seen playing two leading roles in FX's Emmy(r)-winning drama "Fargo." He received critical acclaim for his role as brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy in the season three anthology, winning the best actor in a miniseries or television film award at the 2018 Critics' Choice Television Awards and the 2018 Golden Globe(r) Awards.
On the film side, McGregor will next be seen in Drake Doremus' Zoe, opposite Léa Seydoux and Theo James. He reprised his Trainspotting role as Renton, opposite Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle, in T2, which was released in the U.K. on January 27, 2017, and in the U.S. on March 17, 2017. Additionally, McGregor starred in Disney's live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, lending his voice to the role of Lumière. The film has amassed more than $1 billion worldwide since its March 17, 2017, release date.
McGregor made his directorial debut with American Pastoral, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. McGregor starred in the film opposite Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning. Lionsgate released the film on October 21, 2016.
His more recent film roles include: Susanna White's political thriller Our Kind of Traitor; Rodrigo García's Last Days in the Desert; Don Cheadle's Miles Ahead; Gavin O'Connor's Jane Got a Gun; Julius Avery's Son of a Gun; David Koepp's Mortdecai; J.A. Bayona's The Impossible; Mike Mills' Beginners; and John Wells' film adapta on of Tracy Le s' Pulitzer- and Tony(r)-winning play, August: Osage County. In addition, McGregor garnered a best actor Golden Globe(r) nomination for his performance in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
McGregor marked his Broadway debut as Henry in Tom Stoppard's Tony Award(r)-winning play The Real Thing, directed by Sam Gold. The play opened on October 30, 2014, and ran until January 4, 2015, at the American Airlines Theatre in New York.
From his breakthrough role as the heroin-addicted Mark Renton in "Trainspotng" to the legendary Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace to starring as ChrisOan in the Oscar(r)- and BAFTA(r)-winning musical Moulin Rouge, McGregor's career has been highlighted by a continuous string of bold performances.
His diverse film credits include: Steven Soderbergh's Haywire; Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer; Amelia; Jack the Giant Slayer; Ron Howards Angels & Demons; I Love You Phillip Morris, opposite Jim Carrey; Deceptoon, opposite Michelle Williams and Hugh Jackman; the drama romance Incendiary; Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream; the biography drama Miss Porter; Scenes of a Sexual Nature; Marc Forster's thriller Stay; Michael Bay's The Island; Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith; the animated films Robots and Valiant; Tim Burton's Big Fish; Young Adam, for which he received a London Critics' Circle Film Awards nomination; Down With Love, opposite Renée Zellweger; Ridley Scott's historical drama Black Hawk Down; Rogue Trader; the Golden Globe(r)-winning film Little Voice; and the glam-rock film Velvet Goldmine.
McGregor received critical acclaim for his role in Danny Boyle's A Life Less Ordinary, for which he won the best British actor award (for the third time running) at the 1998 Empire Awards. For his role in the BAFTA Award-winning Shallow Grave, McGregor was honored with the Hitchcock D'Argent best actor award and a nomination for best actor at the BAFTA Scotland Awards. On television, McGregor received an Emmy(r) Award nomination for outstanding guest actor for his episodic role in the NBC television series ER.
McGregor serves as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, a non-profit organizaOon dedicated to providing long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
Hayley Atwell's (Evelyn Robin) impressive body of work has established her as one of the finest actresses of her generaOon. She was most recently seen starring in "Howards End," written by "Manchester by the Sea's" Oscar(r)-nominated director, Kenneth Lonergan. Atwell plays the lead role alongside Matthew Macfadyen in the adaptation of E.M. Forster's classic novel. Through the prism of three families-the intellectual and idealisOc Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business, and the working-class Basts-this period drama tracks the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn-of-the-century England.
On the stage, she was most recently seen in Sarah Burgess' Dry Powder at the Hampstead Theatre. Directed by Anna Ledwich, Atwell starred opposite Tom Riley and Aidan McArdle in the comedy, which explored the PR world of New York. Having trained in classical theater at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, upon graduation she starred alongside David Oyelowo in Prometheus Bound in the West End. She went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company and had lead roles at the Royal NaOonal Theatre in The Man of Mode and Major Barbara. Atwell has been nominated for two Olivier Awards for her performances in A View from the Bridge at the Duke of York's Theatre and in The Pride at Trafalgar Studios.
Atwell made her television debut in the adaptation of Booker Prize winner The Line of Beauty, which led to starring roles in several dramas, including The Pillars of the Earth, for which she received a Golden Globe(r) nomination, and in Charlie Brooker's BAFTA Award-winning Black Mirror series, and she has also starred in two William Boyd adaptations, Any Human Heart and Restless. She also played Agent Peggy Carter in Marvel's Captain America film franchise and in two seasons of eponymous television series Agent Carter.
Her film debut was in Cassandra's Dream, which led to leading film roles in Brideshead Revisited with Emma Thompson, The Duchess with Ralph Fiennes, Jimi: All Is by My Side and Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella.
Bronte Carmichael (Madeline Robin) made her film debut in 2017 in Dominic Cooke's On Chesil Beach, starring Saoirse Ronan. She then appeared alongside Gary Oldman in Joe Wright's Darkest Hour. She recently made her television debut as Skye in the George R.R. Martin series Nigh flyers.
Mark Gatiss (Giles Winslow) has had a long and varied career as a writer and producer behind the camera, as well as being a cri cally-acclaimed actor and published author. Gatiss' early success on television was as part of the comedy troupe The League of Gentlemen, for which he both wrote and appeared onscreen as various characters. In 2017, it was announced that the show would return to BBC Two for three specials that aired in December 2017. He had a childhood passion for Doctor Who and, like outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat, has written for all four Doctors (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Ma Smith and Peter Capaldi) in the modern revival, which was brought back to the BBC in 2005. He was also the writer and executive producer of An Adventure in Space and Time, a 90-minute dramatisation on of the genesis of the series, as part of the show's 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2013. He also appeared alongside Peter Capaldi as The Captain in the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special, "Twice upon a Time".
Gatiss is the co-creator and executive producer of Sherlock, the hit BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, which has seen unprecedented global success and in which he also plays Sherlock's brother, Mycro Holmes. The show has won a total of nine Emmys and twelve BAFTAs across its four series.
Gattiss' other writing credits for television include episodes of Nighty Night (2004-2005); the ghost story miniseries Crooked House (2008); which he also executive produced; two episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot; his adaptation of H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon (2010); and all three episodes of the documentary series A History of Horror (2010) and its one-off sequel, Horror Europa (2012), all of which he presented as well.
In 2017, he curated and directed Queers, a series of eight monologues for BBC Four to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which saw the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality.
Recent acting credits include: Stephen Gardiner in the BBC's Wolf Hall (2015), Peter Mandelson in James Graham's Coalition (2015) for Channel 4; Tycho Nestoris in HBO's Game of Thrones (2014-2017); and Robert Cecil in BBC One's Gunpowder (2017). On stage, he has starred alongside Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus (2013); as Harold in Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band (2016); and as Doctor Shpigelsky in Patrick Marber's adapta on of Turgenev's Three Days in the Country, for which he received the Olivier Award for best actor in a supporting role.
He will also be appearing in forthcoming films The Favourite, from director Yorgos Lanthimos, alongside Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman.
Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh/Tigger) spent Saturday mornings riveted to the TV screen as he mimicked the characters in his favourite cartoons, all the while dreaming that one day he would voice them himself. These days, Cummings is one of the most well-known voiceover actors in animation.
During his illustrious career, he has worked extensively for Walt Disney Studios, voicing classic characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, King Louis, Kaa the Snake, Pete and many others. His many other classic credits include Darkwing Duck; Bonkers; Fat Cat and Monterey Jack on Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers; Don Karnage on Tail Spin; and too many others to mention here.
Brad Garrett (Eeyore) is an Emmy(r)- and SAG Award(r)-winning actor, comedian and writer based in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He won three Emmys for his role as Robert Barone on the iconic television series Everybody Loves Raymond and was nominated for an Emmy and a SAG Award for his portrayal of The Great One in the telefilm Gleason" Garrett recently filmed season two of the Jim Carrey-produced ShowTime series I'm Dying Up Here and will co-star in the comedy pilot Single Parents for ABC. He also starred in season two of Fargo on FX.
Garrett most recently wrapped Sebastián Lelio's feature film Gloria, starring opposite Julianne Moore. In animation, his trademark voice has been heard in over 20 features, including the contemporary classics Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Tangled and Finding Dory. He also performed on Broadway in Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. Garrett runs his own comedy club at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
British actor Toby Jones (Owl) is known for his performances both in the theatre and on screen. He most recently returned to the stage for the revival of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, for which his performance was met with high acclaim: "Toby Jones is mesmerising as the shambolic Stanley." - The Times.
Jones has starred on screen in the films: Naked Normandy and Journey's End, and he can currently be seen in the blockbuster Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Additonal credits include: The Snowman; Kaleidoscope; Happy End; his BAFTA-nominated role in the third and final season of the award-winning comedy series Detectorists, written by and co-starring Mackenzie Crook; Infamous, in which he played Truman Capote and won Best British Actor at the London Film Critics Circle Awards. In 2011, Jones starred in the Oscar-nominated adapta on of John le Carre's classic crime novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the year after he garnered huge critical acclaim for his performance as Alfred Hitchcock in the HBO/ BBC television movie The Girl, for which he received BAFTA, Golden Globe(r) and Emmy(r) nominations. That year also saw him playing the lead in Peter Strickland's multi award-winning film Berberian Sound Studio. In 2014, he starred as the lead in the BBC Two BAFTA winning drama Marvellous and the following year in Matteo Garrone's Tale of Tales.
Further credits include: Atomic Blonde, Sherlock, Dad's Army, The Secret Agent, The Witness for the Prosecution, Morgan, Wayward Pines, Capital, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Hunger Games series, the Harry Potter series, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Leave to Remain, Andrew Kong's By Our Selves, My Week With Marilyn, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Frost/Nixon, W. and The Painted Veil.
Theater credits include: Circle Mirror Transformation (Royal Court), The Painter (Arcola), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (National Theatre), Parlour Song (Almeida Theatre), The Dumb Waiter and Other Pinter Pieces (Oxford Playhouse), Measure for Measure (with Complicite) (National Theatre) and The Play What I Wrote (winner: Olivier Award for Best Suppor ng Actor) (West End/Broadway).
Nick Mohammed (Piglet) is an established actor with roles in Ridley Scott's The Martian; Bridget Jones's Baby; The Sense of an Ending; and the BBC/Neflix critical hit Collateral. Mohammed has roles in the upcoming films The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and Joe Cornish's The Kid who would Be King.
His television writing credits include the pilot Morning Has Broken, in which he co-starred alongside writing partner Julia Davis. In 2017, he wrote and starred in Mr. Swallow's Valentine for Sky. He currently has projects in production with Sony, Guilty Party and Expecta on Entertainment. Mohammed has also featured in a host of TV comedies, including Camping, Uncle, Miranda and Life's Too Short.
He is also a successful radio broadcaster. Following the success of his hit BBC Radio 4 debut, Quarters, he went on to write and record Nick Mohammed in Bits, Apollo 21 and most recently, two series of Detective Sergeant Nick Mohammed. In 2017, Mohammed's live show, Mr. Swallow - Houdini, received phenomenal critical acclaim and had a sold-out six-week run at the Soho Theatre. In early 2018, he returned to the Soho Theatre for a sold-out limited run in which he brought several fan-favorite characters back to the stage.
His debut children's novel, The Young Magicians and the Thieves' Almanac, published by Penguin Random, was released in 2017, and he is currently working on the sequel.
Prior to playing the 12th incarnation of television Time Lord the Doctor on Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi's (Rabbit) most famous role had been as the Machiavellian spin doctor, Malcolm Tucker, in the television political satire The Thick Of It, for which he won the BAFTA for best male performance in a comedy. Other television credits include: Torchwood (BBC); The Devil's Whore (Channel 4); Fallen Angel (ITV 3); Waking the Dead (BBC1); Aftersun (ITV); My Family (ITV); Sea of Souls (BBC Scotland); and In Deep (BBC).
On screen he has appeared in: Maleficent; Paddington Bear; The Fifth Estate; Smilla's Sense of Snow; and The Lair of the White Worm, among numerous others. On stage Capaldi has performed in produc ons including: Twelth Night (Young Vic); The Duenna (Young Vic); Murder is Easy (Carnival Theatre); Judas Kiss, (Playhouse/Broadway); Feelgood (Really Useful Theatre); and Absurdia (Donmar Warehouse).
Tony Award(r)-winning and Academy Award(r)-nominated actress Sophie Okonedo (Kanga) was born in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She has worked in a variety of media including film, television, theater and audio drama. She received an OBE in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours.
Okonedo began her film career in 1991 with the British coming-of-age drama Young Soul Rebels before appearing as the Wacha Princess in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) and Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things (2002). She received an Academy Award(r) nomination for best supporting actress for her role as Taiana Rusesabagina in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda. She also received a Golden Globe(r) nomination for the miniseries Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006) and a BAFTA TV Award nomina on for the drama series Criminal Justice (2009).
In 2002, Okonedo played the role of Jenny in Danny Brocklehurst's BAFTA-nominated episode of Paul Abbott's series Clocking Off. The following year saw her starring in Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka, a webcast based on the BBC television series Doctor Who, as Alison Cheney, a companion of the Doctor. In addition to providing the character's voice, her likeness was used for the animation of the character. In 2006 Okonedo played the part of Tulip Jones in the film Stormbreaker and appeared as Susie Carter in the BBC/HBO two-part series Tsunami: The Aftermath. The following year she received a Golden Globe(r) nomination for best actress in a mini-series/television movie for her performance. In 2007, she appeared as Nancy in the television adapta on of Oliver Twist.
In 2008, she played alongside Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning as May Boatwright, a woman who struggles with depression, in the film The Secret Life of Bees. The following year she starred opposite Sam Neill and Alice Krige as Sandra Laing in Skin, and portrayed Winnie Mandela in the BBC drama Mrs. Mandela, broadcast in January 2010. In 2010, Okonedo portrayed Liz Ten (Queen Elizabeth X) in the BBC TV series Doctor Who episode The Beast Below and again briefly in The Pandorica Opens. Additional TV credits include: BBC series Extraordinary Women (2011), mini-series The Slap (2011), Sky1 series Sinbad (2012), BBC One mini-series Mayday (2012) and BBC One mini-series The Escape Artist (2013).
In 2013, she starred in the sci-fi feature After Earth alongside Will Smith, Jaden Smith and David Denman. The story takes place in the near future when an environmental cataclysm forces the human race to abandon Earth and settle on a new world, Nova Prime. In 2014, Okonedo played the role of Philippa in Tom Harper's drama War Book. Over the course of three days, eight government aides and the defense secretary partcipate in a war-game that has taken place regularly among British civil servants since the 1960s, as a way to help them formulate government procedure in the event of nuclear war.
Okonedo made her Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun and won the Tony Award(r) for best featured actress in a play for her portrayal of Ruth Younger. In March 2016, she performed in Sco Rudin's production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible on Broadway. The revival - which was set during the Salem witch trials in the 1690s - starred Ben Whishaw as John Proctor, Okonedo as Elizabeth Proctor, Saoirse Ronan as Abigail Williams and Ciarán Hinds as Deputy-Governor Danforth. Her critically acclaimed portrayal of Elizabeth Proctor won her a nomination for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play at the 2016 American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards(r). She also appeared in Peter Moffat's political thriller Undercover, where she played the lead character, Maya, a defense lawyer who tries to finally uncover the truth of an old miscarriage of justice, while her husband, Nick (played by Adrian Lester), goes to any lengths to conceal the truth about his own past. The series aired on BBC America in November 2016.
She starred as Queen Margaret in the BBC One series The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, episodes Henry VI, Part 1, Henry VI, Part 2 and Richard III". She appeared alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Judi Dench and Phoebe Fox. The series aired in the U.S. on PBS in December 2016. In April 2017, Okonedo was seen alongside Damian Lewis in a new production of Edward Albee's The Goat. Directed by Ian Rickson, the revival was shown in the West End at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
This year, Okonedo is set to star as Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra at the National Theatre, starring opposite Ralph Fiennes, which will open at the Olivier in September 2018. The iconic Shakespeare production will be directed by Simon Godwin. She will also play Lady Ha on in the third instalment of the movie franchise Hellboy, which serves as a reboot of the Guillermo del Toro/Ron Perlman original films based on the Dark Horse comics. Directed by Neil Marshall, Okonedo will star opposite David Harbour and Milla Jovovich in the Lionsgate/Millennium Films picture.