Peter Rabbit (2018)
Wednesday 15th August 2018
James Corden is Peter Rabbit - the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. In the film, Peter's feud with Mr. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever before as they rival for the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover who lives next door, Bea (Rose Byrne). James Corden voices the character of Peter with playful spirit and wild charm, with Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley performing the voice roles of the triplets, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail
Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation present, in association with 2.0 Entertainment, an Animal Logic Entertainment / Olive Bridge Entertainment production, a Will Gluck film, Peter Rabbit™. Starring Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Sam Neill, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, with Margot Robbie and James Corden as Peter Rabbit.
Directed by Will Gluck. Produced by Will Gluck and Zareh Nalbandian. Screen Story and Screenplay by Rob Lieber and Will Gluck. Executive Producers are Doug Belgrad, Jodi Hildebrand, Catherine Bishop, Susan Bolsover, Emma Topping, Rob Lieber, Jason Lust, and Jonathan Hludzinski. Director of Photography is Peter Menzies, Jr. ACS. Production Designer is Roger Ford. Editors are Christian Gazal and Jonathan Tappin. Costume Designer is Lizzy Gardiner. Animation and VFX by Animal Logic Studios, Australia. Animation Direction by Rob Coleman. Music by Dominic Lewis. Music Supervision by Wende Crowley.
"When I was a kid, my dad read me the Peter Rabbit books, so I always had an emotional tie to him - and when I had kids, I read the books to them", says Will Gluck, the co-writer/director of the famous bunny's first big screen adventure, Peter Rabbit. "The thing I love most is that Peter is a little mischief-maker. He's depicted in a beautiful old-fashioned style, but the Trojan horse is that Peter Rabbit is a little son-of-a-gun. I thought it was a great opportunity to take that little nugget, what Beatrix Potter gave Peter, expand that personality trait and make it our own contemporary story."
And who better to give Peter his voice than James Corden, a mischief-maker in his own right, who puts aside the wit and gets emotional when it comes to playing the impish rogue in a little blue coat who wreaks havoc in Mr. Thomas McGregor's vegetable garden. "It's a wonderful story that owes everything to Beatrix Potter", he says. "I felt incredibly honored that Will thought my voice could lend itself to this adored rabbit. I met a kid who was so excited - he said, 'You're going to be Peter Rabbit,' and I said, 'No, Peter Rabbit is Peter Rabbit, he just needed a voice for this film."
In the film, Peter's war with Old Mr. McGregor, keeper of the vegetable garden, takes a turn when the old man kicks the bucket (a victory Peter is all too happy to claim for himself). But when his great-nephew, Mr. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), inherits the place, Peter realizes that the battle for control of the vegetable garden - and the heart of their next-door neighbour, Bea (Rose Byrne) - has only just begun. To help, Peter is enlisting his family and friends - sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, cousin Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and other characters author and illustrator Beatrix Potter created in her original tales.
And because Peter Rabbit is so beloved, especially throughout the British Commonwealth, Gluck was able to attract an all-star cast to bring these famous characters to life, including Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley as the triplets, Grammy winner Sia as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and David Wenham as Johnny Town-Mouse.
In addition, the live-action cast did double duty behind the microphone, as Domhnall Gleeson plays the frog Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Rose Byrne voiced Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Sam Neill - on camera as Old Mr. McGregor - gives voice to Tommy Brock, the badger.
For the animation, Gluck and fellow producer Zareh Nalbandian partnered with Nalbandian's Animation and VFX studio Animal Logic, who's previous credits include The LEGO® Movie, Happy Feet, and other films, for a film that would combine animation with live action. "We wanted to use as many of the Beatrix Potter characters as possible to honor what she created", continues Gluck. "We're all familiar with the beautiful watercolour paintings - if they were to come to life in the real world, we hope this is what they would look like."
The inspiration was Potter's original illustrations. "Will and I went to see the original pictures at the Beatrix Potter archives in London. She literally painted them at the size that they are in the books", Nalbandian explains. "The challenge was to start with such small works and to maintain the integrity of the characters that are so beloved in the books, while we bring Peter into the 21st Century. It was a huge opportunity for us to do something that's never been seen before."
One way of maintaining the integrity of the original paintings was to refer to the illustrations whenever possible. "Our goal was to make the rabbits and the other animal characters look like real animals but with clothes and expressions that the books suggest", says Gluck.
The look of the film was only one part of maintaining the integrity of the characters - just as important was ensuring that Peter behaved as Peter - a character who takes risks and enjoys a good prank, but one whose good heart shines through.
"Peter is told not to go into McGregor's garden because his father was put into a pie for going into the garden. What does he do? He goes into the garden. That's who Peter is - there's nothing more you can tell someone who's like that", Gluck explains. "He has that impishness, but also a bold confidence and a self-delusion that he's always right, when he's actually often wrong. He's never in doubt, though, so he keeps charging forward until he realizes he's gone too far."
But even as Peter faces the music because of his daring bullheadedness, his true character emerges. "He comes to realize that he has to take care of his cousin and his three sisters, and although he wouldn't admit it to himself, he realizes that there might be shades to Thomas McGregor", Gluck continues. "Peter is adolescent who starts to appreciate that things aren't always black and white."
Protecting these elements of Peter's character was extremely important to the filmmakers; every step of the way, they worked closely with the guardians of the Beatrix Potter legacy, the publishers at Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., a division of Penguin Random House, which has published Beatrix Potter's Original Peter Rabbit BooksT since 1902.
"We're hugely excited about this new adventure for Peter Rabbit and the opportunity to bring him to a whole new generation of fans via the big screen." says Susan Bolsover, director of licensing and consumer products for Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd, part of Penguin Random House. "We were thrilled that Will Gluck was keen to capture the essence of Beatrix Potter's books and particularly the mischievous and loveable nature of Peter Rabbit, which is hugely important."
Hugely important, because through Peter's mischief (and their own), children learn how far they can push their boundaries - and how to face any consequences with grace. "Although there's a moral to the story, I don't feel children feel they're being preached to in that moral", she says. "I think that's why it particularly works. And who doesn't love a bit of mischief?"
Bolsover thinks that the Peter Rabbit™ movie will connect with 2018 audiences in a similar way that the book did for readers in 1902 because those themes of adventure and mischief are timeless. "I think Beatrix Potter was able to reach so many people with The Tale of Peter Rabbit because it's a funny, timeless story that captures children's imaginations", she adds. "Beatrix understood the importance of talking to children on their own level and created a story, set in the natural world that all children would recognize with themes that would be universally appealing."
Another way that the filmmakers honored the Potter legacy was by filming scenes in England's Lake District, a part of the English countryside where Potter lived and became a huge influence on her work; after her death in 1943, Potter bequeathed most of her estate - her farms, her land, her artwork, her sheep - to the National Trust, which has been looking after that legacy for more than 70 years.
John Moffat, General Manager for the National Trust's Beatrix Potter places, notes, "Beatrix Potter left the National Trust a large legacy and caring for her home, Hill Top, many original artworks and farms and land are a huge part of our role as a conservation charity in the Lake District. She was an amazing woman and we're keen to share her work and tales with families everywhere. We're all very excited about the movie, and hope that the film will bring new audiences into contact with Beatrix and inspire them to make a visit to the places in the Lakes that inspired her to write her classic tales."
"It was incredibly important to go to the Lake District", says Gluck. "That's where the movie is set; it's where Beatrix Potter lived, where she wrote her stories and painted her pictures. We tried to create a world that looks exactly like it did in all her books; we were inspired to take every little moment, everything she ever wrote or painted, and construct our world around that."
"The cast of the film is an embarrassment of riches", says Gluck. "We were very lucky to get all these people, and we used the actors' expressions when we started building the animation, so the characteristics of Peter and the other animals are embodied by the voice cast."
Peter Rabbit (Voiced By James Corden). Peter Rabbit is an impetuous, mischievous, but good-hearted rabbit who lives in a burrow with his sisters and cousin Benjamin Bunny. Even though his father was put in a pie by the old farmer McGregor, Peter can't help himself but sneak into his garden to steal fruits and veggies for his family and his lack of fear and stubbornness gets him into trouble often.
The film's eponymous hero is voiced by James Corden, who brings a perfect balance of mischief and charm to the role.
"It was always the dream to have James as Peter; we essentially wrote the role for him", says Gluck. "He has the ideal combination of exuberance and sweetness and is of course very, very funny. He can be biting, yet he gets away with it."
"He's a rascal", says Corden. "He thinks he has power and ability beyond what's in him, as all young people do. He has that confidence and zest for life - the type of rabbit that doesn't say 'why,' he says 'why not.'"
"Peter had to feel timeless", says executive producer Jodi Hildebrand. "The key to it was a voice that we wanted to follow on any adventure he chose to go on, and James Corden is that voice and that personality. He's funny and charming and mischievous, and for us that was the linchpin of bringing Peter to life."
Corden says, again, it all comes back to the character Beatrix Potter created. "I think Peter gets away with his mischief because of his sweet and adorable nature", he says. "You just can't help but smile when you see him."
Bea (Rose Byrne) is McGregor's next-door neighbour, Bea, has given up the city life to move to a small cottage to attempt to prove herself as a painter. She feels isolated, save for a set of diminutive, furry friends: the rabbits. Peter is her favorite, and she is his
Rose Byrne takes the role. "Bea is stubborn and determined, but she's also torn. Her talent lies with her animal paintings, not her human portraits, but she doesn't take that form seriously and hence doesn't feel like a true artist", she says. "The animals are her friends and her family, a bit like Snow White meets Jane Goodall."
"Will's ambition was a very modern take on a classic tale, which is hard to do", Byrne continues. "It's so beloved so you have to be really tender, but I thought it was genuinely very funny."
"Rose is luminous", says Hildebrand. "She is that person who everyone loves, which was so necessary for our film because Peter loves her, the triplets love her, Benjamin loves her and Thomas McGregor falls in love with her. The audience had to believe the strength of that love, and with Rose they can."
The challenge for Byrne would come in acting in a film against a lead character that would be animated after photography. "You have to harness your imaginative powers as much as you can in those scenes", she explains. "It's incredibly technical, so besides the director, there are so many heads of departments who need to be watching your every movement - visual effects, special effects, camera department, art department. There are so many complicated steps to creating a successful portrayal of the character and her interaction with her screen partners, a lot of moving parts."
Thomas Mcgregor (Domhnall Gleeson) has risen through the ranks of London's famed department store Harrods, working diligently - some might say obsessively - towards the post of Associate General Manager, only to find that the position has gone to a man who doesn't deserve it. When he inherits the McGregor manor (and its attached vegetable garden), Thomas sees a chance to sell it in order to finance his own toy shop.
A man who wants everything neat, tidy, and in its place, Thomas is about to meet his match in Peter.
"What's the worst place you could put someone like Thomas? In a dirty garden with little rabbits trying to mess it up", says Gluck. "He's driven to distraction."
"He's a bit uptight, and then he gets fired through no fault of his own - he flips out when he loses a job that should have been his, and I could understand that. I can understand that frustration", he notes. "And then he meets somebody who changes his life."
Two somebodies, actually - there's Bea, the sweet and generous next-door neighbour who sees something in Thomas, and then there's Peter, the rabbit who turns his garden (and his life) upside down.
In fact, at the beginning of the film, Thomas' motivation is centered around revenge. "He has been swearing to himself that he would find a way to get back at Harrods", he notes. "When he finds out he's inherited the manor, he sees it only as an opportunity to fix it up and sell it, to make enough money to start his own toy shop." It's no surprise that when Peter begins to make a mess of the garden, he similarly begins a vendetta - no matter how crazy that is.
And Thomas McGregor's feud with Peter starts with vegetables, but it's taken to the next level as they rival for Bea's affections. "It's a really tricky balance to have a villain who becomes a love interest", says Hildebrand. "Domhnall was perfect for this part because he can do it all - he gets huge laughs out of this tightly wound character. then turn into an Irish Buster Keaton with big physical comedy. then melts like a puppy in Bea's arms. He can truly do it all."
"Thomas and Bea are very different people", says Gleeson. "She's kind and caring, and sees that he's strange but doesn't treat him badly for it. Any other woman he's shown interest in has been immediately put off by his uptightness. Bea seems to find it funny and sweet, and she's relaxed enough for the two of them. He tells her that he likes her art, and that means something to her."
Gleeson says that Gluck's approach to the comedy of the part was what attracted him to the role. "We operated on the principle that it needed to work for everybody, but we never said, 'We'd better do this because it's a kids' film' or 'We'd better add a joke in here for the adults,'" he notes. "Will approached the film with the perspective that funny is funny, and funny will be funny for people of every age."
As the film opens, Peter's longstanding family feud with Old Mr. Mcgregor (portrayed by Sam Neill) is at full tilt: all the rabbits want to do is eat the bountiful produce that he so diligently grows in his garden, and all Old Mr. McGregor wants to do is catch them and bake them into a pie (as he successfully did with Peter's father).
Sam Neill, who portrays the curmudgeonly farmer, wryly notes that Potter's stories, which he'd read to his own children, are told with bias from the rabbits' point of view. "If you look at it from Old Mr. McGregor's point of view, what have rabbits ever done to contribute?" asks Neill. "They've eaten, they've bred, and they want to come in and take the fruits of his labour. He sees them as barbarians beyond the gate; what's outside is chaos. I see him as a much beleaguered, industrious man, and a hero for our times", he kids.
Although only on set for a short time, Neill was seen by the filmmakers and crew as the perfect embodiment of this much-maligned character. "Will wanted to stick to the original Beatrix Potter creation, literally down to the shirt buttons", says the film's costume designer, Lizzy Gardiner. "I dressed Sam in a fat suit, cashmere and wool. Given the heat, we had to use a complex air-conditioned suit underneath, and plug him in between shots."
Rose Byrne, the one live actor Neill played against, says, "Sam is hilarious and such a professional. I think he really enjoyed himself underneath all the make-up and the fat suit and the weird collars. He had a twinkle in his eye; he was having a lot of fun."
Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail (Voiced By Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki and Daisy Ridley). Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit begins with the now famous words: "Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter."
The three sisters are as much part of the landscape of many childhoods as their brother is. As Peter Rabbit™ opens, their mother has passed away, and Peter is determined to be a responsible older sibling and caretaker to the trio. (At least, that's his intention).
"We approached the characters by imagining that Peter Rabbit is about 16 (human) years old, and Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail are tweens", explains Gluck. "Even though they're triplets, they're very distinct. Flopsy is nervous about everything. She's insecure and fighting for her place among her sisters. Especially with Mopsy - the oldest, bossiest and most-refined. She likes being in charge.when Peter's not around. Cotton-tail quite simply marches to the beat of her own drum. She ultimately ends up being the greatest warrior but is a little bit off-kilter; every time she says something, all the rabbits think, 'Wait, what?'"
"Flopsy has a bit of a middle child syndrome", says Robbie. "She's very jealous that she's not the oldest sister, and I think she feels that she gets bossed around by Mopsy. She has a nervous energy - she sometimes doubts herself."
Robbie says that she was a massive Peter Rabbit fan as a child. "I had little teacups and saucers with Peter Rabbit and all of the other characters painted on them", she recalls. "I've kept all of those, and I want to give them to my children one day. These characters are so timeless; it's a magical, simple world, and it's nice to escape into that."
Debicki agrees that her character, Mopsy, "is a little bossy", she says. "Maybe a better way to put it is that she's headstrong; she's an adorable, one-foot-tall rebel. She's smart, she's feisty, and she's very adorable."
Debicki says that she was thrilled to be part of a film based on these timeless stories. "I think that Beatrix Potter's stories have lasted the test of time because the characters are so beautiful and genuine, charming and funny and mischievous", she continues. "Kids have always been able to project themselves into those characters and into these lessons about love, family, community."
"Cotton-tail is a loose cannon", says Ridley. "She's a bit mental and scruffy around the edges. The sisters are all integral to Peter's success for the garden; they love each other very much, but they argue hilariously along the way. They each have a vital role to play."
Like her co-stars, Ridley grew up admiring Beatrix Potter's creations. "My sisters and I used to go to a violin course in the Lake District - we'd go to the Beatrix Potter museum all the time", she says.
Audiences can also expect many of Peter's friends to make appearances in the film. Peter's cousin, Benjamin Bunny, is very sweet and loyal and always by Peter's side, even if he's warning him against some mischief; the role is voiced by Colin Moody. Johnny Town-Mouse, an overconfident city mouse, way too proud of his home town, is voiced by David Wenham. Pigling Bland, voiced by Ewen Leslie, is posh, meticulous and judgmental, but will accept an invitation to fun if he gets the chance. Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle - an aging hedgehog who's always looking for a little spice in her life - is voiced by pop superstar Sia.
The film's live action cast also got in on the fun with Sam Neill voicing Tommy Brock, the badger, a lovable lug who's not always the sharpest hoe in the shed, Rose Byrne giving voice to Jemima Puddle-Duck, a bit of a worry wart, until a party helps her loosen up, and Domhnall Gleeson bringing life to Mr. Jeremy Fisher, a gentlemanly frog.
"I wanted the audiences to forget this was an animated film", says Will Gluck of his approach to the direction. "Hopefully, after the first few minutes of getting acclimated to the fact that animals are talking and wearing clothes, it just feels real to the audience."
The animation was overseen by producer Zareh Nalbandian and his company Animal Logic, which previously produced the animated hits The Lego Movie (and its sequel, The Lego Batman Movie) and Happy Feet. "For Will, all the animated characters in Peter Rabbit™ exist just like the characters played by Rose and Domhnall", he says. "As we approached the animation, we had the same kinds of questions for him that the live-action actors might ask. 'How do you want Benjamin Bunny to feel? How do you want him to emote?' It's all about performance. We consider our characters as real characters, so our dialogue with Will was on that level. For our animators, that was fantastic because Will didn't put restrictions on anything, but it was also immensely challenging. This was probably the most complex film that we've made at Animal Logic."
The film features not just rabbits but pigs, badgers, sparrows, and more, each with different skin or fur or feathers, some clad in clothing that gets dirty, torn and wet. Costume designer Lizzy Gardiner not only oversaw the costuming of the live-action cast - she was also brought in early in the design phase to help determine what the animated animals would wear. "It was a challenge", says Gardiner, "because we were trying to stay true to Beatrix Potter's vision while also modernising what she had done. As we got further into it, we realized that every single choice she made, she made for a good reason."
The production ran parallel animation and live action units during principal photography, with editors cutting scenes while the film was shooting, and storyboard artists drawing over cut scenes to represent where the animals might be.
With that, Gluck could get a sense of the film he had shot and the possibilities for animation. And with that, he discovered the great blessing and curse of animation: you can always change it. "You don't have that in live-action - you shoot the scene, and the scene's over. In animation, anyone can say, 'Here's an idea that could improve the scene.' And while the animators were sleeping, I was rewriting", he says - noting that the animators were ready for it. "There were over 400 people working on Peter Rabbit. They were all studying their small portion of the film and coming up with the most wonderful ideas. The 'what-ifs' were the fun part of this movie."
The Peter Rabbit™ screenplay called for scenes of exploding fruit and vegetables, fireworks, electrocutions, and fierce human-rabbit battles.
Given that Will Gluck's vision was that these scenes should play out more like Saving Private Ryan than Bambi, the collaboration and understanding between the special effects department on set and the visual effects department in the animation studio would be vital.
Peter Stubbs was engaged as the film's Special Effects Supervisor, and Tom Wood and Will Reichelt were brought on as Visual Effects Supervisors.
Stubbs is usually asked to supervise the effects on action films like Ghost Rider and television series like "The Pacific", and was drawn to Peter Rabbit™ by the chance to do something very different. "It was a sweet story and funny, a good change from what we normally would do", he says. "Will, Tom and I had many meetings about what should be real and what should be computer-generated, and what each unit needed to monitor to ensure the end results would marry well. Simple elements like dust or rain can make the visual effects job very hard. My unit needed to know where the rabbits and other animals would travel through the frame, what they might rub against, how they would move."
Realising Gluck's vision for a battle with exploding fruit and vegetables required a lot of messy trial and error, Stubbs says. "We had to design little explosions that represented the firecrackers that Thomas throws at the rabbits. The rabbits retaliate by firing fruit, so we did lots of experiments exploding organic matter to the point where my workshop was literally covered with little bits of dried up fruit and vegetables. We built soft fruit, and made our own specialized guns to shoot the fruit exactly where we wanted it to go."
Peter Rabbit™ was Tom Wood's first film that combines live-action with animation. "Looking at the script, I could see that every page had a challenge, but the joy is how you approach them on a day to day basis", he explains. "What excited me most was the chance to bring the character of Peter Rabbit to life in a way that hadn't been seen on film, in a photorealistic way. That was a fantastic challenge."
Wood and Reichelt mapped out the rules of this world with Gluck. They had many questions that might not ever be addressed in the film itself - How is it that the animals can talk? Is that something that's just accepted as part of the cinematic universe being created? Who makes their clothes? How do they wash their clothes? - but would determine how the visual effects department would approach the work in creating and animating the characters. "You have to ask all these kinds of questions", says Reichelt, "and then, eventually, you whittle it down to the characters themselves and their relationships to each other, and how they then relate to the human world."
The visual effects team was structured into a main unit and a plate unit. The main unit, headed by Reichelt, dealt with everything involving the live actors and interactions they have with the CG characters in scenes. The plate unit, managed by Wood and directed by Head of Story Kelly Baigent, dealt with shots and scenes featuring only CG characters. There were always two Animal Logic animation supervisors on set from these units to monitor and convey the necessary information to the live action crew.
Gluck didn't want it to feel like there was a miniature world for the animals and a larger world for the human characters, but rather a continuous world with no seams. "The cliché choice would be to shoot all the rabbit ground level footage as miniature, with a super shallow depth of field, to give a sense that everything feels large to them, but Will wanted a very different feel", says Wood. "We shot it as if the rabbits are just slightly smaller people. All the conversations work in the same way that conversations work between humans."
In animating the characters, the animators once again looked to Beatrix Potter's original illustrations for inspiration: though the character walks on two legs and wears his signature blue jacket, Potter drew a rabbit that was otherwise realistic. "Peter stands up, he wears a jacket, he has James Corden's voice, but he's also a real rabbit, so we had to incorporate rabbit-like twitches of ears and nose into a complex, nuanced, anthropomorphic performance", says Wood. "We had to make sure that we were visually supporting what James was conveying with his vocal performance, creating subtle eyebrow raises to convey sarcasm, for example. There was a delicate balance to be struck."
For the main unit shots, as the actors performed scenes that would feature the animated characters, it was important to allow the actors to hold something in frame (rather than pantomime) for two reasons. First, it was the best way to get a good physical performance from the actors, and second, the visual effects team could use the photography as reference for the way light in the scene would fall on the CG animals. "We had a very high quality stuffy of Peter made that was held out in front of the camera, and twisted and turned and so we could see him from all angles. We also had traditional VFX silver and grey balls, which captured the reflected light and gave us a check for lighting and colour", says Wood. The effects team also created VFX balls with different fur and cloth finishes, representing each of the different characters, to show how light and wind would affect each one differently.
The dramatic scene in which the burrow is exploded and the tree falls into Bea's conservatory was the most detailed interaction between special and visual effects, achieved with a practical, live explosion and a combination of practical and digital breakage on the cottage to get the final effect. The tree had to be made and installed by the special effects team in the location, with a hinge so that it could fall over and be raised against for successive takes. The tree was then digitally extended by the visual effects team during post production.
Despite such complex choreography, the scenes of dramatic action weren't the most complex for visuals effects team, which were instead those moments involving close interaction between human actors and the CG characters. "You have to do a lot of fine, detailed work to make it feel like the characters are actually touching each other", explains Reichelt. "The physics of how they move, the way that Peter's fur needs to respond if McGregor's fingers are digging into it and pushing it back away from the grain, the way that they shadow or reflect onto each other - all of that requires a lot of painstaking, frame-by-frame work to get it to perfectly mesh together."
The film's location and studio shoots took place in London, in the Lake District, and in Sydney, Australia.
The Australian part of the shoot was scheduled for the early months of the year, during the Australia's summer season. Sydney offered a particularly beautiful, verdant location - Centennial Park, one of the oldest planted spaces in Australia, laid out by English gardeners and containing English trees - in which to construct the McGregor manor and Bea's cottage.
"We built a world that we hope looks exactly like it did in Beatrix Potter's books", says Gluck. "We took every little detail, reverse engineered what it would look like in the context of the real world, then built it."
Roger Ford, who had helped craft the visual worlds of the Babe films, the Narnia films, and P.J. Hogan's Peter Pan, was engaged as the film's production designer. His first major task was the design and construction of the manor house and the cottage.
"Several of us went to the Lake District on a research trip", says Ford. "The manor house we built is very typical of the construction techniques of the region, and Bea's cottage mimics Beatrix Potter's Yew Tree Farm cottage, a white stucco building with a slate roof."
On set, both buildings were built from timber and plywood and covered in burlap, with the stonework and roofing made of plaster. For Bea's cottage, however, Gluck and Ford decided to construct a building with a complete interior - unusual for a feature film. Though it's usually most efficient to build a shell exterior and shoot the interior scenes on a soundstage, the unique requirements of Bea's cottage turned that on its head.
"A lot of the action takes place in Bea's glass-roofed conservatory", notes Ford, explaining that every scene shot in the conservatory would have to look out, through the glass, onto the McGregor manor and the vegetable garden. "It seemed to me that trying to do the interiors on a soundstage and convincingly back all that glass would be problematic. It would be much easier if we created the interiors inside the exterior, so that the camera could look out of Bea's conservatory and onto the manor house."
Because of its practical interiors, the cottage had to be weatherproof inside and out. During the shoot, it could be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit under a baking sun one moment, and torrential rain the next.
The scale of the animal characters affected certain elements of the set that normally wouldn't need finishing. "You normally don't need to dress under the axle of a utility truck - but on Peter Rabbit, every little component down there had to be perfect because the characters and therefore the camera were going to be right down there. We had to examine everything in minute detail."
Ford found an artist who could create Bea's rabbit paintings, mimicking Potter's style, scaled up. "Potter's paintings are tiny - there is a museum in the Lake District housing some of the originals, and they're very small", he says. "We've gone bigger so you can see them onscreen the movie, but they're very similar in style to the Beatrix Potter originals."
The other key location, of course, is McGregor's garden. "The garden is the rabbits' nirvana", says Gluck. "It contains everything the rabbits could possibly want. Once they've tasted its bounties, and it's taken away from them, they can't un-taste it."
"We needed to convey the garden from Peter's point of view - rich, lush, full of pleasure", adds Nalbandian. "Peter can't but help himself to go into it yet again and get into trouble yet again."
The garden was an ongoing development between Roger Ford's art department and Jack Elliott, the film's Head Greensman, who would take charge of growing 22 different vegetable and fruit varieties.
Before a single seed was sown, the filmmakers ensured that the garden would fit all of their needs. "Will was focused on the size of the garden - was it big enough?" says Ford. "We mapped out an area of the same size on the floor of the studio. Will wanted to see how high things were, both for the logistics of certain shots as well as for the impact of scale, so we set up structures to mimic the plant heights. Peter Menzies, Jr., the Director of Photography, was then concerned it wasn't broad enough for the chase scenes, so we enlarged those dimensions. It eventually reached the scale where we all thought, 'That's it, it's perfect.'"
Every plant in the garden had to be a variety that would grow in the Lake District. Beyond that, the world was open to them. The script had a few specific gags that referenced a particular fruit or vegetable; others were chosen for colour.
From there, Elliott worked out how to create a garden in a static condition - the action in the film takes place over a week or two, but the film shoot took eight weeks. "We staged the vegetables", says Elliott. "Everything was in a pot so we could change them out easily. We used liquid fertilising to try to get them ready in time, and watched the weather carefully."
For some plants, Elliott would create oversized amalgams. Eight tomato plants were stacked to create one. A late call for sunflowers resulted in artificial plants being slowly replaced out with real sunflowers as they grew in.
Roger Ford was greatly impressed with the construction and the greens teams. "The questions keeping me up at night were, 'How are we going to create slate roofs, which are so tricky to do?' 'How are we going to grow this incredible garden in time?' The plastering team, the construction team, the paint department and the greens team were all brilliant. Despite the high temperatures, leaks, winds and rain, everyone contributed to achieve amazing results."
"It was unbelievable to go from sitting in our office in Los Angeles looking at drawings and references of British manors and gardens, to go to location and to be able to see and touch them", says Hildebrand. "It was the most gorgeous set - everything we imagined - and it made me sad to think that it wasn't going to be permanent."
Peter Rabbit™ is one of the very few films for which the world's most famous department store, Harrods, allowed filming inside their Knightsbridge, London store.
Harrods is exceptionally busy, welcoming thousands of visitors every day, so hosting a film of the scale of Peter Rabbit™ inside the historic building was no easy feat.
The store has over 7,500 employees working on the shop floor, and has been selling toys based on characters from Beatrix Potter's books since at least 1910. Potter was a local Knightsbridge resident, and there are references to Harrods in the personal diary she kept as a 17-year-old girl.
"Thomas McGregor works at a place that is symbolic of a bustling city - just the opposite of where Peter Rabbit lives", says Hildebrand. "Harrods is an iconic place with a long, intimate connection to Beatrix Potter and her world - it was a perfect fit for us, and we were ecstatic that they were very excited to have us - they went above and beyond to host the shoot. We shot exteriors during the day, and interiors at night, outside of the store hours. They were late, long nights, but it was an incredible place in which to film."
Security was tight - from 9:00pm until 9:00am, the doors were locked while filming took place. Staff from various departments - from the Toy Department to the store's engineers to the cafeteria staff, who donated their restaurant space for the 100-person crew to eat in - were personally involved in making the shoot possible.
While the choreography of the rabbit stunt work could be meticulously and digitally controlled by the animation team at Animal Logic, the human stunt work in Peter Rabbit™ rested primarily on the shoulders of one actor - Domhnall Gleeson, playing Thomas McGregor.
Lawrence Woodward, Stunt Coordinator, and Ben Smith-Petersen, Gleeson's stunt double, had a two-week rehearsal period with Gleeson. Each day, the actor worked through and mapped out the hand-to-hand combat with Peter Rabbit. Given that during the shoot, Peter would be an unseen enemy, it was like choreographing a dance sequence in which Gleeson was required to remember precisely his steps as well as those of his partner.
"Domhnall always came prepared", says Woodward. "No matter how small each piece of new movement was, he went away and did the work, which made our job a lot easier."
Gleeson performed his own stunts and physical work whenever possible. "We developed a lot of devices to use on set", recalls Woodward. "We had little blue sticks that we would poke him with, and guys in blue suits that could actually touch him. Occasionally, we'd throw a blue rabbit at him so he could have something to react to."
"I'm not a stunt man, so trying to figure out the beats to the scene and getting attacked by an invisible rabbit was not the easiest way to spend a day, but it was great fun", says Gleeson. "The stunt team, led by Lawrence and Ben, were brilliant. Will likes to change things up at the last minute, so there was a lot of thinking on our feet, but I think that led to a funnier version of what we'd mapped out, and that's all I was interested in achieving."
Rose Byrne (Bea / Jemima Puddle-Duck) is best known for her role as Ellen Parsons in Damages, opposite Glenn Close. The series, created by Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler and Todd Kessler, ran for five seasons on FX and later DirecTV. Byrne earned two Golden Globe nominations and one Emmy nomination for her role. She is also known for her role in the Paul Feig-directed comedy Bridesmaids alongside Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Comedy and Musical and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Recently, Byrne completed production for the comedy Juliet, Naked alongside Ethan Hawke and Chris O'Dowd. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will be released later this year. She will also begin production on her new film Instant Family opposite Mark Wahlberg this spring. The film follows a couple who decide to adopt three foster kids and find themselves in over their heads.
Last year, Byrne starred in HBO's original film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks opposite Oprah Winfrey. The film was an adaptation of Rebecca's Skloot's critically acclaimed, bestselling nonfiction book of the same name. It premiered on HBO and earned an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Television Movie.
In 2016, Byrne returned to the stage in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" at the Roslyn Packer Theatre.
Also that year, Byrne reprised her role as Moira MacTaggert in X-Men: Apocalypse, which was released in theaters on May 27, 2016. Additionally, she reprised her role as Kelly Radner in Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising, alongside Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Chole Grace Moretz.
Earlier that year, Byrne appeared in The Meddler opposite Susan Sarandon. The film follows an aging widow from New York City who follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away.
In 2015, Byrne appeared in the independent film Adult Beginners alongside Nick Kroll and Bobby Cannavale. The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Byrne also appeared in the Paul Feig directed comedy Spy opposite Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law.
Earlier that same year, Byrne had her Broadway debut in the limited engagement run of "You Can't Take it With You." She played the lead role of Alice Sycamore opposite James Earl Jones and Kristine Neilsen.
At the end of 2014, Byrne appeared in the remake of Annie alongside Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale. That same year, Byrne also appeared in Shawn Levy's This is Where I Leave You alongside Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver and Jane Fonda. She also appeared in the Nicholas Stoller comedy Neighbours opposite Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, which earned over $268 million worldwide.
In 2014, Byrne also starred in the film The Turning. For her performance, she won Best Actress in a Supporting Role awards from the Australian Film Critics Association and the Film Critics Circle of Australia.
Byrne's other film credits include The Internship, The Place Beyond the Pines, Insidious, Get Him to the Greek, X-Men: First Class, Marie Antoinette, Troy, Adam, and 28 Weeks Later, among others. Theatre credits include Sydney Theatre Company's "La Dispute" and "Three Sisters."
Domhnall Gleeson's (Thomas McGregor / Mr. Jeremy Fisher) latest projects include Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, Darren Aronofsky's Mother!, and a cameo appearance in Sharon Horgan's Catastrophe. Prior to these he filmed David Wain's A Futile and Stupid Gesture, the lead role of Stensland in the comedy feature Crash Pad directed by Kevin Tent, and Doug Liman's American Made, in which he plays the role of Monty Schafer alongside Tom Cruise. Other recent credits include Nick Hornby's adaptation of Colm Tóibín's novel Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley, The Revenant directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Force Awakens, Alex Garland's sci-fi film Ex Machina, and the Coens' adaptation of Louis Zamperini's memoir Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie.
In January 2015, Gleeson appeared in Enda Walsh's The Walworth Farce, directed by Seán Foley, starring alongside his father Brendan Gleeson and brother Brian Gleeson.
His previous lead roles in film include Lenny Abrahamson's Frank with Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Curtis' About Time opposite Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, and Sensation, directed by Tom Hall. He received Irish Film and Television Awards for playing Bob Geldof in When Harvey Met Bob, Levin in Joe Wright's Anna Karenina, and Jon in Lenny Abrahamson's Frank.
Supporting roles in film and television include John Michael McDonagh's Calvary, Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror on Channel 4, Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit, the role of Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I & II) directed by David Yates, and Martin McDonagh's Oscar®-winning short Six Shooter. He also appeared in Dredd directed by Pete Travis, Shadow Dancer directed by James Marsh, Ian Fitzgibbon's Perrier's Bounty, A Dog Year for HBO films opposite Jeff Bridges, Paul Mercier's Studs, Stephen Bradley's Boy Eats Girl, and John Butler's Your Bad Self, for which he co-wrote sketches with Michael Moloney.
Gleeson's work onstage includes "Now or Later" at the Royal Court, "American Buffalo" and "Great Expectations" at the Gate, Druid's production of "The Well of the Saints", "Macbeth" directed by Selina Cartmell, and "Chimps" directed by Wilson Milam at the Liverpool Playhouse. Gleeson was nominated for a Tony Award for the Broadway production of Martin McDonagh's "The Lieutenant of Inishmore." He received a Lucille Lortel nomination and a Drama League Citation for Excellence in Performance for the same role. He earned an Irish Times Theatre Award nomination for his role in "American Buffalo."
Gleeson wrote and directed the short films Noreen (starring Brendan and Brian Gleeson) and What Will Survive of Us (starring Brian Gleeson). He also created Immaturity for Charity, comedy sketches shot with family and friends in aid of St. Francis' Hospice. They're pretty weird and they're on YouTube.
Sam Neill (Old McGregor) is an internationally recognised actor whose career encompasses both film and television. He became widely known thanks to his work in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park and in the Academy Award® winning film The Piano (Jane Campion).
Other notable work includes The Horse Whisperer (Robert Redford), Bicentennial Man (Chris Columbus), The Zookeeper (Ralph Ziman), and more recently Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi).
His contribution to television includes notable roles in shows such as the BBC's Peaky Blinders, The Tudors, and Merlin, which won him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding lead actor and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
He was recently seen in the long-awaited Thor: Ragnarok, which reunited him with director Taika Waititi, and action-thriller The Commuter, opposite Liam Neeson and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. His film Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton), to be released in 2018, has won both the Platform Prize and the Special Jury Prize at this year's Toronto and Venice Film Festivals respectively.
Daisy Ridley (Cotton-tail) is an English actress best known for her breakthrough role as Rey in the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. She reprised her role as Rey in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, which was released by Disney on December 15, 2017.
Ridley was also recently seen in Murder on the Orient Express, directed by Kenneth Branagh and featuring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, and Judi Dench which was released by Fox on November 10, 2017.
Ridley recently wrapped production on Ophelia opposite Naomi Watts, which premiered at Sundance this year, and the sci-fi adventure Chaos Walking opposite Tom Holland for Lionsgate.
In 2016, Ridley voiced the lead role of Taeko in the 25th Anniversary re-release of Studio Ghibli's classic animated film Only Yesterday. She also served as an executive producer on the documentary The Eagle Huntress, which was released by Sony Pictures Classics.
Additionally, she sang the duet "At the Ballet" from "A Chorus Line" with Anne Hathaway for Barbra Streisand's album "Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway."
Ridley is the recipient of a 2016 Oscar Wilde Award. The non-profit US-Ireland Alliance created the event to recognise the contributions of the Irish in film. This is an honorary Irish award.
Ridley has a variety of projects in development. She recently set up the Maggie Hope series of books, and will be an executive producer on its television adaptation with Blueprint Television.
Elizabeth Debicki (Mopsy), an Australian stage and film actress, is quickly on the rise. She first made her mark in 2013 when she appeared in Baz Luhrmann's critically-acclaimed film The Great Gatsby alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. Debicki was awarded an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (AACTA) for her role as Jordan Baker in the film. She was also nominated for an Empire Award for Best Newcomer.
Debicki most recently completed production on Vita and Virginia with Gemma Arterton and Isabella Rosselini. The film follows the love affair between socialite Vita Sackville-West (Arterton) and literary icon Virginia Woolf (Debicki). There is no release date yet. Additionally, Debicki appeared in Jennifer Fox's The Tale, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Debicki will next star in the J.J. Abrams-produced Untitled Cloverfield Movie with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo and Daniel Bruhl. The movie, directed by Julius Onah, will follow a team of astronauts fighting for their survival, and is set to be released by Paramount Pictures on April 20, 2018.
Later this year, Debicki will star alongside Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson in Steve McQueen's Widows. Based on the 1983 British miniseries about a robbery gone wrong, the story follows four armed robbers who are killed in a failed heist attempt, leaving their widows to finish the job. Paramount will release the film on November 16, 2018.
In May 2017, Debicki was seen as the villain Ayesha in Marvel and Walt Disney Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with Chris Pratt, Kurt Russell and Zoe Saldana. Shortly after the film opened, director James Gunn announced that Debicki will return in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Debicki also voiced a role in Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which was released on July 21, 2017. Previous film credits for Debicki include Guy Ritchie's The Man from U.N.C.L.E. alongside Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander, The Weinstein Company's Macbeth with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and Everest with Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright and Keira Knightly.
In 2016, Debicki starred as Jed in The Night Manager, the miniseries adaptation of John le Carre's novel-of-the-same-name. The miniseries, which also featured Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman, premiered in the US on April 19, 2016 and soon-after, the show received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Limited Series. Also on the small screen, Debicki was seen in the highly-acclaimed Australian drama on Foxtel, The Kettering Incident. The show delivered consistently strong ratings and season one was ultimately acquired by Amazon Prime Video in the U.S.
On stage, Debicki most recently starred in David Hare's production of "The Red Barn", based on the novel La Main by Georges Simenon, at the National Theatre in London. The other cast included Mark Strong and Hope Davis. "The Red Barn" opened on October 6, 2016 and ran until January 17, 2017. Debicki also starred in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of "The Maids" alongside Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert. The show, based on a notorious murder case in which two homicidal sisters killed their mistress and her daughter, played as a part of the 2014 Lincoln Center Festival in New York.
Margot Robbie (Flopsy) is a talented actress who has captivated global audiences with breakout performances alongside some of the most notable names in film. Continually evolving her diverse body of work, Robbie brings gripping narratives to life in coveted roles that speak to her powerful on-screen presence.
Robbie currently stars in I, Tonya, as the titled character, Tonya Harding. She also served as a producer on the film under her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment and received an Oscar® nomination for her performance. The film tells the controversial story of Olympic figure skater, Tonya Harding, who infamously conspired to have her competition, Nancy Kerrigan, injured before the 1994 Winter Olympics. Craig Gillespie directs the screenplay by Steven Rogers. The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was released by Neon December 8, 2017.
Robbie has recently been seen in Simon Curtis' Goodbye Christopher Robin alongside Domhnall Gleeson. The film tells the story of Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne (Gleeson) and his wife, Daphne (Robbie). FOX Searchlight released the film on October 13, 2017.
Robbie is currently in production on Miles Joris-Peyrafitte's 1930s Dust Bowl drama Dreamland, which her production company LuckyChap Entertainment produced along with Automatik. Robbie stars in the film, which follows a 15-year-old boy who beats out the FBI and local police to find and capture a fugitive bank robber (Robbie), only to learn that she's far more than what authorities claim her to be.
She recently wrapped production on Josie Rourke's Mary Queen of Scots where she stars as Queen Elizabeth opposite Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart. The Focus Features project will take on the historic rivalry between cousins Elizabeth and Mary, when the latter attempted to overthrow Elizabeth's seat on the English throne.
Robbie has numerous film and television development projects under her LuckyChap Entertainment banner, all of which correspond to her objective of telling stories with strong female characters, the four most-notable being Bad Monkeys, Fierce Kingdom, Marian and The Paper Bag Princess.
Bad Monkeys, based on Matt Ruff's novel of the same name, centers around Jane Charlotte, who lands herself in the Las Vegas Clark County Detention Center after she is arrested for murder. Jane claims she works for a secret organisation, the Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons, also known as "Bad Monkeys". Universal Pictures optioned the rights to the psychological thriller to be adapted by Dylan Clark, with Robbie as a producer and Josey McNamara as executive producer.
LuckyChap Entertainment is producing Fierce Kingdom alongside Warner Bros. and Di Novi Pictures. The film, based on the Gin Phillips thriller novel, Beautiful Things, focuses on a mother and son trapped in a zoo with a gunman on the loose.
Additionally, LuckyChap will produce Marian alongside Donald De Line and Amy Pascal. Robbie is set to star as Maid Marian, who picks up the cause to lead her people into a pivotal war after the love of her life, Robin Hood, dies.
Finally, LuckChap is producing The Paper Bag Princess alongside Elizabeth Banks' Brownstone Productions, Bryan Unkeless' Clubhouse Pictures and Dan Krech. Universal Pictures has optioned the rights to the bestselling children's book of the same name.
Last summer, Robbie appeared in Warner Bros' Suicide Squad, playing the coveted role of Harley Quinn opposite Jared Leto, Will Smith, and Viola Davis. Robbie's portrayal of Quinn is the first time the villainous fan-favourite comic book character was revealed on the big screen. The film, directed by David Ayer, was released August 5, 2016 and currently ranks 9th in 2016 worldwide gross box office with more than $745,600,000 million. Robbie also portrayed the legendary classic character "Jane Porter" in David Yates' The Legend of Tarzan, opposite Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christoph Waltz. The action-adventure Warner Bros film was released on July 1, 2016 and grossed more than $356,700,000 million worldwide.
Robbie is perhaps best known for her breakout role in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street in which she stars as the female lead opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. Based on the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort, the film tells the story of a New York penny stockbroker (DiCaprio) who served 20 months in prison for refusing to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, the corporate banking world, and mob infiltration. Starring as DiCaprio's wife in the film, Robbie is joined by an all-star cast of actors including Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin, Jon Favreau and Kyle Chandler.
Additional film credits include: Paramount's Whiskey Tango Foxtrot opposite Tina Fey; Roadside Attraction's Z for Zachariah opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine; Warner Bros' Focus, opposite Will Smith; Suite Française alongside Michelle Williams, Kristen Scott Thomas and Matthias Schoenaerts; and About Time opposite Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson.
Robbie made her U.S. debut in the critically acclaimed ABC series, Pan Am, in 2011. The period drama depicted the lives of the pilots and stewardesses who once made Pan Am the most glamorous way to fly. Robbie starred as "Laura", a runaway bride, who fled a life of domestic boredom to take to the skies. The series was created by Jack Orman (ER, Men of a Certain Age), and also starred Christina Ricci.
In Australia, Robbie is most recognised for her role as "Donna Freedman" on the television soap opera Neighbours which chronicled the lives of the residents of Ramsay Street in the fictional Australian suburb of Erinsborough. Her role garnered her two Logie Award nominations for Most Popular New Female Talent and Most Popular Actress.
Born in Australia, Robbie grew up on the Gold Coast and eventually moved to Melbourne where she began acting professionally at the age of 17. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
James Corden (Peter Rabbit) is an Emmy Award winning host, writer, and producer, a Tony Award Winning actor, and a multiple BAFTA Award winner.
Corden is the host of The Late Late Show, which premiered on CBS in March 2015. He has won three Emmy Awards - one for Outstanding Interactive Program (2016), and two for Outstanding Variety Special (2016 and 2017) for The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special. Corden was nominated for two additional Emmy Awards in 2016 and 2017 for Outstanding Variety Talk Series and three consecutive Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Talk Show. Since Corden took over as host of The Late Late Show, the show has set YouTube records with over 3 billion views and has achieved the highest ratings, with any host, since the show's inception in 1995. The Late Late Show channel has a subscriber base of approximately 12 million, and holds the top 3 most watched late night videos on YouTube with Adele Carpool Karaoke, Justin Bieber Carpool Karaoke and One Direction Carpool Karaoke.
Corden is also the co-creator and executive producer of the new Carpool Karaoke series for Apple Music, which received a 2017 PGA Award for Outstanding Short-Form Program. Corden also serves as executive producer of Drop the Mic, which premiered fall 2017 on TBS.
Corden hosted the 70th Annual Tony Awards The 70th Annual Tony AwardS®, which had the highest viewers in 15 years, and won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Special Class Program". He was also the host of the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, and returned as host in 2018.
In the UK, Corden hosts the BAFTA Award winning UK sports-themed comedy game show "A League of Their Own", which airs on Sky 1. He was also host for the Brit Awards, the biggest event in the British music industry, from 2010 to 2014. Corden starred in, produced, and wrote the BAFTA nominated comedy thriller The Wrong Mans, which aired on the BBC and is also available on Hulu. In 2013, Corden was awarded the Royal Television Society Award for Comedy Writer of the Year for his work on the show.
Previously, Corden starred as 'Smithy' in the critically acclaimed BBC comedy series Gavin and Stacey, which he co-created and co-wrote. For this role, he earned the BAFTA Television Award for Best Male Comedy Performance in 2008 and the British Comedy Award for Best Male Comedy Performer in 2007. The series received the British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy in 2008, as well as the National Television Award for Most Popular Comedy Programme in 2010. Corden also starred in the British television series Fat Friends from 2000 to 2005, which earned him a nomination for the 2000 Royal Television Society Award for Network Newcomer On Screen and in 2011, he had a recurring role in the popular BBC science fiction series "Doctor Who" as Craig Owens, the Doctor's roommate.
On the big screen, Corden will next star in Ocean's 8 with Rihanna, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, and Sandra Bullock, among others for Warner Bros. He was last seen starring in the Golden Globe nominated feature Into the Woods with Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt; Begin Again with Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo; The Three Musketeers with Orlando Bloom; Gulliver's Travels with Jack Black and Jason Segel; How to Lose Friends and Alienate People with Jeff Bridges; and The History Boys with Dominic Cooper.
On stage, Corden attracted international attention as the lead in the hit comedic play "One Man, Two Guvnors", which he first performed at The National Theatre in London and then on Broadway. His performance garnered him the 2012 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play. His additional theater credits include the worldwide tour of "The History Boys" in the role of Timms, which he also played in the feature film adaptation.
Over the course of his career, Corden has been awarded the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Comedy Writer of the Year, the South Bank Show Award for Comedy, the TRIC Award for Best Comedy, and the National Television Award for Best Comedy.