If you’ve seen the trailer for Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” you most likely saw the live-action Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and friends from the fictional Hundred Acre Wood playing in a real world alongside real actors like Ewan McGregor.
While the internet seems divided over whether or not the characters are cute or creepy, one thing is clear: they were not easy to act with.
At the press junket for the upcoming film in Beverly Hills, CA, Jim Cummings, the long-time voice actor of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger said that both “Ewan and Hayley (Atwell) should win Oscars for their ability to act to stuffed animals.” It, indeed, was the method that all the real-life actors had to do before the CGI characters were added in later.
“We had multiple stuff Poohs and the others on set in different variations,” said director Marc Forster. With some recent acting school graduates he had hired plus Cummings Pooh and Tigger voices put into the actors’ ears, he asked each of them to manipulate these Pooh ‘puppets’ like their characters would in an animated world right on set so that the actors like McGregor and Atwell could act to them.
“It really was a strange scene to see while filming it all, but both Ewan and Haley pulled it off. They emote to something that isn’t real and that’s crazy good acting,” Forster said.
McGregor and Atwell seemed to have agreed with their colleagues assessments on their very Oscar-worthy acting abilities. “Apart from thinking these ‘puppets’ were like cherished pets, I didn’t have much to work with,” McGregor said. Atwell added laughingly, “But we’re actors. They pay us to make you believe us.”
“Christopher Robin” comes to theaters on August 3.