He may be known in the local movie scene as a swoon-worthy leading man, but actor Xian Lim’s latest outing on the big screen challenged him to put on a different charm a second time around. There was neither a need for him to show off his lean physique nor boy-next-door looks because all this production needed was his voice.
Yes, the Filipino actor landed the unique gig of voicing English literature’s beloved Paddington bear all over again after his first outing in 2015. Back then, “Paddington’s” producers Studio Canal and Heyday Films gave the movie’s Philippine distributors, Captive Cinema, an option to cast a local actor to voice the main character, and Lim auditioned along with several other showbiz celebrities. Of the sample voice clips sent to the producers abroad, the matinee idol’s emerged the chosen one.
Lim—who was born and raised in US hence the absence of a British accent—did very well in bringing Paddington “closer” to the Filipino audience with his familiar voice, and was therefore sought anew for “Paddington 2.”
At the movie’s press conference, Lim admitted that as unique and enjoyable the experience of voicing a character was, he realized that it is by no means easier than acting in front of the camera.
“It was definitely challenging, and I think the most difficult part in being a voice talent is learning to conserve your voice from start to finish. There are scenes where you’ll be required to shout or laugh out loud, and that can really strain your voice. You have to be careful because you’ll be dubbing again the next day and your voice has to be intact,” he explained.
“But overall, I really have to say that dubbing Paddington is so much fun. I got to play around with emotions using my voice and I also got the ‘feel’ of London to give life to my character,” he added.
Based on the original story created by British author Michael Bond, the movie follows the adventures of an anthropomorphic bear that migrates from the jungles of Peru to England’s famous captal. There, the Brown family, who named him after the train station where they discovered the bear, adopts him, including all the trouble he gets into.
In the film’s second installment, Paddington, now settled with the Browns, takes on a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen. Naturally, he gets himself into a string of mishaps that will surely entertain the young and young at heart.
Asked how dubbing Paddington for the second time differed from the first, Lim paused and replied, “I enjoyed doing Paddington 2 more.”
Explaining he continued, “Why? Because there are more skits and jokes in this one whereas Paddington was just introducing himself to the audience in the first movie. In Part 2, it’s pure comedy, and his brand of comedy for me is very Filipino so I’m sure, tatawa and mag-e-enjoy ang audience.”
He is especially thrilled that Paddington 2 has him “acting” with British super star Hugh Grant among others.
Indeed, Lim, who just joined a new management team at the start of the year is showing much promise in his career for 2018. Even if it is just his voice starring in Paddington 2, it is still a movie project he can be proud of, and maybe even an avenue he can pursue for other foreign films.