At 54, Hugh Bonneville doesn’t limit himself to adult fiction.
Currently devouring Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third in J.K. Rowling’s bestselling series, “don’t for a minute think that books for children are preserved for the young,” the Paddington 2 actor tells Us. “So what if I’m a decade late to the party?”
Here, he shares his must-read children’s tales.
Stig of the Dump
As a 10-year-old in England, Bonneville was captivated by Clive King’s classic: “Like its protagonist, I had a den at the end of my garden and it was there that the story of Barney and Stig definitely, possibly, maybe took place.”
Michael Bond’s stories “mean a great deal to me,” he says. “Displaced from his native Peru, Paddington arrives in England, seeking the kindness of strangers. As a kid, I felt just like him when I moved schools. Paddington’s courtesy and spirit of inquiry makes him a role model for us all.”
His son Felix, now 16, found Andy Stanton to be a riot. While reading the series — about an eccentric old man who lives in the mythical Lamonic Bibber — as a young boy, recalls the star, “giggles became guffaws as he immersed himself in the stories.”
The Downton Abbey alum insists he’s not biased tower this David Walliams story. (It follows a girl and a homeless man who becomes friends.) “Yes, I play Mr. Stink in the TV movie,” he admits of the 2012 flick. “Yes, both the book and the film are enchanting!”
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl’s bestseller is “for those who enjoy their sweeties delicious but dangerous,” raves Bonneville, noting the tome is “hilarious and tastefully deadly. Or is all that the other way around?”
Paddington 2 — starring Bonneville, Hugh Grant and more — is now in theaters!
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