Our favourite bear is back

Sam Joslin, 15, from south-west London, stars alongside the world’s favourite bear in Paddington 2

Q. You first played Jonathan Brown, the young son in the first Paddington film, three years ago. What was the audition like for that?
A. “I was 12 then and I think it was quite simple. I just had to read a bit of the script. This time, for Paddington 2, there was no audition – they just rang me up!”

Q. How do you deal with audition nerves?
A. “At every audition you get nervous, but I think it kind of helps you. It boosts your character and makes your performance a bit more electric.”

The Brown family, plus Julie Walters as their housekeeper, Mrs Bird, gather round the phone

Q. How did you feel when you first heard you got the part of Jonathan Brown?
A. “I knew it was a massive step forward. When I did The Impossible – a disaster movie about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami – I didn’t know much and was told what to do and how to feel. This time, I knew I could control it and really see what I could do.”

Q. What acting know-how did you pick up when you were filming Paddington 2?
A. “I would watch the other actors, like Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville, to learn from their acting. Hugh Grant tended to repeat his lines a lot to himself to get the perfect tone, which I think is quite a good method.”

Sam Joslin (top of stairs) as Jonathan Brown, Madeleine Harris as his sister, Judy Brown, and Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as their parents, Henry and Mary Brown in Paddington 2.

Q. What was the most challenging thing you had to do?
A. “The train scene was quite difficult and technical. I hadn’t done  a stunt before and I had to climb onto a moving train. I think I would rather do my own stunts, rather than have a stuntman, in future. It’s fun, more physical and a nice change.”

Q. How do you act opposite a character like Paddington, who is animated and so not really there?
A “It can be tricky, but I’m given an eye-line, usually a stick with a bit of Sellotape, to focus on and I imagine Paddington’s face.”

Q. Tell us how you got your first film role, in The Impossible?
A. “I was really lucky. A casting agent who visited my school was looking for someone who looked like the child character. They saw me and said, ‘Well, let’s see if he can act’

Q. What advice would you give to other young performers?
A. “Always learn your lines – and always believe in yourself. It’s a bit of a cliché, I know, but it’s a good one!”

Paddington 2 is released 10 November 2017.

As told to Nicola Venning