Hugh Grant reprises 'Paddington 2' role to send message to 4-year-old fan with cancer

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Hugh Grant as Phoenix Buchanan in Paddington 2. (Photo: Studiocanal)

A 4-year-old boy was “over the moon” to discover that Hugh Grant had reprised his Paddington 2 character Phoenix Buchanan to send him a message of support on Twitter.

The 59-year-old actor was responding to a video shared on Twitter by Graham and Rachel Bard, the parents of Nottingham, England resident Henry, who has high-risk Stage 4 neuroblastoma.

It showed young Henry, currently in lockdown, teaching his dad the dance Grant’s character does at the end of the the 2017 film.

“Henry makes us laugh and smile every day. We just wanted to try and make a few other people smile too,” Graham Bard explains to Yahoo Movies UK.

Grant responded with a video message captioned “Greetings from HMP Wormwood Scrubs” — a reference to a London prison.

“Hello Henry, Phoenix Buchanan here,” the 40-second message begins.

“I’m sorry that you’ve been locked up for so long in your house. But, you know, I’ve been locked up for the last five years, and the great answer is dancing, and can I say, your dancing is quite remarkable. I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart.”

Paddington 2 ends with conceited actor Buchanan incarcerated for trying to steal a hidden treasure, using a pop-up book that revealed the location of the loot. A scene that plays over the end credits shows Buchanan leading a production of “Rain on the Roof” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Follies with the other inmates.

“I wish I could say the same about your dad’s dancing,” Grant as Buchanan goes on, “But alas, I can’t. Anyway I wish you all the best, and if you happen to see that pop-up book, do let me know.”

“We couldn’t believe it when we saw the reply from Mr. Grant,” Graham Bard adds, who says Henry watches both Paddington films at least once a day.

“Not sure who was more excited, Daddy or Henry. H was genuinely over the moon, so excited he nearly exploded. ‘The ACTUAL Phoenix Buchanan’ is what he keeps reminding us. It's such a kind, selfless thing to do, he didn't need to.”

His family are currently fundraising for future treatments.

“Henry is a very happy, clever little 4-year-old who loves nothing more than dressing up as a firefighter with his little brother and best friend Oliver,” the fundraising page explains. “Henry is obsessed with anything fireman-related and tells everyone what's going to happen when he’s old enough to go to firefighter school.

“To get there Henry has to battle a disease no child should have to. He has high-risk neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer that has a 40-50 percent chance of long-term survival at diagnosis.”

Grant’s message was played by U.K. radio host Greg James on his BBC Radio 1 breakfast show, with the Bard family revealing that the actor was personally contributing to Henry’s fundraiser.

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