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Why Tom Hiddleston and Eddie Redmayne don’t sound like themselves in Early Man

Tom Hiddleston in the studio with director Nick Park

Often when celebrities provide the voices for animated characters, they sound exactly like their famous selves. Even Shrek is reminiscent of Mike Myers’ famous Scottish characters. Tom Hiddleston and Eddie Redmayne don’t sound anything like themselves in Early Man.

The animated film from the creators of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, Early Man stars Redmayne as Dug, a caveman who tries to help his tribe evolve. Perhaps Dug is what Redmayne sounded like as a teenager, before we knew him.

Eddie Redmayne with his animated character Dug

“He asked me how old is Dug?” Early Man director Nick Park said. “I said about 15 and he suddenly went much more youthful. He puts a lot into it energy-wise. I knew immediately he was right. I love the way he just did it immediately.”

Redmayne was committed to Early Man from early on.

“The moment I got in the recording booth with Eddie, he agreed to come do a test,” Park said. “I loved this sort of quality he has.”

Dug and his tribe

Hiddleston plays the villain Lord Nooth. Nooth comes from the Bronze Age and thinks his people are more sophisticated than cavemen. Naturally, he has a pompous French accent.

“Tom was great at doing the accent,” Park said. “Lord Nooth happens to be French but that was not any comment on French people. It just worked better for us.”

It’s already a stretch that cavemen speak with British accents, but then Early Man does claim it is prehistoric Manchester.

Lord Nooth (voice of Tom Hiddleston)

“We tried different accents and Tom Hiddleston who played Lord Nooth, he can do anything,” Park said. “We even tried a British accent on him, but then we felt there’s a lot of British villains. That’s fine, there are some great ones.”

Hiddleston definitely embraced the goofiness of Lord Nooth.

“It just worked because he’s not a dark villain,” Park said. “He’s not a sophisticated villain. He’s a pompous buffoon villain. Not that that’s a reason to be French but it just worked. It was just funnier to our ears.”

The French producers of Early Man agreed. “Even Studio Canal,who are in Paris who are backing the movie, they preferred the French version so we stuck with the French version,” Park said.

Early Man, starring Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston, is in theaters Friday, February 16.


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