Nechama Rivlin, President Reuven Rivlin's wife, is making her first foray into show business, with Israel's First Lady agreeing to a request made by the Lev Cinemas chain to provide her voice to one of the characters in the Hebrew-dubbed version of Paddington 2, to be screen in Israel this coming Passover.
The idea came to PR woman Hana Biran, an employee of Lev Cinemas, following a post Mrs. Rivlin made on social media this week memorializing the author who dreamt up the English bear, Michael Bond. Rivlin's post received hundreds of shares and inspired a nostalgic conversation among the ursine aficionados.
"Thoughts of children's books I loved fill with me with joy, and Paddington Bear—created by Bond—I loved especially. Through Paddington's adventures in the home of the Brown family we all learned about helping others and sympathising with their hardships. That forgotten creature who was rescued but had to learn to live in his adoptive home.
"Thoughts of children's books I loved fill with me with joy, and Paddington Bear—created by Bond—I loved especially," Rivlin wrote at the time. "Through Paddington's adventures in the home of the Brown family we all learned about helping others and sympathising with their hardships. That forgotten creature who was rescued but had to learn to live in his adoptive home.
"The book brings us a little close to the foreign and the different, the naïve immigrant, whose point of view exposes everything we take for granted as unassailable, despite the fact it should very well be changed. And how often do we walk past an injured bird or beast and look away, only so we don't have to take on the burden of caring for it."
The president's wife will be providing the voice of Gertrude in the movie, the wife of stern Judge Gerald Biggleswade. Rivlin will be entering the studio in the coming month to record her part, originally played in the movie by British actress and comedienne Maggie Steed, who has performed with the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company in Britain.
"We're exceedingly proud and happy to announce Mrs. Nechama Rivlin's willingness to join Paddington Bear's adventures," said Guy Shani, CEO of Lev Cinemas. "It's so spiriting to see how Paddington's character can move children as much as it can make them laugh, while teaching them important lessons about generosity, modesty and accepting the other along the way, values so synonymous with the Israeli presidency and the couple occupying it, Mrs. Nechama Rivlin and President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin."
In the second movie in the series, the mischievous bear is determined to find the perfect birthday present for his favorite aunt, Lucy, who's celebrating her centenary. To raise money for the gift, he undertakes a list of odd jobs, while someone else has altogether different plans in mind for Aunt Lucy's surprise.