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Hugh Laurie gets into holiday spirit in 'Arthur Christmas'

November 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
On the big screen, Hollywood is feeling very family-friendly this holiday weekend.

Hugh Laurie is one of the many talented actors lending his voice to the holiday-themed family film, "Arthur Christmas."

"I loved doing it, I loved the whole experience of it," said Laurie.

Laurie is sure producers cast him in the role of Santa's Son "Steve" not just for his voice, but because of the resemblance to the physically fit animated character.

"Thank you for noticing that. No one's brought that up often enough, that I obviously share his physique," said Laurie. "I think he's a fine figure of a man and I was honored to be chosen from the many, many contenders."

For Laurie, a big part of the fun of a project like "Arthur Christmas" comes from being encouraged to improvise.

"So much of the delight of animation actually exists in the tiny details of the voice," said Laurie. "The smallest details can just throw open the door on a character or situation and make people see things in a totally different way. It can be tremendously funny or very poignant, so I think any good animation director would be looking constantly to encourage exploration and experimentation."

Seeing a film like "Arthur Christmas" can push us all into the holiday spirit. And this Brit-turned Los Angeles resident thinks we can all use a little help.

"California, 85 degrees and fake snow in the shopping malls, that takes a little bit of getting used to," said Laurie. "But the fact is people still want it. It's interesting even Californians want that feeling, the wintery feeling- that sort of Charles Dickens Christmas. We all do, we all hanker for it."

You'll also hear James McAvoy's voice in the role of "Arthur." The film is rated PG and is in theatres on Wednesday.

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