The English actor voices big cat Bagheera in the live-adaptation version of Rudyard Kipling's classic tale, made famous on the big screen by Disney in 1967. Unlike co-stars Bill Murray and Christopher Walken, who voice Baloo and King Louie respectively, Ben's character doesn't sing, but the star thinks it suits Bagheera's sensible manner.

"I think I hum along, towards the end, with the famous song," he told Collider of the track I Wanna Be Like You. "But, Bagheera is military. I don’t think he’s given to humming or singing. I see him as General Bagheera.

"Knowing that Kipling was born in India, I based my Bagheera on the kind of British officer who would be stationed in India, at the time of the Empire, who would have a lot of people under his command. He probably loves his men under his command, but he’s a tough love coach. That military side of him, I really warmed to."

While all the animals are created via computer generated imagery (CGI), boy cub Mowgli is played by child actor Neel Sethi. Ben was able to spend a couple of days with the youngster and despite it not being much time in the overall scheme of things, it helped the thespian get into the right mindset.

"I knew him and I knew his energy, his curiosity, and that wide-eyed courage that Neel and Mowgli have," Ben smiled. "I was able, even though he wasn’t there, to access that, as an actor, when I was alone in the studio. Also, dear Jon (Favreau, director) showed us footage of certain scenes, as well, so that I could see his body language, how he was talking and how he was listening to me. You speak very differently to someone who is half-listening than you do to someone who is giving you their full attention. All of that was great input for me."