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Despite their numerous Hollywood credits, it turns out that brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth have never acted together on screen.

But that has now changed, as the Australian siblings have joined up (albeit via Zoom) with a host of other celebrities to read Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.

The brothers play the hero’s villainous aunts – Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker – in the first episode of the much-loved tale.

The story, which was originally written by Dahl to entertain his daughters, will be raising money for both Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and Partners in Health, which are fighting coronavirus around the world.

Led by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi, stars including Meryl Streep, Ryan Reynolds and Benedict Cumberbatch will tell the story in full across 10 episodes.

All actors will perform from their own homes, allowing a tantalising peak into their living rooms, offices and kitchens around the world.

Streep will join the cast in the second episode
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Streep joined the cast in the second episode

The line-up of readers, from the world of film, TV, fashion and music, have over 40 Emmys, Grammys, Oscars and Tony award wins between them.

Other actors lending their storytelling skills include Cate Blanchett, Cara Delevingne and Lupita Nyong’o.

Waititi narrates the book and improvises sound effects throughout each chapter.

The New Zealander was recently announced as the writer, director and executive producer of two original Roald Dahl animated series for Netflix.

He’s also developing an original series based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an original show about Oompa-Loompas.

Avid reader Cumberbatch had a blast working on his episode
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Avid reader Benedict Cumberbatch also worked on the project

Speaking about the project, Waititi said: “This wacky, wonderful tale is about resilience in children, triumph over adversity and dealing with a sense of isolation which couldn’t been more relevant today.”

A former fighter pilot, Roald Dahl wrote 20 books for children during his career, and one of his books is sold every 2.5 seconds.

Dahl’s daughter Ophelia set up charity Partners In Health in 1987, and following the writer’s death in 1990, his wife Felicity set up the Marvellous Children’s Charity in his name.

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Speaking about the project, Ophelia said: “It will raise critical funds that will allow Partners In Health to invest in local health systems that deliver high-quality, dignified care to fight this disease.

“We’re so grateful to Taika Waititi and the Roald Dahl Story Company for pulling together this extraordinary initiative and amazing array of talent. It will undoubtedly help in the fight against the long-standing health inequities we see in many parts of the world.”

Every donation made to Partners in Health will be matched by the Roald Dahl Story Company and partners.

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity provides specialist nurses to seriously ill children in the UK and Partners in Health is helping fight COVID-19 in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world.

The first episodes of James And The Giant Peach, With Taika And Friends are now available on the Roald Dahl YouTube channel, with new episodes released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm UK time.



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