VIDEO: James Tupper Talks Penguin Costars

06/20/2011 at 05:30 PM EDT

Despite the freezing temperatures on set, James Tupper says working with penguins for his new film, Mr. Popper's Penguins, proved an "unbelievable" experience.

"They have this amazing quality where their chests are really open," he tells PEOPLE. "Anytime you see somebody like that, they're either on the dance floor or on drugs or something. So they're waddling around like that with this incredible openness and it created this energy on the set. When we got to work with them, it was kind of unbelievable."

But costarring opposite the aquatic birds did have some difficulties.

"You can't train a penguin to act," Tupper said. "You kind of have to take what you get."

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