There seldom comes a light as bright and messianic in the comedy genre like Rowan Atkinson’s Legendary Mr. Bean. His antics and shenanigans have managed to put a smile across the whole world. Everyone from the corners of the West to the nooks and crannies of the Orient would recognize his face. It was Mr. Bean that made Rowan Atkinson a legend, a household phenomenon when he appeared in over 15 episodes across 5 years in the 1990s. Atkinson’s eccentric portrayal of an equally eccentric personality turned him into a breakout star. But Rowan Atkinson has recently revealed that despite all the love Mr. Bean gets from the fans, he personally hated the character.
Mr. Bean gave Atkinson a spotlight that even outshone the fame he had gathered from Blackadder, his previous creation. The Mr. Bean show paved the way for two movies – the 1997 Bean and 2007’s Mr. Bean’s Holiday. Both the movies became cult-classics. The success of the character spawned an equally popular long-running animated series. Rowan Atkinson put on the shoes of Mr. Bean for the last time in 2012’s London Olympics.
Mr. Bean’s popularity lay in the fact that it used actions and gestures to cross the language barrier. The show had next to no dialogues. This allowed the show to have a global audience. Each episode of Mr. Bean involved the character going through the mundane aspects of daily life and somehow screwing things up in the most colossally funniest way possible. The comic actor was a master of expressions. He worked up the facial expressions and gestures down to the minutest of details, elevating the success of his character. Atkinson’s portrayal of Mr. Bean has won numerous awards and accolades in the international podium.
The Interview Where Rowan Atkinson Bared It All
All this fame that Mr. Bean has gifted Atkinson has not been enough for the latter to reciprocate his love for the character. While speaking during an interview with Radio Times, Atkinson opened up about his feelings regarding the character. He said he prefers voicing the character rather than playing him on screen in a live action setting. The physical nature of the job and the enormous legacy left behind by Mr. Bean means he has a burden too heavy to carry. These were his exact words:
It’s easier for me to perform the character vocally than visually. I don’t much enjoy playing him. The weight of responsibility is not pleasant. I find it stressful and exhausting and I look forward to the end of it.
Rowan Atkinson’s words may astound a few. But many would understand his position. Rowan Atkinson, fort all his actin prowess, is still a human being. The enormous responsibility of Mr. Bean, sometimes (if not always), challenges him in ways even an actor of his caliber isn’t ready for. Playing Mr. Bean involves artificially putting on a ridiculous expression and a tiring physicality for long periods of time.
Why Mr. Bean Is MIA Nowadays
Therefore it is not surprising that Atkinson, now 66, has made so few and infrequent appearances as the character ever since. This might also be the reason why he liked his character in Blackadder more than Mr. Bean. Unlike the latter, the former show involved the entire crew shouldering the responsibility of the show’s success.