Mr. Bean is one of the best comedic characters of all time. From the television show to his own movie, he’s just a perfect character. Like a living silent film brought to life in the real world, Mr. Bean gave actor Rowan Atkinson a chance to truly showcase his most excellent talents at physical comedy. If fans of Mr. Bean were hoping to see him pop up again, then, well, his actor has put the kibosh on that front.
In an interview with the Radio Times, Atkinson shared that he doesn’t plan on playing Mr. Bean again. He finds playing the iconic comedic character “stressful and exhausting”. Given how demanding the role is in live-action, it makes sense. Mr. Bean doesn’t really speak, he’s very physical. It’s physical comedy that Atkinson does and that can hurt after a while.
There is, however, a big “but” to him never playing Mr. Bean again.
Atkinson will never be the live-action actor for Mr. Bean again. He does, however, not mind playing him in animation. In fact, he said that he’s “in the foothills” of developing an animated Mr. Bean movie. He said, “It’s easier for me to perform the character vocally than visually.” Again, it’s not that much of a surprised as it’s a physically demanding role.
Atkinson did expand on why, as an actor, he finds it difficult to play Mr. Bean, “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.” And that’s that on that, apparently. No more live-action Mr. Bean.
Atkinson is not an actor known for merely playing Mr. Bean. He has a lot of great classic comedy series to back him up. Right up there is Blackadder. This 80s comedy series came from Atkinson, Ben Elton, and Richard Curtis, hopping all throughout history and following the Blackadder family. It’s one of the best comedies of the 80s. Elton has said he doesn’t see the series getting a revival.
Atkinson, thirty years on, will not rule it out. Talks, apparently, have been happening about a revival, but he wouldn’t get into further detail. He said, “That’s about as optimistic as I can be and I’d rather not speculate on when it could be set.” Blackadder also had Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie in the cast as well, which…yes. Alright. Let it happen.
On cancel culture
Does anyone really want to hear the actor who played Mr. Bean & Johnny English weigh in on cancel culture? No. Well, you’re hearing it anyway. In the interview, Atkinson shared his thoughts on the matter. He compared the atmosphere of cancel culture to a mob that’s welding torches and pitchforks. Not a bad metaphor for some aspects of it, but people should be called out if they’re being racist/sexist/homophobic.
He said, “It’s important that we’re exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion, but what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn. So it is scary for anyone who’s a victim of that mob and it fills me with fear about the future.” It comes across as a very old man response, to be honest. Say what you want, but, well, words have consequences.
Granted, cancel culture is a complex subject that gives most people a headache. But, yes, if someone does something wrong, then there should be consequences for that action. It’s really that simple, Mr. Bean. Yes, it applies to all sorts of famous people: actors, musicians, politicians, etc. Does it always work? No. But people should feel the heat when they act a fool.