Rowan Atkinson finds playing Mr Bean ‘stressful and exhausting’ and looks forward to ‘end of it’

Actor has portrayed iconic character since the Nineties

Annabel Nugent
Tuesday 05 January 2021 11:59 GMT
25 years of Mr Bean

Rowan Atkinson has said that he does not enjoy playing Mr Bean

Atkinson has portrayed the iconic comedy character since 1990, and is working on a new animated film that will mark the return of one of his most popular roles.

Despite the new Mr Bean venture, the actor has revealed that he looks forward “to the end of it”.

“I don’t much enjoy playing him,” Atkinson told Radio Times. “The weight of responsibility is not pleasant. I find it stressful and exhausting, and I look forward to the end of it.”

The Johnny English star continued to discuss the worldwide popularity of his character, stating: “Mr Bean’s success has never surprised me.”

Actor Rowan Atkinson in character as Mr Bean trains on a rowing machine as Brodie Holland of the Magpies looks on during the Collingwood Magpies AFL gym training session at the Lexus Centre on March 9, 2007 in Melbourne, Australia. (Getty Images)

He added: “Watching an adult behaving in a childish way without being remotely aware of his inappropriateness is fundamentally funny. The fact the comedy is visual rather than verbal means it has been successful internationally, too.”

Atkinson played Mr Bean in 15 episodes of Mr Bean between 1990 and 1995, reprising the role in two feature films, Bean and Mr Bean’s Holiday, released in 1997 and 2007 respectively.

The 65-year-old also admitted that he doesn’t “actually like the process of making anything”. 

However, he stipulated that BBC historical comedy Blackadder was a “possible exception”, for the reason that “the responsibility for making that series funny was on many shoulders, not just mine”.

To the delight of Blackadder fans, the star also revealed that the beloved Eighties sitcom – which starred Atkinson as Edmund – could return in the future

He told the publication: “It’s certainly not impossible. That’s about as optimistic as I can be.”

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