‘Bean’ there done that! | Daily News

‘Bean’ there done that!

British comic Rowan Atkinson reveals that he doesn’t like playing Mr. Bean, as he finds it incredibly stressful and exhausting to perform the role.

The character made Atkinson a global superstar after he appeared in 15 episodes across five years in the 1990s.

Mr. Bean’s success made Atkinson synonymous with the strange, childlike man (who may be an alien), overtaking his previous creation, Blackadder, as his most successful role.

The show spawned two movies, 1997’s ‘Bean’ and 2007’s ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’, and a long-running animated series. Atkinson’s most recent appearance as the character in live-action came at the 2012 London Olympics.

The popularity of Mr. Bean was almost entirely down to Atkinson’s mostly wordless performance. The comic worked out the physical gestures and facial expressions down to the minutest detail, putting everything of himself into his performance and elevating the show’s juvenile humor into something that appealed to all audiences.

Most of the episodes involved the character getting himself into all sorts of trouble and even committing some near-atrocities while trying to navigate a mundane aspect of everyday life, such as going to church or going out for a meal.

As it turns out, though, the actor isn’t a fan of playing the role.

Speaking to Radio Times, Atkinson reveals that he prefers voicing Mr. Bean to playing him in live-action, saying that he can’t wait for it to be over whenever he plays him. He says he not only feels an enormous responsibility to the character but that it’s incredibly stressful and exhausting playing him, referring to the precise physical nature of the role.

Atkinson’s thoughts about playing the character might be surprising to some, but fans of the show will surely acknowledge it must be a challenging role to take on.

Most episodes of Mr. Bean required Atkinson to get into some physical confrontation or spend most of its running time pulling a ridiculous face, and it must be tiring to inhabit his strange physicality while shooting.

It’s also not surprising that Atkinson has made infrequent appearances as the character in live-action in the past 20 years, given his age, now 66.

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