Rowan Atkinson, also known as Mr Bean around the world, has revealed that he did not really enjoy playing the beloved comic character that has now become synonymous with his name.
According to a report by DailyMail, the actor, who is 65, said that the only role he really enjoyed playing during his long career was Blackladder. That is because he did not feel the “weight of responsibility" to be funny all the time. He also added that Blackladder would not be returning.
Mr Bean, which ran from 1990 to 1995, became an iconic role and one of Britain’s funniest comic shows. It went on to have an animation spin-off and two big screen movies as well.
Atkinson said that Mr Bean’s success did not surprise him since watching an adult behaving in a childish manner is “fundamentally funny." Moreover, since most of Mr Bean’s comedy is visual instead of verbal, it allowed people across the world to connect with him and relate to him. A more visual comedy, according to Atkinson, could end up offending “those with greater sensitivities."
However, Atkinson said that he did not quite enjoy playing the character. He said that he found it rather stressful and exhausting and was waiting for it to end. “I find it stressful and exhausting, and I look forward to the end of it," he said.
In the same interview, Atkinson also spoke about the cancel culture that has become more intrusive in the digital age. Atkinson likened cancel culture to the digital version of the medieval mob.
He said that he felt fear about the future and this cancel culture had “widened divisions in society and lowered tolerance."
He said that social media results in a binary view of society and that there are only two sides - either for or against. If someone is against something, they are immediately cancelled. He said that it is scary for anyone who is a victim of this digital mob.