Mr Bean was a “self-centered and narcissistic anarchist”, according to his creator Rowan Atkinson.
The silent, self-sabotaging master of chaos was also, perhaps more generously, “a nine-year-old trapped in a man’s body,” according to Atkinson, whose portrayal of modern-day Charlie Chaplin amassed over 11 billion views. on YouTube only.
The character was only seen on British television for five years in the early 1990s, but continued to be seen around the world, with the series being sold to 245 countries and inspiring two feature films.
Atkinson, known for being far more serious in person than the characters he creates on screen, however accepts Mr Bean’s popular appeal, telling The Times: “A lot of people didn’t like the inevitable and justifiable feeling that things were going to go bad.”
Atkinson seems to have a fuller take on his latest character, Trevor, the protagonist of the upcoming, mostly unspoken, nine-part Netflix series. Man versus beewhich will be released on Netflix on June 24th.
Trevor is a divorced father whose scramble to fund a vacation with his daughter leads him to take on housekeeping duties. His responsibility to protect the modernist mansion owned by an absent wealthy couple is threatened by his growing struggles with a tireless bee.
Atkinson said of his new character, compared to Mr Bean, “Trevor is different. He’s a much nicer person and a lot kinder and more normal, I hope – and that was certainly our goal… he seems to be a gentle, well-meaning and perfectly intelligent man, but, of course, he has flaws, his weak points, and his weak point is his obsession.
The British star, whose acting skills have shone through TV shows like Not the nine o’clock news and black viper and on the big screen Johnny English and as a scene-stealing vicar in Four weddings and a funeral, tells The Times that, as funny as Trevor and his buzzy co-star are, he himself won’t be laughing. “I rarely laugh, physically, out loud at anything. I can just see when it works.