While some actors star in adverts that western audiences will likely never see, Rowan Atkinson has done an entire movie.
Dusting off his rubber-faced alter-ego Mr Bean, he appeared on stage at the launch of ‘Top Funny Comedian: The Movie’ in Bejing yesterday.
Mugging for the cameras, and dressed in his trademark tweed suit, he took to the stage with Chinese comedy stars Guo Degang and Yue Yunpeng.
‘Top Funny Comedian’ is a TV comedy and variety show that Degang and Yunpeng star in, with Atkinson’s Mr Bean taking on a lead role in the movie version.
Bean is hugely popular in Asia, where he’s known as ‘憨豆先生Hān Dòu Xiānshēng’, translated as ‘Mr Foolish Bean’.
Speaking about the barriers in making the movie, Degang explained that with his lack of English and Atkinson’s lack of Mandarin, they had to communicate non-verbally.
“Just with facial expressions and gestures we seemed to understand each other,” he said. “It was really an interesting experience, which proves that comedy can cross boundaries.”
The 2007 movie ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’ was a big hit in China in 2007. Though the movie market was considerably smaller back then, it still grossed over £2.4 million in China alone, and saw him return in 2014 to film a Snickers advert in character.
Atkinson will next be seen on UK screens reprising another of his famous roles – that of the salesman Rufus from ‘Love Actually’ in the 10-minute ‘sequel’ being made for Comic Relief.
It airs on March 24.