45 Interesting Facts About Rowan Atkinson – Mr. Bean

Rowan Atkinson is an English actor, comedian, and screenwriter, who has gained worldwide fame through his performance as Mr. Bean. Here are 45 facts about the actor:

  1. British Newspaper The Observer listed him among the 50 funniest actors in the British industry.
  2. The voice that Atkinson uses for the character Bean is the same voice he used several years before in 1979. He used it for the sketch “Man who likes Toilets” in the show “Not the Nine O’clock News”.
  3. Atkinson has a stutter for which he has to stress on words particularly those starting with B. Each time he says his character name Bean, one could hear the stress on the letter B.
  4. The character Bean was originally developed by Atkinson during his time at Oxford University from where he completed his master’s degree.
  5. He was born as Rowan Sebastian Atkinson on 6 January 1955 in Durham England. He was born to Erik Atkinson, a farmer and Ella May.
  6. He has 3 elder brothers: Paul, who died in infancy, Rodney, a Eurosceptic economist and Rupert.
  7. He finished his degree in Electrical Engineering from the Newcastle University. He completed his education from Durham Choristers School, a pre-school and St. Bees School.
  8. He gained his national popularity at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 1976. He was part of Oxford Revue, a comedy group that includes students from Oxford University.
  9. For a radio comedy show for BBC Radio 3 titled “The Atkinson people”, he would enact great fictional men who are interviewed on various topics. The script was written by himself along with Richard Curtis.
  10. Atkinson’s first ‘straight man’ for the comedy shows was Angus Deayton. His first act after finishing university was successful and was filmed for a television show.
  11. Before the beginning of the second series of “Not the Nine O’clock News” he appeared along with Griff Rhys Jones to apologize for the previous sketch they made on Freemasons. It had caused a great deal of embarrassment and insult to the Freemason organization.
  12. In one of the sketch in “Not the Nine O’clock News”, characters played by Atkinson, Mel Smith and Jones abduct children and ship them to BBC for children’s TV show hosted by Rolf Harris. Incidentally, Harris was indeed convicted in 2014 on 12 accounts of sexual assault.
  13. Atkinson along with Curtis had developed an idea for the historical sitcom during the shooting of “Not the Nine O’clock News” which later came out as “The Blackadder”.
  14. According to Atkinson “Mr. Bean Holiday” in 2007 would be the last time he plays the character Bean. He felt he was growing too old to play the part.
  15. According to him he had no idea about the character Blackadder upto the moment when cameras started rolling. He didn’t know how to play the character and what sort of voice to be used for the character.
  16. He met his wife during the filming of “Blackadder II” in 1986. His wife Sunetra Sastry was a makeup artist for this show.
  17. Atkinson’s character Blackadder did not sport a beard in this third season. It was due to his then girlfriend who did not like it.
  18. The reason behind the cancellation of further Blackadder series was speculated to be the war between the script writers and the cast. Atkinson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie being actors and writers started questioning the script by Curtis and Elton.
  19. Out of the four Blackadder seasons Atkinson was the script writer for only the first season. Ben Elton took over the next three seasons along with Curtis.
  20. The final episode “Goodbyeee” of the season “Blackadder Goes Forth” was written in response to the criticism that World War 1 was not appropriate for the comedy series.
  21. He reprised the role of Mr. Bean in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics performing the sketch “Chariot of Fire”.
  22. He appeared in “Top Gear” in July 2011 and placed himself on top of the leaderboard with the timing of 1.42.2 driving around the track in a Kia Cee’d. Matt LeBlanc later replaced him on the top with a record time of 1.42.1.
  23. His first movie was James Bond’s “Never Say Never Again” in 1983 with a supporting role of a humorous Nigel Small Fawcett.
  24. He played an important part of Dr. Schooner in the short comedy film “The Appointments of Dennis Jennings” in 1988 that received an Oscar.
  25. In the final scene of the 1989 movie “The Tall Guy” where a car is driven to the hospital is the Blue Aston Martin, which belongs to Atkinson.
  26. Similar to the scene in the movie “The Tall Guy” when the character Dexter is pulled over by the police for speeding, Atkinson was also pulled over in his real life driving the same car from the movie. He received a driving ban after the incident.
  27. He played the part of Dexter Hayman in the 1993 movie “Hot Shots! Part Deux” with Charlie Sheen in the lead character, which is a parody of the famous “Rambo 3”.
  28. He gained more recognition for his performance as Father Gerald in the movie “Four Weddings and a Funeral” in 1994. It is his most famous movie of his own.
  29. Initially Sheen was considered for the part of Father Gerald as they thought the role was a mere cameo and a small role for an actor like Atkinson.
  30. In the animated movie “The Lion King” in 1994 he lent his voice to the bird Zazu. Every English comedian were either considered or tried for the role. The bird Zazu was also modeled on Atkinson’s famous character Bean.
  31. He played the character Enrico Pollini an Italian tourist in the movie “Rat Race” in 2001 which was initially scripted to be a Chinese diplomat.
  32. The Aston Martin car that he uses in the movie “Johnny English” in 2003 is his own car. It was not the first time he used his own car in a movie.
  33. His character in “Johnny English” is based on the character he portrayed in a series of television commercials for Barclaycard. The poison dart pen used in the movie was also part of the commercial.
  34. In the first scene of “Johnny English” he is shown in his office just after the dream sequence, with what is known as a classical Mr. Bean outfit.
  35. In the “Johnny English Reborn” in 2011, the car V16 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe was developed for the movie on his behest. He had requested at the BMW personally to put the V16 engine into their 100EX coupe prototype.
  36. Atkinson’s daughter Lily Atkinson played a cameo part as a girl from whom he steals a helmet during his wheelchair chase scene in the movie “Johnny English Reborn”.
  37. During the 1980’s he was in a relationship with actress Leslie Ash before he met Sunetra Sastry.
  38. He married Sastry in February 1990. They have two children: son named Ben and daughter named Lily. The couple got divorced on 10 November 2015.
  39. Once during a trip to Kenya the pilot of the private plane lost consciousness. Atkinson studied the plane until the pilot recovered and was able to fly back to UK.
  40. Being a big car enthusiast he has written for many British Car magazines such as Car, Octane, Evo and SuperClassics. For the SuperClassics in 1995 he had reviewed the McLaren F1.
  41. He had appeared in a TV movie in 1995 titled “Full Throttle” as a race driver Henry Birkin. He also holds a lorry driving licence which he gained in 1981.
  42. Once he crashed his McLaren F1 into the back of a Mini Metro. Though it wasn’t a serious damage, McLaren was priced at around $1,000,000 and the Metro was priced at $600.
  43. He again crashed his McLaren in 2011 into a tree causing fire. It took more than a year repair it. Considered to be the highest insurance payout in Britain he received pound 910,000.
  44. I July 2001, at the Croft Racing Circuit in Darlington, he crashed his Aston Martin V8 Zagato while participating in the Aston Martin Owners Club. However he escaped unhurt.
  45. One car that he doesn’t want to own is Porsche. He stated in an interview, "I have a problem with Porsches. They're wonderful cars, but I know I could never live with one.”

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