Rowan Atkinson : biography
The pilot episode of the project appeared in 1990, and creators of the film, who were slightly surprised with general delight, soon began to get awards and prizes – among them “Emmy”, “BANFF”, “ACE” and many others. Rights to show “Mister Bean” were bought by two hundred countries of the world. Rowan Atkinson, naturally, plated the main character, and he played his role so good, that in1995 cinema critics called him “new Charlie Chaplin”.
The actor explained Mr. Bean’s success very simply: this character, who was an adult according to his appearance, remained a nine year old boy inside himself. Bean’s image combined positive features with irresponsibility and selfishness, he left destruction and disasters after himself. Probably, that’s why children were a big part of Atkinson’s admirers – the comedian gave them an access to real “adult” humour, but never crossed the boundaries of family comedy.
But incredible popularity of the serial brought Rowan Atkinson a peculiar problem: Mister Bean became the main part of his life. A famous comedian played different roles afterwards, but he couldn’t get rid of a person in brown trousers forever – viewers saw an unpredictable Mister Bean in him…
Five years later he played Mister Stringer in an English film “Witches” (director Nick Roeg) – charming, but not so children’s fairy-tale. In 1993 Jim Abrahams invited Atkinson to play Dexter in parody comedy “Hot Head 2”. In 1994 a large-scale cinema project of Mike Newell started, Richard Curtis wrote scripts for it, and Hugh Grant played main roles. The first film was called “Four weddings and one funeral” and became one of the most successful films in British cinema history, collected nearly a quarter of million dollars in distribution. Rowan Atkinson appeared in one of the film’s episodes in a role oа father Gerald – an unpracticed priest, who conducted the wedding ceremony for the first time.
In 1995 he returned in television – he was invited to play the main part in a serial under the name “The Thin Blue Line”. This comedy was transmitted on BBC channel till 1997. Ben Elton’s script told about a life of provincial British policemen. The image of inspector Raymond Fowler became a part of Rowan’s grandiose achievements. The next comedian’s success was a short-length comedy-fantastic film “Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death” (director John Henderson) – a wonderful parody with uncomplicated plot. Rowan worked with Hugh Grant, Joanna Lumley and Jim Broadbent.
In 2000 he played a role of gynecologist James in a comedy “Maybe Baby”, and on the next year he appeared again in one of the main roles, played Enrico Pollini in “Rat Race”. This adventure comedy of David Zuker collected 85 million dollars in distribution, compensated costs of production nearly twice. In 2002 an American director Raja Gosnell made a charming mystical comedy “Scooby-Doo”with Atkinson on the base of the animated serial of the same name. Rowan, who had a role of Emile Mondavarious, an owner of the Terrible Island, played with Matthew Lillard, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. an English comedy “Agent Johnny English” was also very popular in 2003 – it was a parody for spy films, where Atkinson’s character had to turn from a simple worker into a super agent.
It is interesting, that fame hasn’t made Atkinson capricious and arrogant – he took very little roles, if he considered them interesting. For example, in 2003 besides the main character of the comedy about Johnny English, the comedian played a seller of jewelry – a secondary character in a romantic comedy of Richard Curtis “Real Love”.
In the new century Rowan Atkinson has reached all possible achievements and could afford vacation at least – but he continued to work and didn’t give himself a possibility to rest. And every gesture, every grimace was worked out on numerous rehearsals, the actor created even minute scenes with laborious work and was seldom pleased with himself. He didn’t doubt that he was an extraordinary and talented actor, Rowan simultaneously thought and thinks now, that the talent required huge costs from its owner.
Once he was asked, if he wanted to appear in a serious dramatic role. But Rowan answered this question sincerely, that he didn’t want to change his dramatic line – at least because didn’t see the point in disappointing viewers. And besides, the actor never concealed his respect to his characters, though strange and inadequate, but undoubtedly original. According to Atkinson’s words, the main character of a comedy should be asocial, asexual and touchingly naïve.
A famous comedian’s admirers are often inclined to identify Atkinson with characters which he showed on screen: bright, fussy and somewhat eccentric. But in real life the actor doesn’t resemble his characters absolutely. He is very reasonable, calm and not frank in spite of his fame, and, maybe, because of it, Rowan Atkinson has no special liking for journalists, who constantly try to poke their noses into his personal life. He prefers to give interviews as Mister Bean – nobody would ask such a nice person tactless questions.
However, the actor didn’t have any skeletons in the cupboard. He is married, happy in marriage and adores his wife, son and daughter. Though, Sanetra Atkinson often reproached her husband, that he prefers sport cars to her. Of course, that’s not true. Rowan actually likes cars and made an impressive collection of expensive sport cars, he knows all them to every screw and even can repair them. Generally speaking, he knows about technical equipment very much and in his spare time he writes articles for an English automobile magazine “Car”.
Rowan Atkinson admits, that sometimes he has very strange desire – to leave everything, establish a small transportation company and drive a truck personally. And someone hardly will doubt, that Mister Bean could have such a dream.