Visual comedy royalty Rowan Atkinson will return to screens with Man Vs Bee on June 24. After dabbling around with Maigret and the Johnny English franchise, the show will mark the actor’s comeback to the genre that earned him widespread acclaim. Ahead of the Netflix Original’s premier, Atkinson let the world know about the inspiration behind his “interest” in visual comedy.
In an interaction, the 67-year-old actor said, “I guess it must be a combination of some skill, and aptitude, and an interest in the discipline of visual comedy, which is something I’ve done quite a lot of.”
“I’ve always been inspired by visual comedians, and in particular, by a French comedian called Jacques Tati, of whom you may have heard. I remember watching his old movies when I was very young and that was a great inspiration.” (h/t British Comedy Guide)
“It’s just having the opportunity to do that sort of thing, and having the aptitude to make it work, I suppose, or try to make it work. It’s something that not many people do in the modern world.”
Atkinson’s last statement can be understood in-depth, as many would struggle to name an actor like him. Hence, fans of this genre will be expectantly awaiting the arrival of Netflix’s Man Vs Bee.
Rowan Atkinson didn’t have any trouble without co-stars on Netflix’s Man vs Bee
In Mr. Bean, Atkinson performed without dialogue barring the occasional, “Bean.” Even with his lack of words, he earned a place in everyone’s hearts with his sincere expressions that conveyed feelings of joy, surprise, sorrow, and disgust. Most of his scenes were without a co-actor, with his gags taking center stage. Hence, Rowan Atkinson has no issues with having no other actor in his takes, as he has made a career out of acting for the fourth wall.
He said, “Well, as Mr Bean I’m someone who’s often on set, or in a situation, without any other actors. So I’m quite used to sort of self-generated motivation, I suppose, to tell the story or whatever you want the scene to tell.”
In his upcoming Netflix Original, he acts opposite a bee. Hence, some audiences may see Man Vs Bee as a sequel featuring Atkinson (Trevor Bingley) against a familiar foe. He had previously encountered one as Mr. Bean in the episode ‘The Trouble with Mr. Bean’.
Fans could even draw parallels from Man Vs Bee’s microwave gag to the one where Atkinson tried to trap the bee in a book. Various other gags from the Netflix show could also draw viewers back to the fifth Mr. Bean episode.
Even if they don’t, this series can be the perfect platform to catapult visual comedians back into the limelight. Perhaps individuals who consume the show could find their Jacques Tati in Rowan Atkinson?
Did Rowan Atkinson’s inspiration surprise you?
Man Vs Bee will stream on Netflix on June 24.