Rowan Atkinson has had enough of playing Mr. Bean as he admitted in a recent interview that he finds the role stressful.
The 66-year-old English actor debuted the childish character, who enjoys spending time with his Teddy more than with actual people, in the wildly popular sitcom in January 1990. Since then, it has become a global phenomenon and spawned several iterations: films, books, and animated series.
The iconic character continues to gain a loyal following even after 30 years since its introduction. Suffice to say, people normally associate Atkinson with Mr. Bean. Despite its success, the actor admitted that he no longer wants to portray the childish character on screen.
"I don't much enjoy playing him. The weight of responsibility is not pleasant. I find it stressful and exhausting, and I look forward to the end of it," he told the U.K. magazine Radio Times.
However, Atkinson does not rule out returning as Mr. Bean in an animated series as he finds it easier to "perform the character vocally than visually." As such, he revealed that he is in the "foothills of developing an animated movie for Mr. Bean."
The "Johnny English" star added that the success of Mr. Bean does not surprise him. He said the character's ability to make comedy visual instead of verbal makes it an international success. He also understands why viewers find the character funny as " watching an adult behaving in a childish way without being remotely aware of his inappropriateness is fundamentally funny."
"It's very pleasing that people want to connect with Mr. Bean, but I have no desire to have any presence on social media. What happens there is a sideshow in my world," Atkinson replied when told about his character's social media following.
"He actually has a disproportionately high following in Muslim countries and places with stricter creative regimes than our own. A more verbal comic would have difficulties avoiding subjects that offend those with greater sensitivities. But it doesn't seem to be a problem for Mr. Bean," he pointed out.
Atkinson may be done portraying Mr. Bean on screen, but he is very much willing to reprise the antihero Edmund Blackadder in the 1980s BBC One series "Blackadder." He said his return is "certainly not impossible."