Mr Bean Comes to China in 'Top Funny Comedian: The Movie'
Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean character is getting a new lease of life in a movie alongside some of China’s top comedians and crosstalk actors.
Atkinson’s character, which is known as 憨豆先生 Hān Dòu Xiānshēng, or “Mr Foolish Bean” in Chinese, will star in Top Funny Comedian: The Movie or 欢乐喜剧人 Huānlè Xǐjùrén, which premieres on January 28, the first day of the Spring Festival.
The film (watch the trailer here) is based on popular variety show in which China’s top comedians compete, so it’s anybody’s guess how it will be adapted into a movie. Early reports suggest it will be set in Beijing and Macau.
His Chinese co-stars include Guo Degang 郭德纲, Yue Yunpeng 岳云鹏, Xiao Fei 小斐 and other comedians and cross-talk luminaries.
Guo claims he was forced to communicate with Atkinson through body language during the shooting, as he speaks very limited English and Atkinson speaks no Mandarin.
“Just with facial expressions and gestures we seemed to understand each other,” Guo was quoted as saying at a promotional event in Beijing last week. “It was really an interesting experience, which proves that comedy can cross boundaries.”
Atkinson is apparently excited about working with China’s top comedian according to one of the film’s producers who also claims it was the Brit who suggested he perform as his most famous character in the film.
Mr Bean’s mute, slap-stick humor travels well around the world because it doesn’t need any translation. Mr Bean's Holiday (憨豆的黄金周), released in 2007, earned RMB 22 million (USD 3.2 million) at the Chinese box office.
It’s not the bumbling Brit’s first time in China. In 2014, Atkinson visited the Shanghai Expo Center and shot a Snickers commercial while in character.