The British comedian brings back his signature character for his first appearance in a Chinese film.
Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean character has a new lease on life in a new 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 Spring Festival/Chinese New Year.
The film (watch the trailer here) is based on a popular variety show in which China’s top comedians compete, so it’s anybody’s guess how it’s been adapted for film. Early reports suggest it takes place 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.
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 (US$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.
— This article originally appeared on the Beijinger.