Rowan Atkinson is a famous British actor, comedian and writer. He is best known for his roles as Mr. Bean, a clumsy and hilarious character who rarely speaks, and as Lord Blackadder, a cunning and sarcastic historical figure, in the TV series of the same names. He has also starred in movies such as Johnny English, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and The Lion King. He was born on January 6, 1955, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He has a degree in electrical engineering from Newcastle University and a master’s degree from Oxford University. He has three children and is currently in a relationship with actress Louise Ford.
Here are some controversial quotes from Rowan Atkinson
- “To criticize a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous, but to criticize their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom.” This quote reflects Atkinson’s stance on free speech and religious satire. He has been vocal in opposing laws that restrict criticism or mockery of religious beliefs, arguing that they stifle freedom of expression and create a culture of censorship. He has also defended comedians who make jokes about religion, saying that they are not intended to offend but to challenge and provoke.
- “All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them.” This quote is similar to the previous one, but more blunt and uncompromising. Atkinson wrote this in a letter to The Times in 2018, in response to a controversy over a joke made by Boris Johnson about women wearing burqas. Atkinson argued that Johnson had the right to make the joke and that apologising for it would only encourage more complaints and demands for censorship.
- “The victimisation of individuals or corporations or groups of people is a very dangerous and difficult development. The fact that careers can be ruined and reputations can be savaged without any particular responsibility on the part of those who are doing it… we live in strange times.” This quote expresses Atkinson’s concern about the rise of cancel culture and online mob justice. He has criticized the tendency of some people to attack and vilify others for expressing opinions or making jokes that they disagree with or find offensive, without giving them a chance to explain or defend themselves. He has also warned that this could have a chilling effect on creativity and comedy.
- “I think I might have burnt my bridges with the outright silliness of so much of what I’ve done.” This quote reveals Atkinson’s regret about being typecast as a comedic actor and not being taken seriously for other roles. He has said that he would like to play more dramatic or serious characters, such as those in Dickensian novels, but he fears that his reputation as Mr. Bean or Blackadder would prevent him from being considered for such roles. He has also said that he does not enjoy playing Mr. Bean as much as he used to, and that he prefers to do more subtle and nuanced comedy.
- “I’m not a naturally funny man. I find that I can only be funny, if I become someone else.” This quote shows Atkinson’s modesty and self-deprecation about his comedic talent. He has said that he does not consider himself to be funny in real life, and that he relies on his characters and scripts to make people laugh. He has also said that he is a rather quiet and dull person off stage, and that he does not like being recognized or approached by fans.
- “I have always worried about things more than I should.” This quote indicates Atkinson’s anxiety and perfectionism. He has admitted that he suffers from stress and nervousness, especially before performing live or doing interviews. He has also said that he is very critical of himself and his work, and that he always feels that he could do better. He has described himself as a “worrier” who overthinks things and worries about the future.
- “You’re about as useful as a one-legged man at an arse kicking contest.” This quote is an example of Atkinson’s sarcastic and witty humor. He used this line in his role as Edmund Blackadder, a cynical and cunning anti-hero who often insults his dim-witted sidekick Baldrick. The quote is a humorous way of saying that someone is completely useless or incompetent at something.
- “Art is something that nobody laughs at and nobody makes any money out of is the attitude, which I would dispute.” This quote challenges the notion that comedy is not a form of art or a serious profession. Atkinson has argued that comedy is an art form that requires skill, creativity, and intelligence, and that it can have a positive impact on society by making people happy and stimulating their minds. He has also defended the right of comedians to make money from their work, saying that they deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.
- “Nope, I don’t enjoy work generally.” This quote contradicts the common assumption that comedians love their job and have fun all the time. Atkinson has said that he does not enjoy work as much as people think, and that he finds it hard and stressful. He has also said that he does not like being famous or being in the spotlight, and that he prefers to live a private and simple life.
- “The path of my life is strewn with cow pats from the devil’s own satanic herd!” This quote is another example of Atkinson’s humorous exaggeration. He used this line in his role as Mr. Bean, a clumsy and childish character who often gets into trouble or causes chaos wherever he goes. The quote is a funny way of saying that his life is full of bad luck or misfortune.
Here are some interesting facts about Rowan Atkinson:
- He has a degree in electrical engineering. Atkinson studied at Newcastle University and Oxford University, where he earned degrees in electrical engineering. He also wrote his master’s thesis on self-tuning control systems.
- He met his longtime collaborator Richard Curtis at Oxford. Atkinson and Curtis, who co-wrote and performed comedy revues together, met at the Oxford University Dramatic Society during the 1970s. They later worked on Not the Nine O’Clock News, Blackadder, Mr. Bean, and other projects.
- He won a BAFTA for his performance in Not the Nine O’Clock News. The sketch comedy show, which aired from 1979 to 1982, was a huge success and spawned several best-selling books. It won an International Emmy Award and the British Academy Award for Best Light Entertainment Programme of 1980. Atkinson also won the British Academy Award and was named BBC Personality of the Year for his role in the show.
- He played a bumbling vicar in Four Weddings and a Funeral. The 1994 romantic comedy, written by Richard Curtis and directed by Mike Newell, was a global hit and received several Oscar nominations. Atkinson played Father Gerald, who officiated the second wedding and made several hilarious mistakes.
- He voiced Zazu in The Lion King. The 1994 animated film, which is one of the highest-grossing films of all time, featured Atkinson as the voice of Zazu, the red-billed hornbill who serves as King Mufasa’s majordomo. He also reprised his role in the video game Kingdom Hearts II.
- He played Mr. Bean in two film adaptations. The character of Mr. Bean, a childlike and clumsy man who rarely speaks, was created by Atkinson and Richard Curtis for a TV series that ran from 1990 to 1995. The character became popular worldwide and was adapted into two films: Bean (1997) and Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007).
- He starred in the Johnny English film series. The spy comedy films, which parodied the James Bond genre, featured Atkinson as Johnny English, a hapless secret agent who always manages to save the day despite his incompetence. The films were Johnny English (2003), Johnny English Reborn (2011), and Johnny English Strikes Again (2018).
- He portrayed Maigret in a TV series. The detective drama series, based on the novels by Georges Simenon, starred Atkinson as Chief Inspector Jules Maigret, a French police officer who solves crimes in Paris in the 1950s. The series aired on ITV from 2016 to 2017 and consisted of four episodes.
- He loves fast cars and has a large collection of them. Atkinson is an avid car enthusiast and has owned several expensive and rare vehicles, such as an Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, a McLaren F1, a Honda NSX, and a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe. He also holds a UK truck driving licence and has participated in some racing events.
- He has three children with two partners. Atkinson married Sunetra Sastry, a makeup artist, in 1990 and they had two children: Benjamin and Lily. They divorced in 2015 after separating in 2014. He then started dating Louise Ford, an actress, in 2013 and they had a son named Isla in 2017