Rowan Atkinson

Brit builds a global empire with Bean character

When “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” opened domestically in August, Atkinson’s monosyllabic chap looked to be no match for the profanely verbal boys of “Superbad.”

And yet the British actor and his signature character weren’t done — not by a long shot.

“Holiday,” which took in a so-so $33 million at the Stateside B.O. for Universal, lived it up internationally, grossing a phenomenal $191 million. It was the latest success for a killer Bean who has spawned (to name just a few parts of its far-flung empire) a TV series, an animated show and a U.K. bestseller.

Point of view

“Although it would be rash to claim that ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’ is a groundbreaking movie, it came as something of a relief to discover that the character still ‘had legs,’ as they say, after 15 years of TV and film exposure,” Atkinson says.

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