Sunday 17 December 2017

Rowan Atkinson on new Maigret films: Proof of the pudding in the eating

By Julia Hunt

The actor said he had a good ‘vibe’ about the reaction to his portrayal.

Rowan Atkinson has urged viewers to make up their own minds about his new Maigret films.

The comedian and actor, 62, received mixed reviews for his debut as the detective last year, but is returning to the character in new films Night At The Crossroads and Maigret In Montmartre.

Asked whether he is keen to make more, he said: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

“All I would ask is that people watch them and make their own mind up.

“I think they’ve got a lot of appealing qualities.

“And I like the world we’ve depicted. Virtually every shot in every location has an atmosphere which I think is unique. It’s enabled us to present a world that I hope people want to be part of, and people want to see.”

Rowan’s casting as the character initially surprised some critics, but he won many over with his performance.

He said he was not too aware of the reaction because “I tend not to read reviews”.

He added: “You just get a vibe from what people say to you in shops and things. Or what people don’t say to you.

“And the vibe seemed to be generally a positive one. So that’s good.”

The star said his Maigret has also developed as he has learned more about him, saying “all characters for me are a voyage of discovery”.

He said: “I’m very aware even of how, say, the Blackadder character developed over a period of years. I think by the end, he was more interesting.

“Although, of course, he went through many different periods.

“But nevertheless, it was a better-focused thing after the fourth series than it was in the first series.

“Even Mr Bean, we’re doing these animated cartoon versions of Mr Bean that I do the voice and the noises for, and I’m so aware, actually, how much more developed the character is now than when we first started doing him on television 25 years ago.”

Press Association

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