'Mr. Bean' Star Rowan Atkinson's Son Joins Gurkhas Army in Rare New Photos

British comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson, best known for his roles as Mr. Bean and Johnny English, has a son who is committed to British military service. Ben Atkinson, 26, is a Lieutenant in the British army and recently spent three months in Nepal to become a Gurkha officer. As a platoon commander in the special regiment, Atkinson had to learn the Nepalese language before joining the Gurkhas.

In addition to learning the language, Atkinson underwent a 10-week training and was introduced to the culture of the Gurkhas, which is a special unit of the British Army. The Gurkha Brigade Association’s newsletter wrote about Atkinson’s training. “Lt Atkinson grasped the language remarkably quickly,” the newsletter said.

“This may be attributed either to his language experience, having studied both Arabic and Spanish previously, or to his urgent requirement to learn the local Nepalese ‘chat-up’ lines,” it continued. “Learning Nepalese dance moves was a personal priority and Lt Atkinson was quick to establish an impressive ‘uthyo basyo’ (an up-down rapid squatting dance-move).”

Last year, Atkinson served as a guard of honor when French President Emmanuel Macron and then-Prime Minister of UK Theresa May visiting the British town of Sandhurst.


The elder Atkinson retired his famous character of Mr. Bean in 2012, although he has brought him back in several cameos since then. His last two films have centered around his James Bond parody, Johnny English. Last year, Johnny English Strikes Again, the third movie in the franchise, was released. When it come out in 2018, Rowan spoke with Collider about his two famous characters, Mr. Bean and English.

“I like the fantasy that they represent. Mr. Bean is a child trapped in a man’s body, and he behaves like a child. He’s got that anarchy and selfishness, but also love of fun and silliness,” he said. “It’s hard to play people who are silly, or who are inclined to be silly. I don’t think I’m a very silly person, so it’s just fun to go back to being a child again, which I get to do when I play Mr. Bean. Johnny English is not a child, but he’s also not much more than a teenager. He hasn’t really grown up yet. Mr. Bean is generally having fun, and Johnny English is having fun in his world. He loves this world which, by some weird series of circumstances, he’s been allowed to be in. It’s the world of a British spy. I’m sure he’s an admirer of James Bond because he thinks he’s James Bond, but he isn’t.”