On the eve of the release of a new Johnny English film, Johnny English Reborn, Rowan Atkinson talked to The Times' Ginny Dougary.On driving fast cars
“I always think the lap of a track is very similar to a ‘take' in a film – and the good thing about a film is you can do take after take and choose all the best moments – the best corners, if you like. The problem with motor racing is that every lap is different. So it's an exercise in discipline and craft – it's a craft which I don't claim to be brilliant at, but I'm good enough to be safe… most of the time.”On crying
“I cry too much and I find it strange. It must be indicative of some issue within me that I've yet to identify. Whether it's crowds or whether it's people being nice… Hospitals make me cry very, very easily. Merely entering a hospital – just sensing care, you know. People trying to help others, I find, inspires a very emotional response.”On straight acting
“You know, I'd love to play Richard II and so you think, ‘OK, well, you could have a good stab at it, maybe…' But if you're going to ask punters to pay real money to see it, then you should be doing it as well as anybody can. When I did those Chekhov plays in the West End [in 1988], there was a very successful show, The Sneeze, with myself and Timothy West and Cheryl Campbell. I remember doing it perfectly well but also a bit of me thought, ‘Surely Ian McKellen would have done this better?' ”
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Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.
Since when did Rowan Atkinson cry? No offense but he must have cried when he was hospitalized when he had a crash. Not having a car to get home was 1 thing; Worrying his family was another.