Mr. Bean’s Excessively Long Troll Move on Alan Rickman While Making ‘Love Actually’

It drove Rickman so crazy he almost went all Hans Gruber
Mr. Bean’s Excessively Long Troll Move on Alan Rickman While Making ‘Love Actually’

Between Die Hard, Love Actually,and several of the Harry Potter movies, we should just rename Christmas “Alan Rickman Day” and celebrate it by rewatching Galaxy Quest next to a tree made entirely out of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves VHS tapes. But making the yuletide favorite, Love Actually, wasn’t always a walk in the park for Rickman, thanks to… Mr. Bean?

Love Actually famously combines the charm of Christmastime with the charm of a bunch of middle-aged dudes creeping on young women. One of these old blokes is Rickman, who plays Harry, the head of a design agency who’s married to Karen (Emma Thompson) and needs the perfect Christmas gift for his loving wife sexy young assistant that he desperately wants to boink. In retrospect, cheating on Emma Thompson is far worse than any crime committed at Nakatomi Plaza.

Harry sneaks away from Karen at a department store to surreptitiously buy some adulterous jewelry but is very nearly caught, thanks to the excessive gift-wrapping technique of an overly-meticulous clerk played by Rowan Atkinson. 

Apparently, Atkinson was no less painfully slow on set. According to director Richard Curtis, while they were filming this scene, the Mr. Bean and Blackadder star would luxuriate in ridiculously long takes that lasted up to 11 minutes each. At the end of every take, he’d insist on giving it another go, saying, “Let’s go back and do that. Let’s start again.” This might be typical if you’re making a Kubrick film, but it was a bit much when in the service of a movie mostly remembered for the part where a guy romances his best friend’s wife using cue cards. 

Understandably, this devotion to realism annoyed the hell out of Rickman, who “was there all the time going, ‘Grr, ugh.’” Which is at least a more measured response than he gave to John McClane’s wife’s coke-fiend buddy.

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