Daniel Kaluuya is an accomplished actor who’s worked with some of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood. But early in his career, Kaluuya worked with a famous comedian who made him do 25 takes for just one shot.
Rowan Atkinson, who is most known for playing the sweet but goofy lead in the Mr. Bean series and films, was Kaluuya’s co-star in Johnny English Reborn. And in his methodical approach to his scenes, Atkinson made Kaluuya shoot repeated retakes.
Daniel Kaluuya starred in the 2011 movie ‘Johnny English Reborn’
Kaluuya is an Academy Award-winning actor who earned worldwide praise for portraying Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton in the 2021 film Judas and the Black Messiah. But before landing his breakout role in Jordan Peele’s horror movie, Get Out, he appeared in the Johnny English sequel opposite Rowan Atkinson.
In Johnny English Reborn, Kaluuya plays Colin Tucker, an MI7 agent who begins assisting Atkinson’s titular character and becomes his trusted sidekick. The film, which also stars Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike, and Dominic West, was a box office success, grossing over $160 million worldwide.
Daniel Kaluuya had to shoot many takes of each scene because of Rowan Atkinson
Atkinson, who’s most known for his character Mr. Bean, is one of the U.K.’s most beloved comedians. And working alongside him proved a learning experience for Kaluuya.
In a recent appearance on Hot Ones, the British actor revealed that Atkinson was meticulous about his scenes while filming Johnny English Reborn. And that attention to detail resulted in them doing dozens of takes per shot.
“He works so hard,” Kaluuya told Sean Evans about Atkinson’s work ethic. “We had to do 25 takes of every single shot. He works so hard, he’s so detailed. He’s like methodical about every single thing he does.”
Kaluuya noted that he was only 21 when he made the film. But with Atkinson as his co-star, he gained a lifetime of experience. “Being next to him for so many months, I learned so much from him,” he added.
Kaluuya realized Atkinson’s dedication is what makes him so successful
While filming Johnny English Reborn, Kaluuya realized how committed Atkinson is to his craft. And he credited the comedian’s success to his detailed and meticulous approach.
“When you look back at it, after knowing him, you realize why he’s so successful, why his work is so appreciated,” Kaluuya said on the red carpet at the Johnny English Reborn London premiere via Getty Images. “Because he’s really dedicated.”
Kaluuya noted that as Mr. Bean, Atkinson doesn’t speak a single word and relies only on his facial expressions and physical actions. “Having to sustain that and still tell a story is an amazing feat. You need to be 100 percent focused,” he suggested.
“That’s what I understood, that it’s such a hard task to do character work,” Kaluuya added. “He just has to zone in. That’s what’s amazing about him.”