Camelia Pasandaran & Abdul Qowi Bastian
The mysterious man starring in the Indonesian film “Mr. Bean’s Obsessed With D.P.” is William Ferguson, a Rowan Atkinson look-alike and fellow Briton, the man’s talent agency confirmed on Tuesday.
The film — “Mr. Bean Kesurupan D.P.” — stars an actor who mimics Atkinson’s Mr. Bean character and his brand of goofy physical comedy in a film about a hopping “pocong” ghost obsessed with the dangdut singer Dewi Persik.
The film’s producer confirmed the mystery man’s identity.
“His real name is Bill Ferguson,” KK Dheeraj, of K2K Production, told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday. “At the [shooting] location we called him Bean, or Beanaly. But in the contract, his name is Bill Ferguson.”
The revelation is the latest development in the controversial saga of the film, which has left some Indonesians upset with Dheeraj for what has been described as a deceptive slight of hand to draw fans of Mr. Bean to theaters under false pretenses.
One of the disappointed moviegoers has filed a lawsuit with the Jakarta Police against Dheeraj and the other star of the movie, Dewi, accusing them of violating the consumer protection law.
Muhammad Zainal Arifin, who reported the case, said he had read online news that stated Dheeraj had secured Atkinson to costar as Mr. Bean alongside Dewi.
He cited a news portal that quoted Dewi as saying: “Thank God I can play with Rowan.”
He reported both of them as violating Consumer Protection Law, Article 8 and Article 9, and the criminal code. Article 8 states that business people should not produce or sell goods or services that are not the same as the advertisement or promotion of the good or service. Violation of this article carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to Rp 2 billion ($212,000).
Article 9 of the law states that businesses should not offer, promote or advertise goods or services falsely or concealing a hidden defect.
Besides the statements from Dheeraj and Dewi, Zainal said the movie’s promotional poster led him to believe it would be Atkinson in the lead role.
However, Dheeraj said that he never deceived his audiences.
“I have already explained that I never wrote Rowan Atkinson’s name in the poster,” he said. “I did not deceived the public.”
Dheeraj said the character of Mr. Bean can be played by any actor, explaining that the character’s name was not the property of Atkinson.
“In Malaysia, there is a peanut snack named Mr. Bean; in Singapore there is a coffee shop named Mr. Bean Coffee,” he said. “For sure they do not belong to Rowan Atkinson.”
Dheeraj added that Ferguson, who works for the agency A-List Lookalikes & Entertainment, has played the role of Mr. Bean several times in Britain.
“He was called ‘Mr. Bean’ in Britain, holding the teddy bear and has Mr. Bean’s style,” Dheeraj said. “In Britain, there are dozens [of actors] playing Mr. Bean’s character, but no one is upset.”
Asked why he had not been clear about the actor’s true identity from the beginning, Dheeraj said that it was part of the business.
“You would not have said that if you were in my position,” he said.