McLEAN, VA - This isn't what Chuck Banner had in mind.
When word spread across the internet that Rowin Atkinson had climbed back into his Bean-suit, Banner was as giddy as a schoolboy.
Banner sits at a desk in his McLean, Virginia, home, an in-law suite he rents from his parents. The home, which he lovingly refers to as his "Beanquarters," doubles as the home office of Where-You-Bean.com, an internet site devoted to the encouragement of Rowin Atkinson to revisit his world famous character.
Banner, 46, says, "The world premiere was in Singapore on March, 22nd, 2007, and let me tell you, if I hadn't already made plans to attend Anime-Con in Okinawa, I would have "Bean" there to greet Rowin on the red carpet. I'm sure it was a maelstrom of excitement, though. 1-18-08's got nothing on 3-22-07."
Despite Banner's enthusiasm, it's hard to find many people who share his passion for Bean. "That's a fair statement," Banner remarks. He then adds, "We don't get very many hits on our website. Actually, my tracker shows that only my parents have visited the site. But now that the Bean is back, I think that will change."
Banner recently sent an Evite to his closest friends, inviting them all to the U.S. premiere of Mr. Bean's Holiday. Unfortunately, the returns on the Evite look eerily similar to the box-office business for Rowin Atkinson's Johnny English.
Banner responds, "Yeah, some people who I thought were my friend's turned out to not be my friends. And you know what I always say: 'Any non-friend of Bean is a non-friend of mine,' so I'm cool with it. I'm pretty sure my landlords will make it, though."
You can view the Evite here: Bean Movie Premiere Evite