Ask anyone you know if they watched Mr. Bean during their childhood and at least nine out of 10 would say yes. Even kids today are familiar with the British sitcom that dominated household televisions in the early 90s thanks to the cartoon version of the character that still runs till today.
Made popular by Rowan Atkinson, the quirkiness of Mr. Bean has produced many impersonators over the years, especially when we find his doppelgangers.
But did you know that we have our very own Mr. Bean impersonator
right here in Malaysia?
has been impersonating Mr. Bean for six years here and he is just beginning.
In case you were wondering about his name, Faiket is not from Malaysia. He comes from a small country in Europe called Albania (yes, the same place where Dua Lipa’s parents came from).
Now, you must be thinking, why call himself ‘Mr. Bean Malaysia
’ when he isn’t even from around here? You know, since people tend to complain that Malaysians like to “claim” other people’s success.
To put things into perspective, Faiket has been living and working in Malaysia for the past 25 years. He married a Malaysian wife and is raising their two kids here. He even speaks with a Malaysian accent!
So, it's safe to say that his is very much a homegrown Mr. Bean.
Interestingly, his journey as Mr. Bean started not too far away from home as well.
Becoming Mr. Bean
Faiket grew his career in the corporate world. He used to work in consultancy and market research in his earlier years, giving talks and trainings about cross-cultural communication and interpersonal skills. Something completely different from playing a funny role, don’t you think?
In fact, he wasn’t even a fan of Mr. Bean to begin with and had almost little to no contact with the character growing up.
“Sometimes, friends would casually say that I look like Mr. Bean, but very seldom. And that was it, I never put much thought into it,” Faiket said.
But his life took a 180-degree turn after a trip to Bali six years ago.
He came across a drawing of Mr. Bean at one of the tourist spots and without thinking much, he started imitating the character’s expressions next to the picture.
Lo and behold, his friends immediately gathered around and began taking photos and videos of him. They even had a few tourists joining them at the impromptu photo session.
He gave everyone a good time, but he didn’t take it too seriously since it was merely a spur of the moment thing.
On that same evening, his mentor, who was part of the group travelling with them at the time, encouraged him to consider doing this as a business, performing and entertaining people as Mr. Bean.
Faiket was left in a limbo after that because this was not something that he had in mind in this life journey that he was on. But he decided to take his mentor’s advice and give it a shot.
Then, his first show in Penang was unforgettable.
He performed at a multinational company’s annual dinner event. He didn’t plan any content at the time and had only appeared as a surprise act.
With the classic Mr. Bean suit and nostalgic Teddy in hand, he spontaneously started chasing the live band and did some silly things on stage.
The crowd went wild.
“I couldn’t even get off the stage because everyone came up suddenly and wanted to take pictures,” he said.
That was the turning point when he realised that the character works very well whether or not there is a stage.
And the rest, as they say, was history.
Faiket went from a part-time Mr. Bean impersonator to full-time within just four months, performing mainly at corporate events, annual dinners, roadshows, launches, openings, and so on.
Soon after he started performing, he also started a company with his partner and wife called Fivecat Productions, which focuses on developing and managing social media content for clients.
Lessons learned from Mr. Bean
Faiket was fearful in the beginning. He was not confident about how a live audience would react to a character famous for his TV series.
But seeing the impact that the character has on people time after time gave him more confidence to keep going.
Since Mr. Bean doesn’t talk much, you would assume that it is quite easy to imitate his mannerisms and antics as long as you look like him.
But you know what they say about assumptions!
Faiket grew fond of Mr. Bean when he started acting because he finally recognised the difficulty of being in character and the impact that he had created.
“It’s amazing to hear what people whisper in my ear when they come to my shows or take pictures with me. Although it was made known that I’m just an impersonator or a lookalike, some of them somehow don’t get it,” he shared.
Somebody once said to him, “You helped me to conquer my depression when I was at the lowest point of my life.”
He even had a middle-aged woman come up to him and said, “I sleep with your teddy bear every night!”
Stories like this may sound like tall tales to you, but you will be surprise how impactful the simple character of Mr. Bean really is.
What he does has the power to cross generations. Just ask your grandparents, parents and little cousins, nephews or nieces. We’re very sure both generations would know who Mr. Bean is.
This effect is something Faiket believes the world needs today.
“We are living in a very negative and stressful world. We hear bad news all the time. If something bad happens, it’s almost like everybody wants to accept that it’s just part of life. It’s normal,” he expressed.
“The corporate world has built us to function in a way that work has to be stressful. We are beginning to relate stress to something positive in our lives. It’s like answering like that means you are working hard or doing something right, which is not true.”
This is one of the reasons why Faiket has grown to love the entertainment business. Whether it is watching TV, theatre or going to the movies after a stressful day, people can just let go of their worries and stress, let loose and laugh a little.
“Sometimes, we take ourselves too seriously,” he said.
Mr. Bean has also inspired Faiket to forget his ego and trying too hard to look smart and cool. We tend to think that we always have to portray a certain image on the outside that we start to lose ourselves.
Faking it till you make it is not always a good thing.
But doing the complete opposite of what he used to be became one of the best decisions he had ever made.
“It was out of my comfort zone, but that’s what I like about it. I can do the silliest, weirdest and stupidest thing and now I have a license for it,” he laughed.
Faiket hopes to have his own show on stage one day, but stand-up comedy is the least of his concerns at the moment since he is so busy with the Mr. Bean business.
And you know what? We’ve got just the right time and place for you to see Mr. Bean Malaysia (and Teddy) live on stage in the most casual and comfortable setting!
Faiket will be one of the acts performing at the upcoming ‘Laugh Die You, Merdeka Day Special
’ this Merdeka eve, 30 August, 8pm
at HGH Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur
He will be performing alongside Singapore’s famous Gurmit Singh
, Malaysia’s first Chindian comedian Gajen Nad
and Singaporean ventriloquist Joseph Then
Tickets are already on sale, so get them here
Meanwhile, you can go stalk Faiket Luari a.k.a. Mr. Bean Malaysia on Facebook