Rowan Atkinson has admitted that he plans to abandon the comic character of Mr Bean in favour of more cerebral roles on the stage.
The 57-year-old actor said the hugely successful creation had reaped many rewards but that middle-aged actors playing childlike roles risked appearing "a little sad".
Atkinson is instead preparing to make his "straight play" debut in the lead role in a West End revival of Quartermaine's Terms by Simon Gray.
"The stuff that has been most commercially successful for me - basically quite physical, quite childish - I increasingly feel I'm going to do a lot less of," he told The Daily Telegraph's Review supplement.
"I also think someone in their fifties being childlike becomes a little sad. You've got to be careful."