Rowan Atkinson was so convincing in crime drama Maigret that viewers said they were able to temporarily put aside his comic personae.
The Mr Bean and Blackadder star, 62, received mixed reviews for his debut as French detective Jules Maigret last year, with some critics questioning his casting as the pipe-smoking detective.
But his return to the character in new film Night At The Crossroads won praise from fans who said he was so good that they stopped expecting him to be his famous comedy alter egos.
Rowan Atkinson is such a great actor, I forget he was Mr. Bean unlike some other people lol #maigret
— Claire Collins (@Mecmcollins) April 16, 2017
Outstanding performance by Rowan Atkinson in #Maigret. So good, I never expect him to say, 'wibble'.
— Chris Kirkbride (@chrisklaw) April 16, 2017
Viewers warmed to Rowan’s straight portrayal of Maigret in the film, which was set in 1950s Paris and saw the detective investigating after the body of a diamond merchant was discovered in a car.
I absolutely love watching #Maigret. It really shows Rowan Atkinson at his best.
— Helen Killoran (@HelenKilloran) April 16, 2017
Another cracking episode of #Maigret so far… Rowan Atkinson is fabulous in this role. Brilliant casting all round.
— Helen Bryant (@TwigsTrillycake) April 16, 2017
— Ron Delnevo (@RonCashman) April 16, 2017
Rowan appeared in two Maigret films last year, Maigret Sets A Trap and Maigret’s Dead Man.
Night At The Crossroads will be followed by another film in the series, Maigret In Montmartre, later this year.
The star recently said viewers should come to their own conclusion about Maigret’s new outings.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” said the actor and comedian.
“All I would ask is that people watch them and make their own mind up. I think they’ve got a lot of appealing qualities.”