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Author Topic: Sean Bean. What a revelation.  (Read 253 times)

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Sean Bean. What a revelation.
« on: July 11, 2017, 04:12:26 AM »
Sean Bean. What a revelation
I’ve been watching him in awe in the excellent Jimmy McGovern-scripted drama Broken, which drew to a close this week, as a troubled Catholic priest tending to his flock in a deprived area of a Northern city. I’ve always thought of the Sheffield-born actor as watchable, reliable, capable and convincing in any of the many and varied roles he has played. True, he is not the most chameleon-like of actors – there is always, it seems to me, an element of himself in whichever character he is portraying, not least in the fact that his lines are more often than not delivered in that unmistakable gruff south Yorkshire growl – but there is never any faulting his honesty.
His performances are always wholly authentic whether he’s playing rugged military man Richard Sharpe in the Napoleonic War-set historical drama Sharpe, Boromir in Lord of the Rings, Ned Stark in Game of Thrones or an outrageously louche and sexy Mellors in the 1993 BBC adaptation of D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. So, let’s just say I’ve always been a bit of a fan, but I have to admit I had not – until now – fully appreciated quite how talented he is. His performance as Father Michael Kerrigan was as heart-breaking as it was mesmerising. Dealing gently and thoughtfully with the complex needs of his parishioners whose lives are blighted by poverty and a broken, overstretched welfare system, Father Michael had his own demons to contend with. Bean’s ravaged features eloquently expressed an entire hinterland of weary empathy, inner turmoil and traumatic past. In many scenes Bean was entirely silent but he nevertheless communicated heartfelt emotions that frequently moved me to tears. For me Broken was one of the most powerful dramas – and Bean’s the most truthful and affecting performance – that I’ve seen on television in years. Maybe it spoke to something deep in my lapsed Catholic heart, but there was more to it than that.

This story was about social injustice, humanity, pain, guilt, decency and redemption. Neither did the script gloss over the darker and more shameful aspects of the Catholic church. McGovern always knew what Bean was capable of. They have often worked together and in a recent Guardian feature he was quoted as saying: “I always go back to Sean – I just think he’s world class. People know he’s good, but I know he’s great.” We all know now. There will be BAFTAs, surely. McGovern and Bean are quite a double-act. Let’s hope they are both – together or separately – back on our screens again soon.