|2 January 1999
Playing action men comes easy to Sean Bean - so his latest role as SAS man Andy McNab holds no fears. What makes the thrice-married actor tremble, he tells Annie Leask, is playing the part of a dad again.
After Sheffield steel, Sean Bean if probably the most famous thing to come out of the South Yorkshire city. Unlike many British actors, he has also made his mark on Hollywood in the same sort of all-action-hreo roles he has made his own on this side of the Atlantic.
Yet in person the animal magnetism which is almost palpable on film is absent. The fair hair, normally preened to perfection by an army of stylists, is mousy and untouched. He wwears a chunky black leather jacket with a rather incongrous, thick, grey cardigan underneath. It is only the susicious pale-green eyes and well-orddered bone structure which reveal his on-screen potential.
Casting directors were not slow to capitalise on his predatory appeal. He has won roles as far ranging as a sinister seducer in Clarissa, lusty game-keeper Mellors opposite Joely Richardson\'s Lady Chatterly, an IRA terrorist to Harrison Ford\'s all-Ammerican-good-guy in Patriot Games, as a rogue agent 006 next to Pierce Brosnan\'s super-smooth 007 in Goldeneye. Now he stars as the hardest of the hard men, SAS hero Andy McNab, in BBC1\'s new two-part drama Bravo Two Zero, which tells the harrowing story of an abortive SAS mission which cost the lives of three men.
Bean\'s shy, understated presence and complete lack of pretension come as a refreshing surprise in a business full of huge egos. Today he is happier to revel in the role of delighted new father than to play the part of brooding superstar. \'I am a dad again,\' he says, his eyes lighting up at the thought of his daughter, Evie Natasha. \'She was born on November 6, the day after bonfire night. She was about two weeks late - well 11 or 12 days.\'
Evie\'s mother is Bean\'s third wife, actress Abigial Cruttenden, 30, who played his upperclass spouse in the TV drama Sharpe. Bean started early, marrying childhood sweetheart Debra Anderson at the age of 19. The union quickly crumbled because they were just \'too young,\' but she still speaks fondly of him. Debra was followed by actress Melanie Hill, who played brash Aveline in the TV series Bread and a female footballer in Playing The Field. They married after a long relationship and seperated six years later. They have twodaughters, Lorna, 11, and Molly, seven, to whom he remains very close.
Now Bean, 39, seems content in marriage number three and is obviously enjoying the excitement of the addition of a new baby. \'Abbie had to be induced,\' he says. \'And I was there when she was born. It was fascinating. It was a very moving experience... stunning. Evie was a big baby she was 9lb 6oz when she was born, I think. Abbie is quite small and slight.\' He pauses uncertainly and reaches for the phone. In an endearingly helpful gesture he calls his wife: \'I\'d better just check the weight with Abbie in case I have got it wrong.\' He speaks softly into the phone: \'Hello it\'s me - all I\'m ringing up about is to ask how heavy the baby was when she was born - 9lb 3oz. Okay, right, thanks, bye.\' He smiles. \'I knew it was over 9lb.
\'I have three girls now. People keep asking if we are going to keep trying for a boy - I don\'t know about that - but it is lovely to have another little girl.\' He struggles to put into words what his latest daughter\'s birth means to him. \'Althought I have been through it before with my two elder girls, you forget how wonderful it is... then you go through it again.\'
When I raise the subject of the disintegration of his secondmarriage, he becomes mildly irritated: \'Time\'s gone by. It\'s all history.\'
Melanie was widely quoted as saying: \
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