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Author Topic: Sean Bean interview  (Read 7254 times)

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2021, 12:46:23 PM »
Sean Bean is alive and well and living in Somerset
British actor, famous for his on-screen deaths, plays a newly arrived inmate in the prison drama Time
No, Sean Bean does not die in the new British miniseries Time.

Its an understandable concern, given that the English actor has developed a reputation for perishing onscreen, often in ways that are dramatic (The Lord of the Rings), gruesome (Game of Thrones) or both. But he takes the topic in his good-natured stride.

 Its the first thing that people say: Do you die in this? he says with a chuckle. Its nice to be able to say: Wait and see. Its not something that Ive ever been that worried about. Certainly not early on in my career, because I was playing some really bad people, very bad guys, and they kind of deserved to die. They didnt have much of a future ahead of them.

He continues: Now Id prefer not to die because I think Ive done it that many times and theres got to be a really good reason if Im going to die again. I prefer to stay alive. But Ive never really complained about it. Im very proud of my death scenes.

In Time, Bean stars as Mark Cobden, a high school teacher sentenced to four years in prison. I killed a man, he tells a fellow inmate, though we soon learn it was drunk driving and not murder.

His costar is fellow northerner Stephen Graham, who plays prison officer Eric McNally. The two have a history on the screen, having played a transvestite (Bean) and his boyfriend (Graham) in a 2012 episode of Accused, written by British screenwriter Jimmy McGovern, who also wrote Time. And Bean also starred as a Catholic priest in McGoverns 2017 TV drama Broken.

Hes a great writer, says Bean. Hes very well respected over here in the U.K., and actors want to work with him because of his skill at creating brilliant dramas. He seems to get under the skin of the characters.

That is certainly the case with Time, which presents realistic, three-dimensional figures. Beans character is initially out of his depth in prison, but soon learns ways to adapt, some of them unexpected. And Graham, far from the stereotype of the sadistic prison guard, is a tough but fair-minded fellow, forced into doing something illegal after some of the inmates threaten his son, who is doing time in a different jail.

Bean says he was sold on the strength of the script. I read it and I was just amazed at how he managed to incorporate everything that is controversial and topical something that was so moving and so tragic and yet hopeful. It had all those ingredients.

The setting also had an appeal for the actor. Ive always been quite fascinated by that aspect of life and how things occur in prison, he says. We all like watching dramas or documentaries about prison because we know were not in there. Theres a kind of macabre fascination.

He resolutely avoided doing too much research, the better to capture the sense of confusion and dislocation as his character first arrives in prison at the beginning of the first chapter of the three-part series.

I wanted it to be a shock and a surprise, to kind of be genuinely bewildered and confused and scared, he says. To be faced with that kind of mayhem and madness, that is something that I wanted to be unaware of until I actually shot the scenes. Thats what it would be like, and thats what I wanted an audience to feel.

Bean is speaking from his home in Somerset, having just returned from Vancouver, where hes been working on the third season of the post-apocalyptic series Snowpiercer in which he doesnt die, or at least not yet.

I play a villain in that but hes a very charming villain, he says. Theres something about him that people like. And thats the other side of the coin, whereas Mark Cobdon, I guess hes a little bit more like me. Hes a bit of an introvert, hes quiet, he listens to things, he takes things in. I like to play characters that are quite innocent in some sense and not tending to know everything.

He continues: And not necessarily loads of dialogue, but something where you can see the person that youre playing taking in their surroundings and the emotions from other people around them, and how that affects them. Sometimes its good to just soak things up and react without saying a word which is not very common these days, not very often you get writers who actually write in pauses and time to reflect. And thats what Jimmy McGovern does.

My time almost up, I ask Bean about his most famous role (and death) in The Lord of the Rings, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this December. Surprisingly, he lights up at the mention of it.

I think about it most days really, he says. It was just something that made such an impact on me. Almost a year of my life being over there [in New Zealand] with everyone and bringing this book that Id read as a kid to life. Id have never dreamed that I would be playing the character of Boromir!

The magical nature of the subject matter, he says, seemed to spill over into the production. It felt like we were in another world and we could just imagine and try anything and be anything we wanted to be. Such fond memories. And it certainly helped all of us in our careers, but that wasnt really the idea. It was just being able to work with someone like Peter Jackson and all these other brilliant actors.

He singles out Christopher Lee, who was almost 80 at the time. Lee had starred in the movie Dracula in 1958, the year before Bean was born, and the younger actor still remembers watching it as a boy. Being terrified by him!

When Lee died in 2015 at the age of 93, he held an interesting record, since broken by American actor Danny Trejo. He had perished more times on-screen than any other performer, with more than 60 deaths, including one as Saruman in The Lord of the Rings.

Bean, with a mere 25 deaths, is a relative lightweight. But give him time.

Time is available now on the streaming service BritBox in Canada.