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Author Topic: Sean Bean interview  (Read 5825 times)

Offline patch

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2019, 01:28:25 PM »
Sean Bean: ‘Turning 60 was a relief. It’s all right really’
The actor talks to Robert Crampton about the advantages of ageing

Sean Bean is in London for the premiere of World on Fire, a big-budget BBC drama that he stars in this autumn. He’s staying at the Soho Hotel, where we meet, in the modest room that he’s occupying for a couple of days before heading home to Somerset. After more than 30 years in London, arriving from his native Sheffield to attend Rada in 1981, Bean quit the capital five years ago. Now 60, he doesn’t miss life in the big city. He is, he admits, a committed homebody.

“We live in the heart of the countryside,” he explains in his mellow south Yorkshire tones. “We don’t have any neighbours and I quite like that. That’s why I got out of London; the neighbours in…

Thanks to

The full interview: 'Turning 60 was a relief. It's all right really'

Offline patch

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2019, 06:03:59 AM »

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2019, 12:10:36 AM »
Sean Bean on becoming a war heroturned conscientious objector in BBC drama

The actor, 60, leads a glittering cast including Lesley Manville, Helen Hunt and Blake Harrison in the BBC’s new Sunday night wartime epic, World On Fire. Sean plays Douglas Bennett whose beautiful factory worker and jazz singer daughter Lois (Julia Brown) joins the Entertainments National Service Association and finds herself embroiled in a messy love triangle with a translator-turned-spy. Douglas has survived the horror of the First World War, but carries the scars of a mustard gas attack and battles PTSD, known then as shell shock.
After so many roles as a swashbuckling hero, Sean enjoyed the change of pace.

But he had one major caveat before he would sign up to do the show – he wanted writer Peter Bowker to guarantee his character would not die in series one.

During his long career, Sean has filmed some fantastic death scenes.

In GoldenEye he was splattered on a satellite dish, he was shot through the neck with a grappling hook in The Island, peppered with arrows in The Lord Of The Rings, and decapitated by his own sword in Game Of Thrones. Even in The Field he was trampled off a cliff by a herd of rampaging cows.

Sean laughs: “I had to check. I just said, what’s his story? Is he still around at the end? It is a bit of a joke but all those deaths were not in vain! They all meant something!

“But I did fall into that a little bit because the parts were interesting… they were all meaty, juicy roles and everybody likes to play a baddie and a villain, but I realised I was dying in everything and I just wanted to break out and survive!”

 He continues: “I quite like that. Douglas is a strong man and he came back from war in pieces.

“He’s fractured, disturbed, damaged and it was interesting to portray a man who suffered so much psychological damage and physically too.”

Playing such a disturbed character did not come easily and Sean had to dredge up his own devastating experiences for the saddest scenes.

He says: “I try to find things in my life that were traumatic experiences. Without doing that you can’t really imagine how it must feel. It’s a personal pride thing, you have to dredge that up and it’s not always a pleasant experience
but it’s necessary to portray someone like Douglas truthfully.”

Sean based Douglas on his grandfather Harold who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and came home a pacifist communist. Sean reveals: “My character is a conscientious objector and he doesn’t feel it’s a justifiable war in any sense. He thinks there should be diplomacy and dialogue, he doesn’t have the benefit of hindsight, he doesn’t know what is to come but he does know what happened to his life after the First World War. Why did they die in their hundreds and thousands? What were they fighting for? They were cannon fodder. Young men died or were killed and many came back broken and it was horrific and unnecessary. Douglas remembers men having their brains blown out and bloodshed. He’s suffering and he’s suffering greatly.”

Sean remembers his own grandfather Harold going through similar torment.

He continues: “My grandad was like that. He was a pacifist after his experiences in the war. My grandfather served in the Royal Navy and was sent up to Murmansk in north Russia near the Arctic for many years.

“I’ve got pictures of him and photographs and it affected him and he came back a shaken man. He got his mojo back in the years after but you could see it had an impact. It’s a long legacy.” The Second World War might have ended 15 years before Sean was born but it still loomed large in his childhood. He explained: “My mum and dad were kids up in Sheffield and they lived very close to the steel works. The steel industry was a target on occasions and they tell stories about gas masks and sirens and having to run and rationing.

“As kids we used to play in bomb craters, old buildings with walls missing. They’d be standing but one side would be missing and you could see all the different wallpapers in different houses in the rubble.”

Sean also drew on his experience of meeting real serving soldiers in the past during his time filming 19th century Peninsular War drama Sharpe in the Nineties.

He said: “When we did Sharpe there was a scene when there was an award for damaged soldiers in the Peninsular War. They had missing limbs and legs and they were men who had fought in the Falklands war and they were gracious enough to be involved in our series.

“Talking to them it wasn’t so much the physical side, as the mental side that affected them after the Falkland Islands. I think there have now been more who committed suicide than actually killed in battle themselves.”

World On Fire appealed to Sean partly because of its huge scale and great cast – but most importantly he was drawn by the quality of The A Word writer Peter Bowker’s storytelling.

Sean says: “It’s the Second World War which I think is always interesting and the fact that Peter is involved, and the BBC – but especially the writing. I spoke to Peter on a few occasions and he filled me in on how this wasn’t really a retelling of the war and the machines, the artillery, the infantry.

“It was a personal story of people coming together in the most extraordinary of circumstances, a very intimate portrayal of men and women whose lives changed dramatically – not just a few lives, everyone in the world. That is quite an extraordinary occurrence. This has left a big impression on me because I remember the characters and how difficult it was for people.”

One of the most compelling relationships in the show is between Sean’s character Douglas and Lesley’s character Robina Chase, whose son Harry is dating Douglas’s daughter. In fact, the pair have such chemistry that writer Peter penned extra scenes for them, realising they were stealing the show.
Sean smiles: “I hadn’t worked with Lesley before but I’d always been a big fan of hers. I watched her in Grown Ups with Mike Leigh many years ago which was fantastic and in every scene she always gives a good account of herself.

“She’s a brilliant actress and it’s been really very nice to work with Lesley. It’s an interesting throwing together of two characters who are basically very, very different.

“Douglas is a working-class, Left-wing pacifist, Robina is a gentrified lady of the manor who is very stuck in her ways and politics and has Right-wing views. But as the war unfolds, we soften our stances because we have to. At first we don’t get on, but my daughter is going out with her son and, in that funny way, they do have something in common because they’re so forthright in their beliefs. You don’t find many people like that. By the end they have quite a lot in common.”

As well as World On Fire, Sean has just wrapped several other projects. So what’s next? He groans: “I’m having a bit of time off! I’ve been working non-stop back to back for a few years so I’m enjoying my garden!”

« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 12:15:28 PM by patch »

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2019, 12:12:49 PM »
Thank you Patch !! That was WONDERFUL !!

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2019, 02:22:59 AM »
An interview with Sean Bean


Sean Bean plays Douglas Bennett in World On Fire.

Describe the character of Douglas - what it was about him that drew you to the script?
Douglas was involved in the First World War and was so mentally damaged by shell shock that it has an influence on how he viewed everything to do with the Second World War. He doesn’t believe in war as a means of achieving objectives. He thinks there should be negotiation and people should be trying to communicate.

At this point, no one is aware of the impact that this second war is going to make on the world but from his experience of the First World War he always wondered what it was all for. The people who fought were cannon fodder with no real understanding of why they were fighting. For Douglas it was a futile war, that left him mentally scarred and suffering from flashbacks, anxiety, insecurity and a slight leaning towards madness.

Where does Douglas fit into the Bennett family set-up?
The Bennett family consists of Douglas, son Tom and daughter Lois. Lois is the backbone of the family and is a strong-willed woman. She runs the everyday life of the family, leaving Tom and Douglas to just sit about the kitchen and wait for her to make cups of tea and feed them.

They’re working-class men and are very down to earth. Douglas’ wife died years ago so he’s brought the children up somewhat on his own. He’s been trying to keep it together but he’s weak and he’s depressed from the First World War and he’s nervous and unsure about the future. It’s difficult for him to relate to his children at times and it’s difficult for them to know how to treat him without robbing him of his dignity or his independence.

Tell us about the relationship that develops between Douglas and Robina.
Douglas and Robina meet purely because of Harry and Lois’ relationship. It’s a very unlikely relationship, a working-class bus driver and a very gentrified lady of the manor as it were. They’re thrown together because of their children’s relationship. It's quite an interesting friendship that emerges between them. Some people are thrown together who would never otherwise meet, but Robina recognises that Douglas is an intelligent man and has a warmth of personality that she finds both alien and interesting to her.

Explain how Douglas and Jan are thrown together, and how that friendship develops?
A big element in the relationship between the Chase family members and the Bennett family is the young Polish refugee Jan, whom Harry brings home from war. Jan is being brought up by Robina, and Douglas gets to know Jan well and becomes really fond of him. He befriends Jan and plays football with him; he shows him some fatherly love. Douglas sees him as another son and I think Jan sees Douglas as a surrogate father figure. They form a really interesting and quite touching relationship.

How does he feel when his son and daughter both head off to service the war in their different ways?
As a pacifist, Douglas has to watch his daughter Lois go off to join the entertainment corps ENSA, and then sees Tom join the navy and go to war on the HMS Exeter. This terrifies Douglas, yet when Tom returns on leave he wants Douglas to sanction him becoming an objector and essentially going AWOL - but no matter what he is, Douglas is not a coward and doesn’t give his blessing to Tom.

He’s a man of morals and he knows what this would mean for the pacifist organization that he belongs to, but more importantly what it could mean for his son if he is caught. He could be court marshalled and disgraced and he doesn’t want that for Tom. Tom is many things, and headstrong, but to live his life as a cowardly criminal or be executed is not what Douglas’ wants for Tom, so the only way out of that situation is to encourage him to go back to war and possibly certain death. It weighs heavy on Douglas.

Describe the scale of this show.
It’s an amazing production that I became engrossed in as soon as I read it the scripts. In some ways it’s like a completely captivating novel and every individual seemed to be portrayed as unique. They all have their particular ambitions, dreams and jobs before the war starts and then their fears and dread as events unfold are the same across all the countries we show. They are all coming to terms with the changes that are happening in their lives and realise that, for some of them, ridicule, intimidation and persecution are coming down the line because of their beliefs and simply for being who they are.

Do you have any personal memories of family members who were alive during the war?
My mother and father were born just before the war started in the 1930s. They used to tell me stories about how they used to wear the gas masks. My auntie and uncle had an Anderson shelter in their shed (that’s still there today) that we used to play in it when we were little. It was very flimsy as bomb shelters go and I’ll always remember those moments. They were storytellers and there was a lot of humour and funny stories to be told of those times.

Is this a period in history that you are particularly interested and did you conduct any research to prepare you for the part?
I did a fair bit of research for the part but it’s something I’ve always been quite interested in as an area of history. The Second World War fascinates me, but it was the reparations that were set in place following the end of the First World War that heralded the introduction of Hitler. I’ve always been interested in how people like Douglas Bennett were shunned within that community. They were ostracised which must have been very, very difficult. You’re going totally against the propaganda and the general feeling of the country by actually standing up and saying, I’m a pacifist. That’s an incredibly hard and brave thing to do and you suffer for it.

How do we see Douglas being affected by his beliefs?
Imagine being in a closed-knit community and people turn their back on you. Shopkeepers don't want to serve you in shops and shout at you in the street and call you this and that. I would imagine you have to be pretty determined and principled to stick to your beliefs in the face of popular opinion. So that was interesting and just the fact that Douglas is physically and mentally not very well wasn’t really understood, certainly not in the wake of the First World War - shellshock was just frowned upon.

Today’s soldiers have a diagnosis now in PTSD and we can see how it works on the brain and how these people suffered in silence. It’s a difficult one. It’s a difficult illness to talk about, especially during the Second World War, so for Douglas to actually stand up and say, I don't believe in it [the war], was a really, big and brave statement.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 02:47:27 AM by patch »

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2019, 08:16:32 AM »
“It’s a game to them”: Sean Bean talks Twitter and volatile world leaders

In an upcoming BBC war drama, the actor plays a man who is now an activist for peace in real life. It makes him wish even more that Trump would step away from the internet
Acting legend Sean Bean is no stranger to action. But while gearing up to appear in BBC Second World war drama World On Fire, the reckless conduct of some of the most powerful men in the world is at the forefront of his mind.

Bean plays bus conductor Douglas Bennett, who survived a mustard gas attack in the First World War, but suffers from what we’d now call PTSD and now actively campaigns against a fresh conflict. The actor admires Bennett.

“He is a pacifist now,” Bean told The Big Issue. “He is suffering quite deeply with memory loss, tremors, flashbacks. And that, of course, influences his feelings towards this war. But he is a very warm personality, very warm with his children.

The 60-year-old actor – famed for a strong of roles in big and small screen smash-hits from Game of Thrones to Lord of the Rings – added: “He is not going to make many friends being a conscientious objector. But he is brave. He is not afraid to walk into a recruitment office with copies of Peace News, saying he thinks there is an alternative to war. He just doesn’t think war is the solution to the world’s conflicts.”

Neither, it seems, does the actor playing him.

“There are alternatives,” says Bean, warming to his theme. “I don’t like that gung-ho attitude to war. Diplomacy and dialogue are good things to try and re-establish.

“There is so much abuse being hurled around by big countries and the top men of those countries. It is like a game to them. All these tweets going backwards and forwards, and most of them were war-dodgers, the Bushes and Trump. They’re quite happy to promote war now.

“Look at Iraq and Afghanistan. What a huge loss of life for something that was so futile. Those countries are worse now than they were before.”

Read the full interview in this week’s Big Issue, available from your local vendor or online from the Big Issue Shop.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 08:30:45 AM by patch »

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2019, 08:29:14 AM »
“It’s a game to them”: Sean Bean talks Twitter and volatile world leaders
Read the full interview in this week’s Big Issue, available from your local vendor or online from the Big Issue Shop.

 The full interview   

“It’s a game to them”: Sean Bean talks Twitter and volatile world leaders

“I have played a lot of heroes.”

From swashbuckling Napoleonic War soldier Sharpe to Bond baddie Alec Trevelyan – the rogue agent 006 who turned to the dark side in 1995’s GoldenEye – to Ned Stark (RIP) in Game of Thrones, Sean Bean has that elusive screen presence that the best actors bring to their work.

Bean has specialised in men whose actions speak louder than their words. Lady Chatterley’s groundskeeper lover in the sizzling 1993 BBC adaptation, warrior Boromir in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, Andy McNab in Bravo Two Zero, a footballing factory worker in When Saturday Comes – Bean’s back catalogue is packed with strong and silent types.

Of late though, he has been enjoying adventures in alternative masculinities. Roles that retain the strength and that unspoken, below-the-surface emotion that Bean portrays so well, but whose bravery is less about combat, more about survival.

There was an International Emmy for his role as transvestite teacher Tracie in Accused (2012) and a Bafta win for Jimmy McGovern’s Broken (2017), in which he played a conflicted, haunted Roman Catholic priest.

“The characters I am offered now are quite reflective, and often disturbed by memories of the past,” he says. “It is great because I have more life to bring to it. I get offered the parts of grandads and think, ‘Oh, yeah, fuck, I’m 60 – I’m not the young man who gets all the girls.’”

A career of this longevity and breadth was beyond Bean’s wildest dreams when he started his acting journey.

“I wouldn’t have believed it when I was at drama school, living in a YMCA in London. No way,” he grins. “I was just looking to get a first job on stage and get a wage packet. Which I did. And it was 80 quid for Romeo and Juliet so I got my Equity card. These days you can skip all that learning and be a celebrity.”

Large parts of the series are set in Warsaw or Berlin. It is not just the English view of the war. And it is not glorifying war

Bean is outstanding, once again, in World On Fire. The stunning new BBC One Sunday night drama is written by Bafta-winner Peter Bowker (The A Word, Marvellous) and succeeds in the seemingly impossible task of finding a new way to tell the story of the Second World War on screen.

This is not another depiction of Winston Churchill and Hitler’s speeches, Spitfires duelling, Vera Lynn and the spirit of the Blitz. We know that history and have seen it countless times.

Instead, World On Fire takes its influence from The World At War, the groundbreaking 26-part documentary narrated by Laurence Olivier in the early 1970s, but also from the success of The Killing, which showed audiences were ready for subtitled drama. The series focuses on people across Europe whose lives were irrevocably affected by this global conflict, with an ambition to run for seven series, each telling the story of one year from 1939-1945.

“Large parts of the series are set in Warsaw or Berlin. It is not just the English view of the war. And it is not glorifying war,” says Bean.

“It is very intimate. These are ordinary people like you or me and it shows how the war affects their lives – which is vastly. And forever. For their children and for us now.”

Bean plays bus conductor Douglas Bennett, who survived a mustard gas attack in the First World War, but suffers from what we’d now call PTSD and now actively campaigns against a fresh conflict.

Spoiler alert: Bean will be sticking around. He is, he suggests, fed up of his characters dying early in far too many roles, notably Game of Thrones, and a stellar acting career in danger of being reduced to a meme.

“Did I ask whether I would survive? I did call Peter Bowker,” he grins. (The writer confirms this: “One of the things that swung it for him is that he wanted to make sure he didn’t die.”).

“I wanted him to be relevant throughout the whole series so I could see him develop.”

Bean talks with admiration about his latest alter ego.

“He is a pacifist now. He is suffering quite deeply with memory loss, tremors, flashbacks. And that, of course, influences his feelings towards this war. But he is a very warm personality, very warm with his children.

“He is not going to make many friends being a conscientious objector. But he is brave. He is not afraid to walk into a recruitment office with copies of Peace News, saying he thinks there is an alternative to war. He just doesn’t think war is the solution to the world’s conflicts.”

Neither, it seems, does the actor playing him.

“There are alternatives,” says Bean, warming to his theme. “I don’t like that gung-ho attitude to war. Diplomacy and dialogue are good things to try and re-establish.

“There is so much abuse being hurled around by big countries and the top men of those countries. It is like a game to them. All these tweets going backwards and forwards, and most of them were war-dodgers, the Bushes and Trump. They’re quite happy to promote war now.

“Look at Iraq and Afghanistan. What a huge loss of life for something that was so futile. Those countries are worse now than they were before.

“So Douglas has a very modern viewpoint that I think many people can understand. People now see it is a catalyst for more war, which is probably intentional. Perpetual war was mentioned in George Orwell’s 1984 as a tool to keep the population under control and create a war machine. Which is pretty much what the US military industrial complex is – many people have become billionaires from exactly that.”

Bean’s parents were children during the Second World War. He recalls stories of gas masks being grabbed when air raids targeted the local steelworks.

“My uncle still has an Anderson shelter in his little garden,” he says. “We used to play in it as kids. It was a good den, that. And there were still bomb craters around Sheffield when I was a kid. We used to have fights in them after school.”

He also invokes the local steelworks when talk turns to his own big issues. Bean moves rapidly through a series of interlinked subjects – from the rising levels of poverty and increased use of foodbanks to homelessness and fractured communities.

“It is about communities. You can go back to the miners’ strike. They shut down the mines in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, there is the closing down of the steelworks and the shipbuilding industry,” says Bean.

“All these villages are ghost towns now, riddled with drugs and unemployment. They are forgotten. The communities and all that belief they had in themselves has never been replaced. Libraries have disappeared. Youth clubs have disappeared. All those places the government don’t seem to think are relevant because they don’t provide profit, I guess. It is not right.

“Then there are the conditions in prisons – absolutely tragic. They are awful. They are medieval. There is no rehabilitation to speak of – prisoners then end up homeless. I know a few people back home in Sheffield. It is a vicious circle. They talk about longer sentences and more prisons but they are not addressing how to educate and rehabilitate people. It is just paying lip service and it is a load of shit.”

He is on a roll now, more impassioned, more fluent, more like the charismatic characters we have seen him inhabit than the sensitive, softly spoken actor he has appeared as thus far.

“The cutbacks in disability benefits – you can go on and on,” says Bean, eventually. “But when you see poverty levels going up and the use of foodbanks going up, it is awful. The levels of children living in poverty is rising significantly. It is so alarming in a society that likes to present this image of wealth and wellbeing that so many people are struggling.

“An extraordinary amount of people are living under the breadline. They are starving. But it doesn’t make headlines. We have to get to the bottom of it, instead of these token gestures.

“But you guys do a great job and highlight it and have a fantastic reputation. I remember when you first came out. I am really honoured you asked me to be part of it.”
« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 08:53:33 AM by patch »

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2020, 03:06:41 PM »
Sean Bean discusses Wolfwalkers, one of the year's best animated films

Sean Bean stars in a medieval-set fantasy playing a strong father who tries to protect his rebellious teen daughter while struggling to fulfill his duty to a corrupt leader – oh, and there are wolves involved.

While the setup might remind Game of Thrones fans of Ned Stark, everything else about the actor's new Apple TV+ animated film Wolfwalkers takes a very different path: The tale is set in 1650 Ireland and Bean voices Bill Goodfellowe, an English hunter ordered by the land's imperious Lord Protector (Simon McBurney) to exterminate wolves so woodcutters can clear a forest. Bill's crossbow-wielding daughter Robyn (Honor Kneafsey), feeling confined by a protected life in their village, ventures into the forbidden forest where she meets a mysterious girl (Eva Whittaker) with the power to communicate with wolves, setting events into motion that lead to an epic clash.

Some critics have declared the hand-drawn film, from directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, the best animated movie of the year while EW's Christian Holub noted the production "has extra resonance in the time of plague."

In the exclusive interview below, Bean discusses his voiceover role, the GoT comparison, and the film's message.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What initially excited you about this project?

SEAN BEAN: Well, I like animation. I used to love it as a kid. The original feature film Snow White – I saw that in the cinema, things like that. I was quite good at drawing myself as a kid, so I always had an interest in it. I quite like doing the voices for the faces – you've got a bit more freedom to create the character as you're going along.

I think some Thrones fans will get a kick out of Wolfwalkers because it's tough – at least at first – to not think about Ned and Arya with the relationship between Bill and Robyn.

I suppose there's a tendency when something is set during this period of time to think about slipping back into Ned Stark or Boromir. But the guy I play is quite a humble man, he's quite sensitive, and he's just an ordinary man following orders and doing what he's told to do. It's not until he sees another world through Robyn's eyes that he realizes the world isn't what he's told it was.

Speaking of Snow White, the hand-drawn style of the film is gorgeous, and a bit refreshing from the sleek CG animated style that we've grown accustomed to.

Yeah, isn't it? There's so much more realism with CGI, it's very clean now and we take that for granted. When something comes from someone with a pen or pencil, drawing pictures, one after the other, to create a whole film, it's brilliant. It's so unusual to see that these days.

There's also a level of – I don't want to say "darkness," because Wolfwalkers really is a family film – but there are some edgy moments in there that you would expect would get crossed out of the script if it was made at a major Hollywood studio nowadays for a summer release.

You feel like it genuinely means something, that there's a good story to be told that it still maintains its Irish roots and mythology and it was done by people who really felt they needed to tell a story that they felt very strongly and passionately about, rather than thinking about it as a commercial venture and having their hands tied by a studio. When I went to Ireland to [record] it, it was in a big old country house with animals running around. It felt like being at a friend's house and they would say, "let's just try this or try that." It was very informal. It brought a more earthy realism to it.

There's a certain amount of environmental theme there in terms of humans pushing into the wilderness. But what do you think is important for viewers to take away from the film?

I think it's important to remember that there are these stories that are made in mythology and are part of a [culture's] heritage. Wolves have kind of a bad reputation but are very free creatures who can teach Robyn a lot. It tells me that we shouldn't lose that wildness, that spontaneity, in our great search for new ideas amid lives that we lead that are often quite structured toward not finding those magical moments. Like I have a garden that attracts a lot of wildlife and I love being out there with the smells of the leaves and the plants and trees and the water. How I feel when I go out into my garden is probably how Robyn feels when she goes into the forest and finds the wolves. But it's the kind of thing I feel we need to hold onto and explore more of instead of being stuck in offices and in rooms with computers and listening to mainstream media. I think it's important that we go out and find out things for ourselves, and that should be encouraged in all walks of life

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2021, 01:04:32 PM »
Sean Bean looks back on his Game of Thrones death scene
The death of Ned Stark ranks as one of TV's most iconic death scenes of all time, and actor Sean Bean still remembers what was going through his head — just before Ned lost his.

Bean discussed filming his final Game of Thrones scene during a recent chat with EW while promoting his new Apple TV+ animated film Wolfwalkers.

"It was horror and disbelief — that Joffrey changed his mind [about exiling Ned] — and then resignation and [realizing that he was] seeing his daughter for the last time, Arya," the 61-year-old actor recalls of the shocking scene in the show's 2011 episode "Baelor." "I was trying to think of all four [things]. It wasn't just, 'Oh God, I'm getting my head chopped off.' Those mix of feelings is what made it what it was, I suppose.

"It took like a whole day or so to film it and you so you have to just keep focused on the fact that you're about to meet your death without messing around," the actor adds. "I was very hot at the time, so that probably helped. And everybody else's reactions were fantastic — Cersei and the kids. It was very moving with a lot of pathos in that scene. Then I put my head in the block and I was finished for the day."

Just before the sword came down, Ned quietly whispered to himself. Director Alan Taylor explained in my book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, "[Bean] asked somebody what an appropriate prayer would be for somebody of his belief. People have tried to guess what he said, but it’s something private Sean created based on that."

The actor also briefly discussed the HBO drama's original pilot, which was substantially reshot.

"I thought [the original pilot] was all right, but I was only focused on the scenes I was in," Bean says. "We filmed in Northern Ireland and in Scotland and then the producers [David Benioff and Dan Weiss] made some major changes. I felt the body of it was there, that the spirit of the piece was there, but I think they felt the development of the characters and the story could be improved. So we ended up doing quite a lot of reshoots. It was a testing time for us all trying to get to know what we were doing in the whole scheme of things, and it was for the best."

Wolfwalkers is streaming now on Apple TV+.

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2021, 01:12:30 PM »
Star Sean Bean Boards The "Snowpiercer" Train For Season 2
By Barb Oates

The first 10-episode season of this thrilling remake of the postapocalyptic dystopian 2013 film was a riveting ride. The series centered around all that was left in a frozen world — an amazing 1,001-car train called Snowpiercerthat was filled with 3,000 passengers, divided by social classes, who were left to follow the principles of the train’s builder Mr. Wilford: respecting work, honor and order. But social injustices led to a rebellion. So where did we leave off?

Let’s start with Layton,Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs, who led the Tailies’ rebellion over social injustices, facing off against the upper class and the train’s leader Melanie (Jennifer Connelly). While the Tailies advanced uptrain, it came with great sacrifice as Layton had to cut off the prison carriage, sending his friends to their deaths. As for Melanie, the true brain behind Snowpiercer, we learned that she chose her beloved train and saving a piece of humanity, and she thought that came at the cost of her own daughter, Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard, Girl Meets World), and her former ally Mr. Wilford, as both were left behind. But the season-ending collision exposed that there was a second perpetually moving train, and Mr. Wilford and Alexandra are on it, and they aren’t happy as they look to board Snowpiercer.

 Here Mr. Wilford himself (the amazing Sean Bean, Game of Thrones) gives us some insights as a new power struggle emerges in Season 2.
Looks like you just can’t escape the cold and barbaric surroundings when it comes to TV series. What excited you about coming aboard and taking on the role of Mr. Wilford?

Sean Bean: I think it was the fact that I’ve seen the original film and was very impressed by that and when I was offered the chance to play Wilford, of all people, who didn’t star in the film, too much, it was a chance to elaborate on that character and I had no hesitation on getting involved.
When we last left the series, your train had attached to Snowpiercer. What can you tease about your train’s history/size and Wilford’s intentions? And then, what episode (and/or scene) are you particularly excited for fans to see?

Wilford’s train is really high-tech. He’s had quite some time to be able to refine the engine and the technical side of everything. It’s very lavish, as well. He’s built himself luxurious quarters so that’s kind of a contrast to the rest of the train, which gets worse as you get towards the back. There’s a scene where I’m introduced to the train again as a kind of returning hero and it’s very flamboyant and I’m in really good form, a bit like Oscar Wilde entering the London kind of co-op in the 1890s. And I tried to instill some of that into these particular scenes. He’s such a showman and he’s very flamboyant, which I enjoyed playing.
Lots of buzz surrounds whether Alexandra is your daughter. Clearly we know you can’t divulge, but share with us where the second season picks up and what type of relationship/loyalty Wilford has with Alexandra.

What I’ll say is Alexandra is very loyal to me and is behaving as though she is my daughter. The season picks up when there’s just been a war on the train and it’s in shambles. It’s wrecked and people are still weary of each other, and I come in just at the right moment with this new train. There’s a lot of people who support me still. It’s very false because I’m not going to do them any good whatsoever, but they’re the ones who are behind me so I capitalize on that and sweep them all up in this pomp and showmanship and promise them the world. So I’m returning on a good foot.
Tell us about Wilford’s amazing wardrobe and a few of your personal favorites.

They were all handmade for me by a wonderful tailor in Vancouver. There were about 10 made — all the finest fabric. All sorts — silk dressing gowns, pajama bottoms, Tom Ford underwear, fur capes, everything. Beautiful shirts, ties, waistcoats, Gucci slippers. The wardrobe is fantastic — so much so, I’ve asked whether I can keep it when we finish filming. 
You were well into production on Season 2 before things got suspended due to the pandemic. What (if any) was the upside to having to shut down briefly? When you first got on set, what really wowed you about it?

It’s immensely challenging for production teams working in these conditions to keep everyone safe, and I have huge respect for them and, of course, all the front-line workers. There isn’t really much of an upside other than it gave me quite a lot of free time to catch up on everything and read a lot. When I arrived on set it was much quieter and focused; it was a smallish crew and it was interesting. It’s hard for everyone working under those conditions, but I thought they did an amazing job.

'Snowpiercer' Season 2: Sean
Bean on Playing Mr. Wilford,
the 'Smartest Man in the World'
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 02:33:37 PM by patch »

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2021, 06:45:33 AM »
Why Snowpiercer's Sean Bean is "the driving force" behind season 2
The Game of Thrones star opens up about Mr Wilford’s “unusual role”
Snowpiercer season 2 spoilers follow.

There was a time when it felt like Sean Bean died in every single role, to the point where he even started to turn down shows which ended with the death of his character. So Snowpiercer must have been a welcome change, flipping things around by actually bringing Sean back from the dead for once.

Contrary to popular belief, Mr Wilford is alive and well in season two. And following that chaotic season one finale, he's here to take back Snowpiercer. But with the likes of Melanie Cavill and Andre Layton on board, Wilford's plan may soon be derailed if he's not too careful...

Sean admits that this "was a more unusual role" for him, and not just because Wilford follows a very different path to doomed characters like Boromir or Eddard Stark. "I’ve played parts where the character’s quite introverted. This man is the opposite. He’s very flamboyant, very showy and loud."

Described as a mixture of Elon Musk and Oscar Wilde (with a bit of Trump thrown in too), Mr Wilford is "a very witty, charming, seductive character, but his methods are extremely brutal." It's no wonder then that his arrival changes the entire dynamic of Snowpiercer, both as a show and also on the train itself.

Sean would go so far as to say that Mr Wilford is actually the "driving force" of season two, so it's rather fitting that he in turn became a driving force behind the scenes as well. Only a few scripts were written at the beginning, so Sean was able to have "quite a significant influence" on his character beyond that starting point.

"I had my input for how it could be improved, and it came to be improved. We weren’t stuck with scripts that could never be changed, and we adapted accordingly."

This collaborative approach absolutely paid off, imbuing Mr Wilford with the kind of moral complexity one would hope to see from a bizarre Musk/Wilde/Trump hybrid. "The things Wilford does are quite villainous," says Sean. "But you’ve got to think about why he does them. I’m not justifying some of the things that happen. But everybody’s got their own convictions in this. He’s very wilful."

Describing Mr Wilford as an outright villain is far too reductive, and that's precisely what makes him such a fascinating antagonist. "There’s an extreme right-wing feel to him. He doesn’t want to be lumbered with people who are not intelligent, or who he thinks are lower than him – people who he doesn’t think can be of use to him."

"It’s just survival of the fittest, with him being the fittest," says Sean. And it's in this respect that Wilford most clearly mirrors Melanie, his former ally and newfound foe. Although they're both at odds with each another at the start of season two, they're essentially two sides of the same coin, two "realists", and together, their reunion forms an explosive dynamic that threatens to derail what's left of humanity.

"We’re both very wilful people and very headstrong. We’re both looking for certain things, but mine is for more selfish, personal reasons. Hers is for the good of all. That’s where we clash heads. That’s where the conflict begins between us."

And then, of course, there's Alex, Melanie's daughter. At the end of season one, we discovered that Wilford adopted Alex after she was separated from Melanie and raised her aboard Big Alice. The pair have since developed a unique family bond, one which cuts Melanie to her core, but is this more than just a twisted power play? Is it possible that Alex could actually be Wilford's biological daughter?

"Even I don’t know," Sean laughs, but either way, he believes that Mr Wilford would use that big hanging question mark to his advantage.

"If there was the chance that people may believe that I’m her father, then I would promote that feeling. Wilford uses Alex as a pawn in the game they’re playing. He’s very shrewd. He’ll use those tools as a bargaining chip. She’s a very important character in the whole series, and she’s a very important character to me, for her loyalty."

While Wilford uses Alex to fight for control on an emotional front, he also has another powerful ally in the form of Icy Bob, a mountain of a man who can somehow survive the cold that forced everyone onto Snowpiercer in the first place.

When Andre Tricoteux's character first appears on the show, everyone is taken aback by his presence, and that was also true for Sean in real life too. "I came on set and here was this huge man in all these prosthetics. Nobody really told me about it," Sean recalls. "I was like, 'F**king hell.' I didn’t realise he’d look quite like that."

"Icy Bob is someone who my character likes to experiment on," Sean continues. "Because he’s so big, Wilford thinks he’s got a better chance of survival." So Wilford being Wilford, he manipulates the poor guy to his advantage. "'Come on, let’s all get behind Icy Bob,' he says. But really, Wilford's saying, 'Let’s all get behind me.' So Bob's very useful in that sense."

With all that cunning and Icy Bob by his side, it looks like Mr Wilford might not come to the same tragic end as Sean's other iconic roles. And although that can only be a good thing for Snowpiercer itself, those struggling to survive aboard the train would certainly disagree.

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2021, 02:28:22 PM »
Snowpiercer's Sean Bean says "it's hard to switch off" from filming "brutal" BBC drama
"It's kind of intense physically and mentally."
Snowpiercer's Sean Bean has admitted that "it's hard to switch off" when filming the BBC's new "brutal" drama Time.

A three-part series directed by Lewis Arnold (Des, Broadchurch, Humans), Time follows the guilt-ridden character of Mark Cobden (Bean), who's serving a four-year prison sentence for killing an innocent man.

Separated from his family, Mark befriends the nice-natured guard Eric McNally (Stephen Graham), who does his best to protect those behind the bars.

However, when one of the most dangerous prisoners identifies Eric's kindness as a weakness, Mark is forced into a difficult position.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Bean opened up about his physically and mentally "intense" role, admitting it's hard to switch off after filming a heavy scene.

"I can usually do that quite easily, but this is very bleak," he said. "It's kind of intense physically and mentally. It's hard to switch off sometimes, especially if you've done a heavy scene, and it's very emotional. That's a bit tricky to turn off."

He added: "I'm usually quite good at, as you said, switching off. And I do, most of the time. But there are some things in this that are so emotionally charged, so heartfelt and brutal, that it's difficult to rid yourself of that straight away. You just need a little bit of time."

Time will air on BBC One later this year.

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2021, 12:05:50 AM »
Sean Bean on ‘Snowpiercer’s’ post-apocalyptic, dystopian ride
He just wants to live.

That might be impossible when you’re iconic fantasy actor Sean Bean, who has famously died in “The Lord of the Rings,” “GoldenEye” and “Patriot Games.”

Nothing is closer to his heart than his most famous death scene, in which his Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell is beheaded on the steps of Baelor in “Game of Thrones.”

“I’ve died more than 20 times on screen, but never more violently,” says the 61-year-old British actor, who recalled his motivation in that historic TV moment. “I didn’t kneel thinking, ‘Oh God, I’m getting my head chopped off.’ It was more about the disbelief that I would never see my family again. The horror set in and then … the chop.”

 Sitting in his Somerset, England, garden on a cold winter’s day, the actor, who is weathering the pandemic there, cheerily adds, “It was creative to behead me. I never really had any complaints — and never do. I’ve had some wonderful deaths, but I would like to branch out into the land of the living.”

Bean is very much alive on the new season of TNT’s “Snowpiercer,” a post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller about the passengers of the titular train that carries the remnants of humanity, seven years after the world freezes.

Sean Bean: I lived in London for 25 years, but six years ago, we moved to the country in England. It’s rural in my new town of Somerset and a great place to really get away from the world. I’m very lucky in the respect that my wife and I can live a life that’s secluded yet very beautiful and peaceful. We’re surrounded by trees, countryside and nature.

What is an ideal Sunday in the country?

I’ve been doing a lot of gardening. I really like to get outside and plant trees and wildflowers. I enjoy nature, wildlife and natural history. On an average Sunday, I’ll be out there with bats and birds flying overhead. I like to sink my hands into the dirt of my garden. When I’m dragged inside, I like to play the piano and watch Netflix.

Tell us about the new season of “Snowpiercer.”

My character, Mr. Joseph Wilford, is in top form. What I love about the show is it is wild, wacky, weird and fun. And we keep pushing it further and further. The series has really benefited in being daring and revolutionary.

Describe filming on a train?

It’s really not too bad because I love trains. The thing is it’s winter and windy when we film, so to spend four to five months of your year inside a nice, cozy train isn’t bad. Yes, it’s quite claustrophobic, but the interiors are amazing. The production crew built amazing interiors for different classes of travel, plus there are bathrooms. I have beautiful quarters. And the claustrophobic feelings only help with the intensity of the situations.

Why is train travel so appealing?

You can’t do anything but read and look out the window. Plus, time passes slowly on a train, which is nice in our busy lives. If you’re driving in your car, you’re concentrating on the road. On a train, you can really observe things. It’s much more civilized. I’d love to jump on a train right now and see all the little towns in America.

Is it true that you worked as a welder before you became an actor? How do you bridge the gap between those two jobs?

I didn’t have any kind of thoughts about acting when I was a young man growing up in England. But, at age 11, I ended up in an acting competition. Maybe that was the start of my career because after that I can’t remember wanting to do anything else. The only problem was back then it was considered a bit sissy for a boy to become an actor. It was frowned upon. I came from an industrial city that was about mining and the steel industry. Since it was a bit whimsical, this idea of acting, I became a welder. My dad is a welder. I found I wasn’t really meant for it. I stumbled across acting again, and that was it.

Do you have a favorite memory of shooting “Lord of the Rings?”

I think about those films quite often. It was such a magnificent time for me. For all of us. I don’t think any of us knew what to expect when we first arrived in New Zealand. (Director) Peter Jackson turned it into something really special. Otherwise, it was great being on the other side of the world. We had more freedom. Then the studio received the daily rushes and gave us even more freedom. All I can say is that story is very stirring. I read it when I was about 14 or 15. I never thought I’d be playing Boromir.

After “Game of Thrones,” do people ask about losing your head on a daily basis?

I don’t mind, but it’s a bit predictable. I’m just glad I was part of “Game of Thrones” playing an interesting and complex character who people are still quite interested in the fact that my head was on a pole.

Help us break some news. Could Ned, head firmly in place, appear in any of the proposed HBO prequels to “Games of Thrones?”

It depends on how far they go back — and it depends on what form he is in. It’s difficult to imagine him alive again in some form, but it would be nice to see him again. Maybe I’ll be back.

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2021, 07:09:49 AM »
Sean Bean slays it in the garden
The actor shares the mindful joy of being at one with nature – in his special boxer shorts

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2021, 10:11:38 AM »
I love the mental picture of Sean in his garden in a pair of boxer shorts with garden tools on them.  Phew!!

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2021, 01:30:41 AM »
Sean Bean Talks About Derailing ‘Snowpiercer’
In an interview, the actor discussed Monday’s Season 2 finale, his character’s Trumpian qualities and whether he would be up for a “Game of Thrones” prequel.

This interview includes spoilers for Monday’s season finale of “Snowpiercer.”

As Ned Stark, the initial, if short-lived protagonist of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Sean Bean was the first actor to utter that show’s signature phrase: “Winter is coming.”

In his latest series, TNT’s “Snowpiercer,” winter has arrived — the Big Freeze, a cataclysmic temperature collapse that has disabled the Earth and forced a few thousand survivors to seek shelter aboard a train that hurtles perpetually around the icy planet. (The premise is taken from a series of graphic novels by Jacque Lob, Jean-Marc Rochette and Benjamin Legrand, as well as from Bong Joon Ho’s film adaptation.) Now, though, the story’s ice age might be ending; the Earth might warming enough to support life again. Once more, though, the biggest obstacle to this healing is humanity itself.

Bean’s character, Wilford, was little more than an idea in Season 1, a Wizard of Oz-like figure who had been installed in the minds of the passengers as the world’s savior. This lie was kept alive for years by the train’s designer and engineer, Melanie (Jennifer Connelly), who created Wilford out of old voice recordings that she edited into new speeches. But in Season 2, Wilford himself showed up, determined to take charge. This Wilford was more of a cruel Joffrey than an honorable Ned Stark, ready to kill and humiliate his subjects and engineer problems only that he could fix, and thus receive godlike worship in return.

Wilford’s gaslighting manipulations and abuses were an unsettling study of cultlike leaders, indoctrination, propaganda and authoritarianism. After a year of lockdown, the real-life parallels were sometimes too claustrophobic — and too relevant — to be seen as pure escapism.

In Monday’s Season 2 finale, Wilford once again attempted to sabotage humanity’s best hope, this time in the form of Melanie, who had ventured outside the train to gather data about Earth’s possible warming. (“See ya!” he shouted as the train rumbled by.) In the end, though, it was Wilford himself who was left stranded, the engine cut loose by a few passengers. Come Season 3, which is being filmed now in Vancouver, these two factions will have to reach a truce in order for “Snowpiercer” — the train and the show — to move forward.

During a phone call from Vancouver, Bean discussed diving into his fiendish role, why Wilford enjoys a good blood bath and whether the actor would be willing to do a “Game of Thrones” prequel. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

When Alex (Rowan Blanchard) slashed your throat in the finale, I thought you might die. But then I remembered reading that you had stopped taking roles in which your character would be killed off. Is that still the case?

[Chuckles.] It was a bit worrying, actually! I forgive you for thinking it might be the end. I think everyone expects me to die at some point in this series. That’s what I do.

I worked on a film recently called “Possessor,” and I was supposed to die in that. I asked them: “Why don’t you just badly injure me instead? You can put me in a wheelchair.” They said OK. So by the end of the film, I’ve got brain damage, but at least I’m alive. I’m not really that bothered by dying if there is a justifiable reason for it, but I don’t want to keep dying all the time. And it kind of gives the game away if you see me and you think, “How long is this guy going to last?” So when I do survive, it’s a bit of a surprise!

Wilford does a lot of surprising things. He would rather sabotage humanity’s best chances of survival than deal with his own petty jealousy. Wouldn’t it be more advantageous just to steal the credit for Melanie’s discoveries?

Yeah, I wonder about that. What does he actually want to achieve? There’s got to be an ultimate goal. But he doesn’t want anybody else to make decisions. I’m sure he’d like someplace safe to live, someplace more temperate. But if he can’t discover it himself, he would very happily sweep aside whoever did. He wants to be the one to say: “I found this myself. I’m colonizing it. It’s going to be named after me.” He’ll use any means to achieve that.

His willingness to sacrifice everyone else for his short-term gains reminded me of how some politicians responded in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaders in America got the nod that the pandemic was going to happen and sold their shares. People with prior knowledge preferred to make a profit first. It is a despicable reaction.

I wonder if that was a political move, right at the beginning, to put all the blame on China. I guess the origins of it don’t matter anymore, but I do wonder about this slandering of different countries for political reasons. In the midst of all this, they’re still being political, which is astounding.

Was there any aspect of Donald Trump that affected your portrayal of Wilford?

He’s an easy target. [Laughs.] If I’m honest, I used to enjoy watching Donald Trump. I found him highly entertaining and rather funny. I didn’t trust him. I didn’t like much of his policies, or what he believed in. But he talked like a regular guy, and that kind of brought you in. He also could just dismiss someone very quickly and start laughing about it. I couldn’t help but notice that and apply a little of that attitude in Wilford.

Trump liked to use the rhetoric and the platitudes that a lot of American presidents use, including Joe Biden: “We’re all in this fight together” or “Loyalty is rewarded.” It sounds a little more sinister coming from Wilford, but it’s the same kind of message — it sounds grand, but it doesn’t actually mean anything. Wilford’s a good orator. He likes the sound of his own voice, and he likes dressing up to address an audience. That’s why he’s successful — he’s attractive, charming and witty. But that just masks the savagery, barbarism and cruelty.

But there are other monsters out there, present-day and past, who are more fitting comparisons for Wilford. I don’t think Bill Gates is a particularly attractive character — he’s certainly a man who relishes control, and I’m a bit wary of that kind of guy. Jeff Bezos, various others, they’ve got so many billions, but they’re still trying to get more. It’s not even the money. They really want to be influential in the world and put forward their ideas. They want to continue trying to get to the top, whatever the top may be. That’s Wilford. He just wants to be top dog and have ultimate power over life and death.

Wilford is not exactly anti-science, but he seems only interested in certain kinds of science.

He’s like Dr. Frankenstein, with the capability of creating monsters. He spent a lot of time researching how to suffer extreme cold conditions, and that’s been demonstrated with Icy Bob (Andre Tricoteux) and now Josie (Katie McGuinness). He’s just experimenting. That’s another aspect of Wilford, meddling with people’s lives, treating them like animals. That’s where he spends a lot of his time, pursuing things that wouldn’t be allowed in normal society.

Like his bath ritual, joining people in the tub and convincing them to slit their own wrists?

It’s like a game. Kevin (Tom Lipinski) is lulled into a trance-like state, because he thinks so much of Wilford. He loves him. And Wilford convinces Kevin: “Get in the bath, sit in the bath. And I’ll talk about what you did and how it was wrong. Here’s a razor blade!” [Laughs.] It’s kind of his mantra: “Here’s a way to make it go away. You don’t have to worry. Everything’s fine.”

He did that with Miss Audrey (Lena Hall), too. He doesn’t care about people. He does care about Miss Audrey, in that he has a fanciful, romantic vision of her, kind of twisted and lustful. But apart from that, humans are just like ants to him.

Were there any scenes you found hard to wrap your mind around?

The mango sex scene was a difficult scene for me and Lena Hall. That took it to a new level of weirdness. We were making it up as we went along. I was putting the mango between her legs, she was putting it between mine, and it became a sensual encounter, in a warped and tasty way.

The way this season ends, the uncoupled train and engine will have to be reconnected. What does that mean for Wilford’s reign?

Maybe we’ll get to see him in a more reasonable light. There are moments where he has to bargain with people, comply with some of their demands and try to be diplomatic. He’s in such a dire situation, so he does have to work with Layton (Daveed Diggs). This might give the audience the impression that Wilford’s folding, but there’s always an ulterior motive — it’s never simple. That’s how cunning he is, how good he is at scheming.

HBO is developing several “Game of Thrones” prequels, one of which would be about Robert’s Rebellion.

Is that King Robert Baratheon? I keep hearing about so many different remakes. I mean, there’s a “Lord of the Rings” series coming, too. I might be too old to play Ned Stark again. That’s the trouble, isn’t it? It depends on how far you go back, doesn’t it? I’d love to reprise the role. Maybe they could do that thing they did with Robert De Niro in “The Irishman,” do a few alterations! [Laughs.] I don’t see why not.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 01:38:30 AM by patch »

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2021, 11:18:46 AM »
How the Game of Thrones toughie Sean Bean turned jail wimp

The actor tells Ed Potton how he’s playing against type as a middle-class wuss in Time, Jimmy Govern’s prison drama

Sean Bean has built a career on playing bits of rough. He was Napoleonic rough in Sharpe, Middle-earth rough in The Lord of the Rings, Westerosi rough in Game of Thrones, and even arthouse rough in Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio. So it’s a shock to see him in Time — the pulverising new prison drama from Jimmy McGovern, the creator of Cracker and The Lakes — portraying a wimp.

Well, a relative wimp because Mark, the first-time middle-class convict whom Bean plays in the BBC three-parter, contends with prison in the way most of us would: with meek, wide-eyed terror. He tries to keep his head down but the bullies soon catch up with him. Nasty pieces of work who douse their

« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 11:41:41 AM by patch »

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Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2021, 03:50:01 PM »
Why Sean Bean found it hard to switch off after emotionally-charged prison drama Time
Sean Bean has made some tough dramas in his time, but perhaps none quite as tough as Time.

To prove the point, the British actor confesses that he found it extremely difficult to switch off between draining scenes.

Written by Jimmy McGovern,for whom Bean has also starred in Accused and Broken, this hard-hitting drama focuses on Mark Hebden (Bean). Racked with guilt, he has been sentenced to four years in jail for killing an innocent man.

Facing the unforgiving prison regime, Mark finds a welcome friend in the kind-hearted guard Eric McNally (Stephen Graham), who makes it his business to look after the inmates.

But, when one of the most ruthless prisoners starts to see Eric’s good nature as a sign of weakness, Mark is thrust into a tricky and dangerous situation.

Like all of McGovern’s work, Time explores the extreme emotions to which all people can fall prey. The drama is as harsh and uncompromising as the prison life it depicts.

Bean, 62, who has previously starred in such well-regarded work as Game Of Thrones, The Lord Of The Rings, Sharpe, The Frankenstein Chronicles and World On Fire, acknowledges how hard it was not to take the character of Mark home with him.

According to the actor, who hails from Sheffield in the north of England, “I can usually do that quite easily, but this is very bleak. It’s kind of intense physically and mentally. It’s hard to switch off sometimes, especially if you’ve done a heavy scene, and it’s very emotional. That’s a bit tricky to turn off.

“There are some things in this that are so emotionally charged, so heartfelt and brutal, that it’s difficult to rid yourself of that straight away. You just need a little bit of time.”

Bean has made a name for himself playing such gritty characters. So it is a delight to discover that in person the actor is the polar opposite of his screen presence.

He is warm, witty, laid-back and – perhaps most surprisingly – very softly spoken.

He also has a winning sense of humour. For instance, Bean has died so often on screen that a social media campaign called #Don’tKillSeanBean has been launched. The actor, who has been murdered at least 25 times in films, has even inspired a young musician to post a song on YouTube in which the chorus pleads: “Just this once, could you not kill Sean Bean?”

What is most appealing, though, is that Bean himself has played along with this campaign.

You can find pictures on the internet of him grinning while he poses in a T-shirt bearing the logo, “Don’t Kill Sean Bean”.

When asked how he feels about the frequency of his screen deaths, he is similarly playful. “I’m OK about dying on screen. I’m happy to die as many times as I want because it means I can go on to do something else!”

Mark in Time is just the latest standout role from this most industrious of actors.

A passionate fan of Sheffield United football club who has the motto “100% Blade” tattooed on his left arm, his continuing busy schedule is testament to what a magnetic screen presence he remains.

When pressed, Bean reluctantly picks out some highlights from his stellar career.

He is particularly proud of his performance as Ned Stark in Game Of Thrones – even though he was yet another character who met a grisly end.

“Playing Ned was good while it lasted. He was very moral, a good man. I’m glad I had the opportunity to set the tone and the accent of the piece. The Sheffield accent is a good one for everyone else to get stuck into.”

However, Bean is not one to blow his own trumpet.

Despite all the plaudits, he remains appealingly self-effacing.

As he looks back over the 37 years since he made his screen debut in The Bill, the ever-modest Bean admits that, “I feel very happy. I get a lot of fulfilment from playing characters I wouldn’t have seen myself playing a few years ago and doing things that are so varied.

“Recently I’ve been in dramas set in Renaissance Italy, a post-apocalyptic future and the run-up to the Second World War. Those are all things that pique my interest and keep my brain ticking over. And we all need to keep our brains ticking over, don’t we?”

« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 04:01:20 PM by patch »