News: Please refresh your browser on every visit as modifications are implemented relevant to the recent upgrade.

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Sean Bean interview  (Read 8178 times)

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18433
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.

It’s 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.

 “It’s the first thing that people say: Do you die in this?” he says with a chuckle. “It’s nice to be able to say: Wait and see. It’s not something that I’ve 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 didn’t have much of a future ahead of them.”

He continues: “Now I’d prefer not to die because I think I’ve done it that many times and there’s got to be a really good reason if I’m going to die again. I prefer to stay alive. But I’ve never really complained about it. I’m 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 McGovern’s 2017 TV drama Broken.

“He’s a great writer,” says Bean. “He’s 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. Bean’s 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. “I’ve 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 we’re not in there. There’s 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. That’s what it would be like, and that’s what I wanted an audience to feel.”

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

“I play a villain in that but he’s a very charming villain,” he says. “There’s something about him that people like. And that’s the other side of the coin, whereas Mark Cobdon, I guess he’s a little bit more like me. He’s a bit of an introvert, he’s 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 you’re playing taking in their surroundings and the emotions from other people around them, and how that affects them. Sometimes it’s 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 that’s 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 I’d read as a kid to life. I’d 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 wasn’t 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.

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18433
Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2021, 02:26:33 AM »
Sean Bean on Time, makeup and his trans role: ‘If I did it today, there’d be an uproar’
In Time, the actor known as Game of Thrones’ Ned Stark had to show the terrors of prison … mostly by sitting in silence. He talks religion, looking rough – and the role he played that would not be made now

Mark Lawson
Sat 25 Dec 2021 08.00 GMT
Across three Sunday nights last summer, Sean Bean was remarkable. BBC One’s Time saw him play a teacher jailed for killing someone while drunk-driving. With Jimmy McGovern’s script often leaving him silent and alone in his cell, he painted an astonishingly affecting portrait of the regret and terror of a previously respected professional banged up with veteran criminals – and he frequently did so using expressions alone.

How is it to try to grab the audience entirely through looks? “As you get older, it’s sometimes a bit easier!” says Bean, 62, with a laugh. “When I started out, I used to count up how many lines I had and want some more. Now, it’s: ‘Oh, fuck, do I have to remember all that?’ So I don’t mind silence.”

Is it not technically harder to convey everything facially, though? “Yeah, it is,” says Bean. “But if the character is alone, it’s about trying to think what they are thinking. You can draw on situations in which you have felt alone, or sad, or nervous. That can be uncomfortable, but it gets you to the truth.”

As well as fewer lines to learn, Time also allowed Bean to reach the makeup trailer later. As a leading man, his time before shooting is usually spent trying to look as good as possible. Here, he needed to look rough.

“It’s not as if I didn’t have to do anything. I shaved each day but aimed to get the effect of someone using a cheap razor in a little cracked mirror in their cell,” he says. “You do have to wear some makeup or you look a different texture from everyone else. But I put on the bare minimum, nothing too flattering. You want to look like someone who’s exhausted and in shock. That wasn’t too difficult some mornings!”

Bean deliberately chose not to speak to any prisoners as part of his preparation for playing Mark Cobden – who is often the only person on his wing experiencing incarceration for the first time. “I wanted the locations – the cells, corridors, exercise yard – to be new and shocking to me, as they are to him. I wanted just to react to what was around me,” he says.

The drama intercuts the experiences of Cobden and Eric McNally, his supervising prison officer, played by Stephen Graham. Their scenes together are acting as grand slam final tennis, each participant judging whether to match the pace of the other player or change it. Watching Time called to mind theatrical experiments in which actors have swapped the main parts in a play on alternate nights – the king and Bolingbroke in Shakespeare’s Richard II, the brothers in Sam Shepard’s True West – and I fantasised about seeing the drama with Bean as the prison officer and Graham as the inmate. Was the casting ever up for discussion? “It was always me for Mark and him for Eric. But it would be really interesting. You should ask Jimmy about remaking it that way.”

Four years ago, in another McGovern drama, Broken, Bean played Father Michael Kerrigan, a Merseyside Catholic priest forced to double as a sort of social worker because of state and council cuts. Time and Broken are linked by Mark and Michael having been baptised into the same faith: Michael is a Catholic believer who struggles with doubts, while Mark has lost his faith but is tempted by a prison chaplain to lapse from atheism.

Bean, who grew up in a practising Catholic family in Sheffield but was deemed “too out there” as a child to be encouraged towards the priesthood (as McGovern was), says: “The church offers Mark a lifeline. Jimmy McGovern claims not to believe in religion, but Catholicism is a thread in his work. In Time and Broken, there’s a tension between what the characters say they believe or don’t believe and what they actually think.”

Where Father Michael is seen by society as a good guy and Mark Cobden as a bad man, the truth is far more complex. “They’re both very self-critical, and a mix of fallibilities and good qualities,” says Bean. “That ambiguity is what makes Jimmy’s characters so rich. And we’re all like that, aren’t we? We all like to think we have mostly good bits with a few bad bits – but others may think we have more downs than ups.”

Time was his third primetime BBC collaboration with McGovern. Before Broken, there was 2012’s Tracie’s Story, which gave Bean his boldest screen role. Known as an action actor – the titular 19th-century soldier in ITV’s Sharpe, Ned Stark in Game of Thrones – he played, in blond wig and false breasts, Tracie, the trans alter ego of an English teacher.

There are increasing calls for authentic casting, in which the identities of actor and character match. But for McGovern alone, Bean has played a priest, a prisoner and a transexual, none of which he has been. Would he defend pretence?

“I think so. I come from a generation that started in repertory theatre, playing a different role each week. The aim was to play as many parts as possible. Whereas there’s a tendency now to argue that characters can only be played by someone like them,” says Bean. “I think that is restrictive and counterproductive. We risk getting into a situation where drama is dictated more by which boxes are ticked than the story being told. I often think that, if I did Tracie’s Story today, there’d be an uproar. I have a feeling it would be questioned and wouldn’t even be made, but it’s one of the roles I’m proudest of. It seems such a shame if actors can’t play a range of parts.”

While in Time, Broken and Tracie’s Story, Bean was unable to draw on personal experience, the four-part BBC drama he is shooting with Nicola Walker – written and directed by Stefan Golaszewski, who made the BBC Two hit Mum – is called Marriage. Is it painful or useful that Bean is currently on his fifth?

“Well,” he laughs, “the show is about a longterm, 27-year marriage, which isn’t something I know about.” His lengthiest stretch of matrimony so far is seven years. “It’s about the small things that happen in a marriage, how you stay together. There are really few words in this. It’s all in the silences and pauses. So it’s another very different shift for me, which is what I like.”

« Last Edit: December 25, 2021, 02:37:05 AM by patch »

Offline SMcFirefly

  • Ian's Treasure
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2021, 12:48:52 PM »
'There are increasing calls for authentic casting, in which the identities of actor and character match. But for McGovern alone, Bean has played a priest, a prisoner and a transexual, none of which he has been. Would he defend pretence?

“I think so. I come from a generation that started in repertory theatre, playing a different role each week. The aim was to play as many parts as possible. Whereas there’s a tendency now to argue that characters can only be played by someone like them,” says Bean. “I think that is restrictive and counterproductive. We risk getting into a situation where drama is dictated more by which boxes are ticked than the story being told. I often think that, if I did Tracie’s Story today, there’d be an uproar. I have a feeling it would be questioned and wouldn’t even be made, but it’s one of the roles I’m proudest of. It seems such a shame if actors can’t play a range of parts.”'

I am kind of fed up with this woke line of thinking, and I think Sean Bean expresses his thoughts brilliantly here. Definitely too limiting for actors. Also, the whole point of acting is to convey characters, not yourself.

Offline Belle58Vue

  • Fan
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2021, 02:36:09 PM »
Sean is so right.  If 'Wokeism' is allowed to triumph, where would actors be?  As a friend of mine so rightly commented, will it only be convicted murderers who are allowed to portray convicted murderers? I rest my case.

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18433
Re: Sean Bean interview
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2022, 12:48:19 AM »
Game of Thrones star Sean Bean on why he loves living in Somerset
The five times married star dubbed the second greatest Yorkshire man says he has found contentment at last
When fans saw Game of Thrones star Sean Bean near Wincanton it was hard to believe that the man once named the second greatest Yorkshireman that ever lived was moving to genteel Somerset.

Rumours started swirling after diners at The Wagtail pub spotted the Lord of the Rings star in the county amid reports he was looking at a property near the small village of Maperton, Wincanton.

 The rumours about him moving here turned out to be true and over the last six years, Bean has given several interviews in which he has revealed why he moved to Somerset and how he has finally found peace in the county.

And by the sounds of it, any fans hoping to bump into the five-times married, Sharpe actor might be better hanging around local garden centres than the Somerset celebrity set.

So why did Sean move from London?
According to the 62-year-old it was because he had been driven out of his home in Belsize Park that he once shared fourth wife Georgina Sutcliffe by neighbours “who objected to everything”.

They divorced in 2010 and Sean told The Times his neighbours “went to solicitors” about his pet chickens in the garden.

“I wanted to put a roof terrace up for wildlife: they got together, having wine parties talking about how they were going to stop me," he added.

“I thought ‘F*** me, I’ve had enough of all this."

Why not Hollywood?
Sean once lived in the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles when he was starring in films like National Treasure and Flightplan with Jodie Foster.

But he told an interviewer: “I don’t think I could ever put down roots there. It’s one thing living in a hotel and knowing you’re going to be going home and another thing settling.”

Why Somerset?
Bean is known as a man of few words and when not working he prefers solitary pursuits such as reading, listening to music, playing the piano, welding and sketching.

But the actor, who married fifth wife Ashley Moore in 2017, says his favourite pastime is gardening and he is out there "most days".

"We bought the house from a designer called Ken Bolan, and we fell in love with the way he’d created this kind of haven," he told one interviewer.

"I’ve made it a little bit wilder. "

When a Grade II listed mansion in Totteridge, north London where he lived with his third wife, Abigail Cruttenden, went on the market for Ł6 million, it became clear he didn't intend going back to the capital.

What is his Somerset garden like?
The word he uses most to describe it is "wild".

"When we moved to Somerset I left the garden alone for a year, so I saw what grew naturally and what didn’t, and I went with that," he told one interviewer.

" I planted trees, shrubs, plants and flowers that actually do well in my garden. I didn’t go with fancy stuff that you have to keep taking in and out and looking after.

"I just think, if it dies, it dies, it’s not supposed to be here; and if it survives, I’ll plant more of it."

Over lockdown he planted lots of trees and put in bird boxes and bat boxes.

"I take it quite slowly and then I reap the benefit year by year, which is a wonderful feeling," he once said.

Where did the love of gardening come from?
Growing up in Sheffield in the ’60s and ’70s he loved football and exploring derelict farms, scrapheaps and old bomb craters with friends.

Gradually he became interested in birdwatching and started roaming the pockets of greenery in the industrial, steel city.

"My granddad did a lot of vegetable and fruit gardening, and he was very regimented, but he got great produce," he once said.

"And there was my next-door neighbour, a guy called Ron Howard, who was our neighbour for about 40 or 50 years. I learnt a lot from both of them, and I gradually grew into gardening as well.

" I remember planting trees in Mum and Dad’s garden; it wasn’t very big, but I tried to get as much hawthorn and native trees and bushes as I could, and loads of nest boxes for the birds. That was how I got into gardening."

Why does he like it?
He likes it because he forgets about work and says it helps free his mind from everyday stress.

"I find I just focus on the moment," he told one interviewer.

" It’s a kind of mindful process: you know where you are, you know you’re in the present, but at the same time your mind is wandering and visualising and imaging colours and structures and shapes," he said.

" It’s precise, in the sense that you know exactly what you’re doing, but other ideas are also formulating – you’re planning for the future without really recognising that. It’s an interesting state of mind."

What does he wear?
His uniform is either overalls or a camouflage T-shirt he gets every year for Christmas from his wife and kids but always takes them off when not in the garden.

"I’m not going to go to the supermarket wearing camouflage and hiding behind bushes or anything like that!," he told the Financial Times.

"I’ve also got a few pairs of boxer shorts with nice little pictures of tools on them – hammers and chisels – so that puts me in the mood and I think, right, I’ve got work to do. Sounds a bit crazy, but it works for me. "

He is a big fan of Monty Don.
He watches Gardeners World every week and says he likes the way Monty Don goes with nature rather than fighting against ti.

"He has a wonderful way of looking at gardening," he explained in one interview.

"He is more of a naturalist in a sense and almost like a painter in the way he treats and visualises the world around him."

Does he still like Somerset?
He told one interviewer he was "fortunate to live in the county and added: "In Somerset I feel as if I’ve really found the place where I feel settled and content."

When asked about favourite place in the world he said: "If this is a heart thing, then it would probably be my home town, Sheffield.

"If it is somewhere now that I’ve chosen to be, it’s here in Somerset.."
What next?

He recently appeared in Tim, Jimmy McGovern's acclaimed three-part series Time so there are no plans to retire just yet.

The grandfather of four told an interviewer he loves what he does and enjoys the challenge of experimenting with new roles.

"But I value my time out of that also," he said.

" I really enjoy my time at home with my family, with my wife and with nature. "