Source: Daily Express Day & Night 15 June 2004 Most male actors consider being branded a sex symbol an insult to their serious acting aspirations and a public embarrassment. Not so for Sean Bean who, at the somewhat advanced age of 45, will be happy as Larry to have come second in a new poll to find Britain's sexiest actor.
Sheffield-born former welder Sean, a generation older than the poll's victor - twentysomething pretty boy Orlando Bloom, with whom he co-starred in Lord of the Rings - is delighted with his heart- throb status and the subsequent attention he gets from the opposite sex. "It's nice that women feel that about me. I'm certainly not going to complain," laughs the single but thrice-divorced father of three, who is fully aware of why women find his rugged, tattoed appearance so attractive. "I don't have any problems with women seeing me as their ideal bit of 'rough'. Why would I?"
Sean, who beat Jude Law - almost universally accepted as the nation's most swoon-inducing actor - into fifth place in the poll by Skymovies.com, first came to female viewers' attention 12 years ago when he memorably disrobed to play seductive gamekeeper Mellors in a TV version of Lady Chatterley's Lover. His enthusiastic and highly visible sex scene won him a rear-of-the-year award.
Unlike Jude, who dislikes being cast as celluloid eye candy, Sean, who stars with fellow heart-throb Brad Pitt in the hit film Troy, has no problem with being appreciated for his physical attributes and is happy to take his clothes off on screen or, indeed, stage (he spent much of a recent West End foray as Macbeth topless).
"Chatterley had a big impact on my career, it got me noticed," admits Sean, who has two daughters with his second wife, former Bread actress Melanie Hill, and one with his third, Abigail Cruttenden, who played his screen wife in the TV series Sharpe.
"It's one of the roles I'll always look back on fondly because it was a good part and the story was great: it was a classy, classic tale perfectly told."