Silent Hill's Sean Bean
The Silent Hill star talks about the many memorable men, good and bad, that he's played in the last two decades. By Jason Matloff
Sean Bean had so much to say about the roles he's played, it wouldn't all fit in the May 2006 issue's Scene Stealer column. PREMIERE.com is here with more.
GoldenEye (1995) Although Bean was in contention to play Bond, he eventually landed the role of nefarious agent 006.
SEAN BEAN: It would have been nice to have played him, but it was just exciting to be involved with a Bond film. And at the end of the film, I got a watch. It's engraved in the back and says, like, 'to Sean Bean, 006.' I wear it all the time. I'm actually wearing it now.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001) Bean learned that being afraid to fly and filming in New Zealand can make for an unpleasant combination. I wasn't very keen on flying, so me and Orlando Bloom were driving from Wellington to Queensland. And there was a massive storm with mudslides so we got stuck and had to sort of shack up in this log cabin for a couple of days. It was quite pleasant actually, but the ironic thing is that the only way they could get us out was by helicopter. So after doing all that, I ended up in one. It was just terrible because it was swaying and just hearing the rotor blades go around makes me think, 'Oh shit.' Orlando was sitting next to me, and he was fine, but I was gripping his kneecap.
The Island (2005) Bean's mad scientist may have had a major God complex, but boy did he wear some sweet threads. I did an extra day and instead of getting paid I said, 'Well just give me all my wardrobe.' So now I've got lots of Dolce & Gabanna, Boss, and Armani suits at home. It was better than getting paid really.
National Treasure (2004) While filming this action-adventure, Bean and costar, Nicolas Cage, made the most of their downtime. Nicolas and I used to play pool together and do karaoke. We would go down to [L.A.'s] Koreatown and he would get up and sing like Elvis and I'd sing Rage Against the Machine. [Drunk?] Obviously, you had to be to sing that.
North Country (2005) In this emotional drama, Bean plays Francis McDormand's loving husband. I'd been trying for a while to get parts that weren't just the English bad guy, so it was quite refreshing to be playing someone who was a compassionate, decent guy. And I think playing an American has opened doors for me in a sense because should anyone have any reservations [about whether he can pull it off] I can give them North Country and they can have a look for themselves.
For years, Sean Bean has been Hollywood's first choice when it needs a sophisticated villain. (See GoldenEye, Don't Say a Word and The Island.) But lately, the 46-year-old Sheffield, England, native has been feeling well, good. He wore the white hat in last year's Flightplan and North Country, and in April's spookfest Silent Hill, he plays an ordinary guy searching for his missing wife (Radha Mitchell) and young daughter. Well, an ordinary guy in the sense that his family disappears into an alternate dimension. Did we mention the movies if based on a video game? -- Jason Matloff
PATRIOT GAMES (1992) Bean suffered from Harrison Ford's bad aim. "[Ford] had a boat hook in his hand, and accidentally ended up whacking me across the eye. I had about thirty stitches put in. [At the hotel] someone stopped me because I was wearing a leather jacket, had a big black eye, and had really short hair so I looked like a skinhead. The production company had to call and explain that I was an actor."
LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001) The Boromir action figure freaked out Bean's daughter. "She was about two years old and was a bit scared because my [figure] came with an [demonic] Uruk-Hai. You could stretch the bow and make him fire arrows into me. I was showing her how you do it, and she said, 'But that's you, Daddy!' It was hysterical. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea."
TROY (2004) The costumes provided Bean with too much insight into his costars. "We were playing these warriors, but sometimes it did get a bit comical because we were all wearing skirts and tunics that we weren't used to. Your skirt would ride up in the back and you would see a big white ass. Or you're falling over and your wedding tackle is falling out."