by Scott Tenorman
February 3rd, 2006
Actor Sean Bean's big break came when he played Mellors in the 1993 TV
adaptation of Lady Chatterley. He played Boromir in The Lord Of The Rings
and Odysseus in Troy, in addition to a wide range of stage roles. The
three-times divorced star, 46, and long-time Sheffield United football
club supporter stars in North Country, which is released today.
Your character in North Country is a sensitive sort. Would you still play a
Yes, because I've played some good guys recently, so it has balanced itself
out a little bit. Look at Anthony Hopkins doing Hannibal Lecter. You
couldn't turn something like that down. The characters have to have
some substance, rather than be caricatured bad guys.
The film's received some Bafta and Golden Globes nominations. You
must be pleased.
You can't be in something brilliant artistically and commercially every
time you do a film but you can be in something you feel strongly about.
I've felt strongly about everything I've done but that's especially true of
You've worked with Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Frances
McDormand on North Country, as well as Jodie Foster. Are they similar?
Some of them have quite a large entourage but, in terms of the actual
acting, we're all in the same boat. Jodie is quiet, private and very
focused on her work. Charlize is great but I got to know Frances better.
She's very down to earth, very pragmatic, very realistic. She made
quite a big impression on me. She's very: 'F**k it, come on guys, let's
go out and have a beer.'
60 SECONDS EXTRA!: Do you ever look at website Worldwide Bean Alerts?
Really? Is there one? Are you serious?
60 SECONDS EXTRA!: Yes.
It's weird, isn't it? I'm useless with computers and stuff. I sometimes
ask my children what's happening with me on the Internet - you know,
where am I? What am I doing? That sort of stuff.
60 SECONDS EXTRA!: You were recently voted the second sexiest Brit
on a fan website.
Yeah, but who was first?
60 SECONDS EXTRA!: Orlando Bloom.
I thought it f**king might have been.
You've spent a lot of time in the US lately. Do you have a big house in LA?
I don't have a house there. It's just an added responsibility. I've got a
place in London I like, so I don't really want to mess about with anything
Don't you get sick of hotels?
Oddly, no. I think I was the only one in The Lord Of The Rings who stayed
in hotels for a year. Everyone else had houses or apartments. You just
don't have to do anything, do you? You just do what you want and they
come and clean it up.
Are you one of those actors who wants to work all the time?
I do like working. I love the process. I find it's really satisfying, rewarding
and exhilarating. I like to have time off too because I have lots of other
interests - football, cricket, boxing, seeing my friends. I got to see the last
minute of the Ashes in the British Airways lounge at Heathrow then had to
get on the plane for LA.
Is it true you and Peter O'Toole are cricket buddies?
Yes, I had lunch with him not long ago. He's a massive Yorkshire and
England cricket fan. He's even done a coaching course. He's obsessed with it.
So you've been friends since you made Troy?
Yeah, I've not known him too long but I feel like I have. He was like an
inspiration to me as a child, a real hero, so to work with him was incredible.
The first time I met him was on the Troy set in Malta and he came into
the dressing room holding a cigarette holder, wearing a dressing gown,
sandals and a T-shirt with a picture of Darren Gough on it. I thought:
'F**k! Peter O'Toole. This is brilliant.'
Do you get recognised a lot when you go out?
It's sort of a mix. Most people leave me alone. I go to Sheffield and lots
of people know who I am. They're old friends but it's different in London.
If I go to a pub in the West End at 10.55pm, I'm asking for it but most
people are complimentary and I do appreciate that.
You worked as a welder in Sheffield. How have your old friends reacted to
At first, it was a bit dodgy. They thought I was a bit of a fairy but I was
determined to do what I wanted to do - and that's what I wanted to do,
so I did it. I come from a very working-class background, so it was quite
a strange thing to say to my parents: 'I'm going to go to London and be
an actor.' They were kind of: 'What are you on about?'
60 SECONDS EXTRA!: How has your experience with the tabloids been?
I've not really been pursued by them. I seem to have quite a good
relationship with them in that I don't seem to be in them very much,
which is probably what constitutes a good relationship. I think they're
OK with me and I'm OK with them.
Any truth to the rumour that you're getting married again (to actress
No. I've had my fair share of that. Never say never but I certainly have
no plans to get married.
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