In The Hitcher, Sean Bean stars as a
mysterious stranger who
plays a deadly game of cat and mouse
on the back roads of
New Mexico - leaving a trail of blood,
mayhem and twisted metal
in his wake.
A veteran performer from the North of
England, Bean sprang to
prominence as Boromir in Peter Jacksons Lord of The Rings
having made his name in films like Stormy Monday, The Field and
opposite Harrison Ford in Patriot Games.
A Sheffield native and self-described
football fanatic, he makes his
home in North London.
Hey Sean. So you once said you'd never
play another role like this (ie
a bad guy)
Sean Bean: Did I? Well, I changed my
mind (laughs). I mean, in Troy, I
was quite good. And then I played somebody else good. I guess
have gotten fed up with playing gentlemen.
You're quite good at it though...
SB: Which is why they keep asking me
to do them (laughs)!
Have you ever gone hitchhiking yourself?
SB: No I dont think Id
like to get in anybody elses car, actually.
Did you ever pick someone up?
SB: Well, I suppose its the charitable
thing to do. But theres always
somebody else coming up behind, so Im sure they always
(laughs). A lot of kids go off hitchhiking in Europe during their
year. I suppose its a relatively safe thing to do. I dont
know if Id
let my kids do it, though. Actually, I know I would mind. I wouldnt
tell them to get in a car with anybody. I just think its
a weird thing
to do, to get into a strangers car.
Your look in The Hitcher is quite distinctive.
How did it come about?
SB: We sat down with the costume department
and came up with this
image, which is fairly nondescript, actually. A regular guy that
might meet in the shopping center. Something that was neither
there. Its certainly not the sort of costume youd
want to keep after
you finished filming a grey mack and a light blue shirt!
What's it like playing a part like this?
SB: I found it kind of fun, to tell
you the truth. It was pretty
focused and pretty tense, because of the nature of the film.
But it was
also a lot of fun.
Because I was doing such wicked and
horrible things to people, it was
nice to have a bit of a joke about it in-between. Otherwise,
go absolutely mad At the end of the day, you have a few
some music and smash me hotel room! (laughs).
Do you enjoy watching horror films?
SB: I get a bit scared with scary films.
But I quite like that feeling.
What's the best horror film you've seen?
SB: The Exorcist. That really terrified
me. I was probably about 15
when I saw it.
Were you a fan of the original Hitcher?
SB: I enjoyed it, yeah. What was it
20-years ago? I saw it in the
cinema. But I wasnt fanatical about it or that kind of
Are you concerned about unfavorable
SB: Not really. No. I just saw it as
something new that we were doing.
I saw the film once before, as I said, and thought it was a good
I just wanted to not be influenced by it.
How did you make it your own?
SB: By just taking it off the page.
From discussions with the director.
And things that happen on the spur of the moment on the day
that you create, there and then, so youre not guided by
performance. Thats why I didnt want to see the original
because I didnt want to be influenced by that. I mean,
Macbeth as well and actors have been playing that one for 500-years,
now, so I suppose its a remake every time you do it, too
I cant put my finger on the things
that I brought to The Hitcher when
I watch my performance. But I found there are things in there
wasnt aware of which I found quite interesting and satisfying.
means I wasnt monitoring myself or my performance or being
by anybody else.
At the end of the day, this character
is very deranged and very
confused. I just played that confusion. You dont know what
And I think thats what makes it scary.
Did you know what he wanted?
SB: I dont know what he wanted.
I didnt have to. There are a number
of possibilities. Maybe he wanted to die and be rid of the evil
him? Maybe he just didnt care? Maybe he just wanted to
kill who he
wanted until he was killed himself? Maybe its just a combination
all those things? Or maybe it was just nothing at all...
What scares you?
SB: Sheffield United losing on Saturday
afternoons That scares me
So we take it you're still a big football
SB: Sheffield United, yeah, yeah
Did you get another tattoo?
SB: I did actually, yeah. We got promoted
to the Premiere League. So I
got a tattoo on my wrist. S-U-F-C Sheffield United
Football Club. I
got it in May. We got promoted to the Premiere League for the
time in thirteen years. Me and couple of my friends said if we
promoted again, wed get the tattoos.
How often do you go to watch?
SB: As often as I can. I go up there
quite a bit. Im the director of
the club. So I get a special seat now and stuff like that.
What does the director of the club do?
SB: He gets a big leather seat (laughs).
And canapés at halftime!
Were you any good at footbal?
SB: I was OK. I was passable, yeah.
But I wasnt great.
If you'd had the choice between the
SB: I would have been a footballer,
up till my pass-bye date. And then
Id have been a successful actor (laughs). But if I had
to choose at
that age when I was a kid, 9 or 10, well, you want to be a football
When did you realise you weren't going
to be one?
SB: When I was 14. I just realized the
ball wasnt going in the right
direction anymore (laughs). I knew I wasnt as good as a
lot of the
other kids around me.
Do you still play?
SB: I do. I play five-aside, now and
again, when I go back to
Sheffield. Thats first love and last. Thats true
Apparently you almost weren't able to
shoot The Hitcher
SB: Yeah I was doing a film in
England called Outlaw. The days were
conflicting, so at one point it looked like I wasnt going
to be able
to do this one. Fortunately, we managed to work around it and
things out. In the end, I had about a week to prepare.
Id worked with [producer] Michael
Bay before on The Island. I felt
comfortable with him and knew that whatever he put together would
pretty well constructed So I didnt have any hesitation,
What did you do in that one week to
SB: I just had to change my accent,
really (laughs). I met Dave
[director; Dave Meyers] for dinner the night before we started
We had a chat about the part and were pretty much in agreement
it should go. We shook hands and said, lets get on with
it. It was
fast. I would have liked to have had more time. But that wasnt
case. Still, I felt pretty good about what I was doing. First
set, I felt good, secure and confident.
Do you have any other films coming up?
SB: Yes, this film, Outlaw, which I
was talking about. And Ive got a
film called True North coming out next year about three people
together in the wilderness. We shot it in Norway, in the very
And what happens if The Hitcher is a
big hit? You might end up playing
bad guys for some time to come...
SB: I think its a good thing
No, its got to be a good thing. I cant
worry about getting typecast and things like that!
The Hitcher was released in UK cinemas
on June 1st.