I hope to do an actor profile for most of the Major Actors on Game of Thrones, but this one will come a little easier and may be more detailed than most.
Before his appearance as Ned Stark in game of Thrones Sean Bean is best known for two roles the first is Boromir from Lord of the Rings, and the second is Sharpe from the TV series. He also has had notable big screen appearance in the James Bonds film Golden Eye, Ronin with Robert De Niro and Patriot Games with Harrison Ford.
Sean Beans Early Life and Career
Born 17 April 1959 as Shaun Mark Bean in the Handsworth district of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. Coming from an engineering family background it was not natural for him to take to acting and this only happened after a couple of false starts at other vocations.
I was surprise to find that he was RADA trained( I am not saying he cant act he just does not come across as a RADA and RSC ‘type’ ), and graduated in Academy in 1983, and went on to spend a large proportion of the 80’s working in theatre and with Royal Shakespeare Company.
Sean Bean spent the later part of the 80’s and early 90’s breaking into British Television with aclaimed roles in Clarissa, Lady Chatterley and the Field.
Sean Bean as Richard Sharpe
Sean first hit the big times in the role of Richard Sharpe, Bernard Cornwell’s maverick officer in the Napoleonic war novels, and became so synonymous with the role, that an extra line was added for Boromir in the extended version Fellowship of the Ring where he says ‘Still Sharpe’ relating to the Isuldurs blade.
However Sean wasn’t the first actor chosen for the role, the first was Paul McGann, who injured himself whilst playing football and early in the filming, and in doing so did us all a big favour by bringing together Richard Sharpe and Sean Bean.
The initial series ran form 1993 to 1997 with 3 episodes produced each year usually based round the Sharpe’s books to some greater or lesser extent, and then two extra episodes Sharpe’s Peril and Sharpe’s Challenge were added in 2006.
Sean Bean in Hollywood
Sean actually broke into Hollywood before his success with the Sharpe series. His intial major Hollywood appearance was with harrison ford in the 1992 film Patriot Games. This would be the first of several big screen villains that he would play.
In 1995 he appeared in James Bond Movie GoldenEye as Alec Trevelyan (the major villain of the film) He also appeared as the character s Spence (with Robert de Niro) in Ronin (1998), and as the greedy treasure hunter Ian Howe, in National Treasure (2004) with Nicolas Cage.
He also made an appearance in Troy alongside Brian Cox and Brad Pitt.
Sean Bean in Lord of the Rings
His most successful role to date was as Boromir in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, although appearing mainly in the The Fellowship of the Ring, and he also appears in flashbacks in The Two Towers and The Return of the King,
Due to his fear of flying, he was reluctant to take the helicopters out to remote mountain locations while filming for The Fellowship of the Ring. After a particularly rough ride, he vowed not to fly to a location again. In one instance, he chose to take a ski lift into the mountains and then hike the final few miles, all in full costume.
Bean has a tattoo of the Elvish symbol for “nine”, a reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings and the fact that his character was one of the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Recent career Sean has not been quiet and has had many roles in Hollywood, Computer Games, TV voice over’s and though some have had great critical acclaim but nothing which has hit the same commercial success as the above mentioned roles.
He is busy this year in a number of roles, but there is only one we are interested in which is the role of Ned Stark in game of thrones.
Sean Beans Personal Life
Sean Bean’s major passion beyond acting is football and he has been a passionate Sheffield United (The 2nd best fottball team to where red and white stripes) supporter from childhood, he has a tattoo on his left shoulder that reads 100% Blade. He was until December 2007 one of the directors of the club but finally decided to go back to terraces as that is where he felt most comfortable.
He has been married four times and divorced three times, and his current marriage is as a stormy affair and can make the gossip columns more than occasionally. He describes himself as quiet. Although he admits he can be a workaholic, in his spare time he likes relaxing with a book or listening to music. He is also a keen gardener, and does both welding and sketching.