Sean Bean: The Interview - Page 4

After Essex Boys and the four-part tv series for British television, Extremely Dangerous, Sean went on to play Boromir in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. The three films were shot simultaneously in New Zealand over the past two years, with an expected release date for the first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring, at Christmas 2001.

"Lord of the Rings was just so much enjoyment. It was over about the space of a year that I was filming. It's one of the most enjoyable things I've ever emotional. Peter Jackson is an incredible director. He's very on top of things and thoroughly researched...and he knew exactly what he wanted and what was happening at any particular time on any set. He had a little bicycle so that he could peddle to the next set...."

"Lord of the Rings was something I always wanted to do. I read the book when I was about 25, and I was always hoping if it was ever made into a feature film that I would be involved in some way. Then Peter Jackson came over to England and I met him, and it was some time before it actually came about. There was a few months where we weren't sure whether it would happen, or if I'd got the part...and then I finally got it, and I was over the moon. It was fantastic news, that."

"It was wonderful, a fantastic experience. It was great. And I was fortunate to be working alongside Viggo.... He's a wonderful actor and a really great guy as well as a real gentleman. I really got on well with him. We're about the same age, you see."

How long, I wonder, did it take him to get ready each day, with makeup and costumes?

"It usually took about an hour and a half to start off with," Sean says, "but then once we got into a rhythm, we got it down to about 40 minutes. The Hobbits were the ones who took the most time in makeup, because they had to get their feet on."

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Sean is wearing a wig (an exceptionally good wig, he adds, with great deference to the wig-maker), but Boromir's beard is his own. "They went to extraordinary lengths with the wigs and the facial hair in the films," he confirms.

And what about Boromir's accent, which has been the subject of rather a lot of speculation among fans in recent months? "It's sort of a mixture of Yorkshire and RP. It's not the Queen's English,'s a sort of quite neutral accent. It's got the flat vowel sounds...which actually quite suit the character."

I tackle another subject of intense fan speculation...the part of Strider. Was he ever in line to play that part? Sean shakes his head. "I don't think so. I think there were things said in the press...but it's like that rumour where they had me playing Doctor Who. You get a lot of gossip."

At one point during the filming, I tell him, we were reading online reports about terrible weather and bad flooding. Sean does recall one particular incident from that period.

"We were travelling down by road from the top of the south island, from Wellington to Queenstown, and it's about a 10 hour journey, and it just happened that we had a lot of water...a lot of rainfall...and the road we were on was only a two lane road, and banks collapsed behind us and in front of us...and we were sort of stuck in this little place for a couple of and Orlando Bloom.... We were on the phone a lot...wondering when a helicopter was going to come and take us out."

In terms of roles, Lord of the Rings ranks very highly in Sean's estimation. "I'm proud of Lord of the Rings, and I want to be there to tell people to go and see it, and get behind it. I think it's a once in a lifetime role, and a once in a lifetime film. It was made with so much care and passion and meticulous detail...and everybody was so behind it. Everybody in New Zealand...all the people were involved. They loved this thing with a passion. They'd read the book, so they were experts and fanatics about it."


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