Interview: Sean Bean
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TNS spent an afternoon at the Groucho Club with Sean Bean, chatting about transvestites and the conventions of the horror genre. We also threw in a couple of questions about his new film Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, which is out today... A couple of minutes of research at TNS HQ told us that Sean Bean has died a grand total of 21 times during his 26 year career. How does he feel about that? Would he at some point prefer to play a character who manages to stay alive? Bean laughs. “I’ve stayed alive in more recent films,” he says. “There was one point where I was dying in everything, probably because I was always playing the bad guy.” He adds: “There was a point where I was playing villains a lot and I had to change it round because I wasn’t doing anything else. It’s nice to be in a position where I can pick and choose a bit more.” It is true that Bean has regularly played the villain – from GoldenEye to Caravaggio to Lorna Doone, his many deaths have been arguably justified. Constantly being killed off must have been quite demoralising, though? “I suppose that’s what you get when you’re playing a bad guy,” he says. “You have to die at the end. I can’t complain because some of those roles, Patriot Games and GoldenEye, were great opportunities for me.” Bean’s new film is Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, a sequel to 2006’s Silent Hill, where he plays Christopher Da Silvia, a father struggling to protect his young daughter from forces beyond his control. It is, Bean says, “quite refreshing to be playing someone who stays alive.” What was it that attracted him to the project? The prospect of playing a ‘goodie’ for a change, perhaps? Well, partly. “I read the script and I liked the premise of it,” he says, “and the disturbing, surreal quality that it has. I enjoyed playing that character (in Silent Hill) and I thought why not play him a few years on? “His daughter has become a teenager now and things have changed and moved on, you wonder what’s ahead... I was really pleased to be a part of it again.” The psychology of his character is what he finds the most interesting aspect then, rather than the horror value. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D has in turn been called horror, thriller, psychological – which would he describe it as? “It’s more psychological I think,” he says. “There are a lot of things in there that are fearful...things that people are scared of and they don’t know why they’re scared of them. What horror is, it’s a bit more subtle than that – you can’t quite pin it down. Why is that disturbing me?”
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