Sean Bean is back in the game with a new TNT show called Legends. The story focuses on a undercover operative who has multiple personalities. However, the lines begin to blur and his character has trouble distinguishing between his true self and his other identities.
The show is based off of Robert Littell’s book, Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation. Bean talked to Vulture about his new venture as he’s a fan of the genre.
He said, “It’s that kind of deception, that kind of bluffing, that is particularly interesting. And I get a chance to play multiple personas, multiple characters, and that’s a challenge. I always like to do something different, something unusual, stray off the path a bit. That’s what I [find] kind of exciting.”
Since the 55-year-old actor has to create so many characters for his new cable show, he explained his process for developing and leaving a role behind.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a Method actor, but I do try to focus very deeply on what character I’m playing, and everything else goes out the window. I forget about everything. I try to get everything else out of my head. So I guess you could call that Method up to a point, but when I’ve finished a scene, I don’t walk around and pretend that I’m still in character,” he shared. “Everybody has their own methods, but I guess I’m kind of in between, because I do carry it around a little bit, when I finish work and come home at night, and your mind is racing a bit. And then when I get home from doing something like this, it takes a fair bit to readjust to normal life, to family life. [Laughs.] I’m not complaining! But it does have that kind of effect on you, to pretend for so long that you’re someone else.”
The Game of Thrones star does have one particular character that was tough to shake.
“I did a film for the BBC called Tracie’s Story. It was part of a series called Accused, and I actually played a transvestite in that, and that was a big leap to get into. And it stayed with me for a long while, even until today, because it was an interesting character. It was a very endearing part to play. I played a schoolteacher in the daytime, teaching these kids at school, and by night, I was a woman — big blonde wig, stockings, stilettos, miniskirt — going out on the town. Very flamboyant, but a lovely character. She was called Tracie,” Bean said. “And I suppose that was a big one to get into, to walk around before the first scene, to become a woman trying to chat my boyfriend up. That was a big leap for me [laughs]. But of all the characters I’ve played, that was probably one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever done. I remember that one really fondly. And it went down really well! It got a lot of critical acclaim, but it was one of the most unlikely things I could have done. It just popped up, and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it,’ and it’s something that I’ll remember forever.”
Legends premieres on TNT on Aug. 13.