“To express it truthfully you can’t wing it. You’ve got to think about something upsetting in your life that fixes the feeling in your head. That means going back to unpleasant memories but there’s no other way.” – Sean Bean
Though BAFTA Award-winning actor Sean Bean will likely always be best known for his roles in blockbusters like GoldenEye and The Lord of the Rings, his resume — particularly in the last decade — has included dozens of more varied parts across the spectrum of acting. One of his latest roles is in the BBC drama Marriage starring Bean opposite Nicola Walker as their marriage hits a rough patch after more than 25 years together. Bean spoke about the role in an interview in The Guardian.
In the first episode Bean’s character breaks down in tears, and he spoke about having the discipline of an actor to pull a scene like that off. He explains, “To express it truthfully you can’t wing it. You’ve got to think about something upsetting in your life that fixes the feeling in your head. That means going back to unpleasant memories but there’s no other way. You often don’t need to do sob or wail, because when people cry, they usually try and hide it. Facial expressions are incredibly articulate when you’re trying to hide powerful emotions. We’ve all seen that on the news or documentaries, when people are reliving tragedy. The only way to replicate that is to think it and live it.”
When asked if he would still be an actor if had the chance to start over again, he says with a laugh, “I would. But it’s not ended yet. I’ve had wonderful experiences and traveled the world. It never really crosses my mind to do anything else, but I’d have loved to be an artist. I try and draw or paint. I get all the pens and pastels together, then just end up doodling on a bit of scrap. I love using my hands and my imagination, being productive and making things. I suppose acting combines all those elements. That’s what makes it so rewarding.”