Sean Bean gained international recognition for his work as Boromir in the Academy Awardâ-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, starring in both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. But while Boromir may be his best-known role to date, that portrayal is only one in a career that includes 40 films, acclaimed stage performances and one of the most successful television franchises in British television history.
Originally from Sheffield, Bean worked with his father as a welder before turning to acting, and even in his most sophisticated roles he retains the hard masculine edge of a man who once sweated for a living. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, and then moved to film and a breakout role in 1990’s The Field opposite Richard Harris in an unforgettable and critically acclaimed drama. In 1992 he won rave reviews in Patriot Games, starring opposite Harrison Ford in a provocative and complex portrayal of the tragic antagonist.
A detour from feature films came when he was cast as Bernard Cornwall’s beloved hero of the Napoleonic Wars, Richard Sharpe. Like the novel on which it was based, the 1993 telefilm Sharpe’s Rifles was so popular that it spawned sequel after sequel, and by 1997, with 15 Sharpe films completed, Bean was one of the best-known and most sought-after stars in the UK, with legions of fans and a thousand websites devoted to following his every move.
After the last Sharpe, it was back to feature film, where he dazzled audiences in films as varied as Tom & Thomas, Essex Boys, Ronin and Anna Karenina. He recently starred in Disney’s blockbuster National Treasure opposite Nicolas Cage for director Jon Turteltaub and in Dreamworks’ The Island with fellow Brit Ewan MacGregor. Other recent films include a most heroic Odysseus in Wolfgang Peterson’s epic Troy, with Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom; the independent The Big Empty with Jon Favreau; the sci-fi thriller Equilibrium with Christian Bale; and 20th Century Fox’s Don’t Say a Word opposite Michael Douglas.
On stage, he won rave reviews last year in London’s West End in an acclaimed production of Macbeth, in which he starred opposite Samantha Bond. Classically trained, he also recently worked in Henry VIII for Granada opposite Ray Winstone and Helena Bonham Carter, and has appeared in many productions at The Royal Court Theatre, Glasgow Citizen Theatre and the RSC.
His upcoming films include Flightplan with Jodie Foster and Peter Sarsgaard, and North Country with Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand, both set for Fall 2005; and Silent Hill, opposite Radha Mitchell, to be released in early 2006. This fall he travels to India for Sharpe’s Challenge, perhaps truly the final episode.
Voted by readers of Empire Magazine “the second sexiest man in England,” Bean escapes madness by working non-stop in films around the world, and rooting for Sheffield United wherever satellite reception allows.
- IMDb -- The IMDb profile for Sean Bean