The World on Fire star lets us know which of his many sticky endings he's most proud of...
Sean Bean leads a star-studded cast in BBC1’s upcoming World War Two drama World on Fire, which aims to capture the human scale of the conflict like never before.
Opening with Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, the seven-part series will tell the story of the first year of the global conflict from a range of perspectives, as it follows individuals from all over Europe.
Sean plays Douglas Bennett, a World War One veteran from Manchester who suffered shellshock in the trenches and is now desperate to protect his son and daughter from the horrors of war.
The Hollywood star was writer Peter Bowker’s first choice to play the role, in a cast also featuring Lesley Manville and Oscar winner, Helen Hunt, but he was surprised by Bean’s first question when he called to offer him the part.
“I was so pleased when he agreed to be involved,” says Peter. “The first thing he said when I spoke to him on the phone was; “I don’t die in it do I?”’
Sean has a reputation for meeting sticky ends on screen during his long and celebrated career and after being stabbed, shot and even chased off a cliff by a herd of cows on film, is keen to move away from such tragic roles.
But when we met him for a chat, we couldn’t help but ask what his favourite on-screen death has been – as there are so many to choose from!
“It’s definitely Boromir in Lord of the Rings,” he responded with a smile. “I thought his death was very heroic and triumphant and poignant. It had pathos. And the film was slowed down and it had great music playing really loud. And it was great to try and fight back – he went on forever. I was very happy with that! Better than a quick death!”
Yet those who have enjoyed internet videos of Bean meeting his maker in a number of spectacular ways might be disappointed to hear that his days of kicking the bucket in films and TV may have ended.
“The first thing I do when I get a script these days is skip to the end to see if I’m still in it!” he explains.
Sean Bean stars in World on Fire, which begins on Sunday 29 September at 9pm on BBC1
Main pic: Getty Images