Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sean Bean Gets His Irish Up

At times, I think being an Anglophile is as much ingrained in the blood as it is being related to a country by birth. I’d mentioned in a previous post that the first time I saw Sean Bean was in The Field and Patriot Games, where he plays a young Irish farmer and an IRA terrorist, respectively. My own background consists of both Irish and English ancestors and I’d been raised with a good sense of both countries, their histories, their troubles and travails where I could see and empathize with the both sides of the equation. Films often enhance the experience and take you into a place and into the psyche of a certain character and I soon found out that Sean Bean was more than capable of taking me into a familiar world and expanding its horizons.

So imagine my surprise to find out that the fine Irish actor I had newly discovered was actually from Yorkshire. It’s not just a matter of jumping the Irish channel to England, but the distinction between the North and South of England as well. Some people outside the UK may not be aware there is a great difference, but it is not just the contrast between say, a posh English accent from the South and the discernible Northern accent of Sean’s birth…a mix of ‘sex and steel’ as one astute female observer noted. But it is also about his animal sense of place. A bit of ‘up the country’ in Sean’s ability to play those characters from the ground up, charging those roles with an innate sense of pride and gritty realism that makes him distinct amongst his peers. There’s a stand and fight sense about Sean Bean; a tradition long held dear on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Perhaps it is these character traits that drew a director’s or a producer’s eye towards Sean, for these early films. Did they somehow perceive or sniff out an Irishman in the making? Whatever it was, their keen foresight would prove largely prophetic for it was just the beginning in showcasing Sean’s flair for perfecting accents and absorbing people from all walks of life.

Sean Bean’s first appearance in a film as an Irishman was in the part of Dominic O’Brien in Catherine Cookson’s The Fifteen Streets, 1989. When Sean was first cast, Producer Ray Marshall had a challenge:

He needed someone dashing, a bit rough around the edges, but also something of a charmer. He instantly knew Sean Bean was right for the role of Dominic O'Brien. It was a casting made in heaven. And thanks to his role in the drama set on the Tyne docks in 1910, Sean Bean became a household name and international film star.
Jun 26 2001 Evening Chronicle

Dashing? A bit rough around the edges? Aye, Sean Bean was their man, all right. And he would prove perfect for the role of the brash, arrogant younger brother of the sensible, and even tempered John O’Brien.
The Fifteen Streets tells the story of turn-of-the-century Great Britain, where a Northern factory worker (Owen Teale) and an aristocratic school teacher fall deeply in love, only to find their passion sorely tested by their class and cultural differences. The story becomes further complicated when the naive and child-like Nancy from across the way becomes pregnant and everyone suspects John to be the father.

In his second role as an Irishman, Bean plays the slow-witted son of Bull McCabe in The Field, 1990. This time Sean was up against some true giants of his profession, keeping company with the likes of Richard Harris and John Hurt. These acting greats did not overshadow Bean’s ability to perform; in fact the challenge enhanced his work, proving that he could stand up to seasoned veterans with ease.
With very little dialogue, Bean was able to take us into the heart and mind of Tadgh McCabe; a son who bears the monstrous responsibility of a tragedy that occurred in the family years ago and who bears the brunt of his father’s anger. Emotions flicker over Sean’s face like clouds across a landscape; alternately playing light and dark in fleeting glimpses that threaten us with their presence. We are drawn in, unaware of it trespassing into our own emotions as we watch this grown man struggle to deal with his father’s irrational ideas and bullying tirades. When Tadgh finally meets a tinker’s daughter, we see him struggle to act like the man he so badly wants to become beneath his father’s relentless rule.

This may be one of Sean’s earliest roles but it remains one of my favorites for the sheer range of feeling he shows in a glance, the way he sets his jaw or in the slump and crouch of his body as he tears through the Irish countryside, seeking escape from unexpressed thoughts and confusion.

The fire and bravado we saw executed in Sean’s earlier portrayal of Dominic would serve him well when he came up for the role as Sean Miller in Patriot Games 1992. In this film, Bean plays an Irish terrorist bent on revenge for the killing of his younger brother by Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) who foils a splinter faction of the IRA’s attempt to kill a member of the Royal Family. Obsessed with killing Ryan and his family, Bean displays his hatred in wordless vitriol.

Despite its many violent episodes, the film remains bloodless. Perhaps that can be traced to Mr. Clancy's fascination with technology, and to his way of treating human characters only slightly less methodically than he treats machines. The Ryans are so generically happy, and the terrorists so generically bad, that it's a wonder Mr. Noyce can create any real tension or surprise. But he has cast the villainous roles particularly well; the fierce-looking Sean Bean is outstandingly good as Ryan's main antagonist, and Patrick Bergen brings the right air of calculation to the terrorist mastermind he plays. Several of the film's main sequences, like an encounter between Mr. Bean's Sean Miller and David Threlfall as the police inspector who has been his captor, derive their horror from the looks of pure loathing that these terrorists bestow upon their prey.
Patriot Games by Janet Maslin New York Times, June 5, 1992

Sean’s Belfast accent was flawless and his deep-seated hatred for those who had destroyed his family sprang from genes you would have sworn were fast-rooted in troubled Irish soil.

To think that Bean was simultaneously filming Lady Chatterley, playing the sensitive Yorkshire gamekeeper Mellors which would quickly ensure his place as every woman’s ‘bit of rough’ whilst portraying a Belfast assassin who kills with calculated coolness and ferocity is astonishing.

One can’t help but wonder how we will see Bean pull off his two distinct roles and mindsets in the upcoming Ca$h. If experience has anything to teach us, it tells us to grab a passport and brush up on your Baedeker; Sean’s about to take you on a trip you’re not soon likely to forget.

Traci Moore

Monday, April 20, 2009

Answers to Sean Bean and Far North Article Trivia Questions

Thank you for commenting and posting your answers to the Far North trivia questions (see earlier post about Sean Bean as Loki). Check below to see if you got the correct answers.

Answers to Trivia Questions

Where was Sean Bean when Asif Kapadia called to talk about Far North? Where was Asif Kapadia? What movie was Sean filming at the time?

Sean Bean was in New Mexico filming The Hitcher and Asif Kapadia was in London talking on his cell phone in a restaurant car park.

Why did cast and crew have to be protected by men with guns while filming?

The cast and crew had to be protected from 3,000 polar bears that live in the location the movie was filmed.

One of the mysteries of the movie is the time and place the movie takes place. The movie was really filmed in what country?

The movie was filmed in Svalbard, Norway, near the Arctic Circle.

Who wrote the short story the film is based on?

Sara Maitland

If familiar with the short story name a few differences between the movie and the story?

True that the short story has only three characters, but in the story the characters had no names. Asif Kapadia and Tim Miller, who wrote the screenplay for the movie, gave them the names of Saiva, Anja, and Loki.

Another difference in the short story the man and one of the women are young, the second woman is old, and though we don't really know her age, she is clearly much older than the two other characters. In the film, Loki (Sean Bean) and Saiva (Michelle Yeoh) are contemporaries in age, and Anja (Michelle Krusiec) is younger.

In the video below Sean Bean, Michelle Yeoh, and Asif Kapadia comment on the making of Far North.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ca$H is Up and Running!

Hi All,
The excitement continues as we let you know the site is now up and running. Go to the site and you will see all kinds of cool extras about the film, including one fab, totally cool contest where you can win a chance to walk the red carpet with Sean Bean!
Check the site for lots of other goodies such as downloads, screensaver, buddy icons, ringtones and more!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Sean Bean!


Today, April 17th, we celebrate his 50th birthday and his stellar career spanning every medium, from theatre to radio, from television to film.

We thank him for sharing his talent with his fans, amazing us with playing such varied roles as the impassioned Mellors in Lady Chatterley, the heroic Richard Sharpe in the beloved Sharpe Series, and the fallible Boromir in The Lord of the Rings.

Through him we’ve modeled for a great Master, taken on the French, been driven by jealousy, lost a brother, sworn vengeance, plotted and schemed, scored a goal, loved like no other, suffered capture and torture, defended the people, sworn our allegiance, grieved for a child, fought with mythic grandeur, gone into the mind of a madman, plumbed the depths of evil, lived by our wits in the sand and the snow, slain our enemies and died a thousand deaths -- and still the journey has not ended.

We congratulate him on his critically acclaimed role of corrupt real estate developer John Dawson in the 2009 David Peace drama series The Red Riding Trilogy on UK’s Channel 4.

His next role in CA$H has us eager with anticipation, and we expect he will receive the attention he deserves.

Sean, may all your dreams come true, for you have been true to yourself and the result has been everyone’s gain. On behalf of all your fans, with affection and admiration.

Happy Birthday Sean!

Traci Moore/Myriam Lechuga

Three Good Men Collaborates With Media 8 Entertainment on CA$H

Three Good Men announced today that it has entered into a deal with Media 8 Entertainment regarding the world-wide distribution of its film CA$H, starring Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Flightplan). Under the agreement, Media 8 will serve as world sales agent for the film, which will make its market debut at the upcoming Cannes Marche du Film in May.

“We are so excited to collaborate with Media 8 Entertainment, as they have worked with many other notable films that fall into the CA$H genre. These movies have attained great success under the Media 8 banner. We look forward to adding CA$H to its list of high-quality films,” said CA$H producer Naveen Chathappuram.
“We are really excited to bring the movie CA$H to the worldwide marketplace. The film is a smart, action-filled ride, with an excellent performance by Sean Bean at its center,” said Stewart Hall, President of Media 8 Entertainment. “And the themes of greed, materialism, and morality that this film raises are especially timely in today’s environment.”
CA$H is an action-driven psychological thriller that examines the gripping power money wields over us all. In CASH!, a stroke of good luck for Sam (Chris Hemsworth – Star Trek, A Perfect Getaway) and his wife Leslie (Victoria Profeta - Push) quickly turns deadly when the strange and sinister criminal Pyke Kubic (Sean Bean) appears at their doorstep. As Pyke leads Sam and Leslie on a tumultuous adventure through the streets of Chicago, each are pulled deeper and deeper into a desperate spiral of violence and deception-- all in the name of money.
CA$H is the work of acclaimed director Stephen Milburn Anderson of SOUTH CENTRAL fame. Known for his examination of societal evils in SOUTH CENTRAL, Anderson continues his analysis of the human persona through CA$H
CA$H is filmed in association with Immortal Thoughts Production, Golden Wings Cinema and Tomahawk Films.
About Media 8 Entertainment
Media 8 Entertainment is a leading film entertainment company engaged in the production, financing, acquisition, and worldwide licensing of theatrical feature films in a variety of genres. Media 8 produced and distributed the Academy Award-winning MONSTER, the critically acclaimed THE UPSIDE OF ANGER starring Joan Allen and Kevin Costner, and the action-drama RUNNING SCARED written and directed by Wayne Kramer and starring Paul Walker.
Media 8 Entertainment's current slate of films includes DALI, starring Antonio Banderas and directed by Simon West; the hit UK comedy A FILM WITH ME IN IT; the romantic comedy EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE ITALIAN; SATISFACTION, to be directed by Anya Camilleri; THE RAMEN GIRL, starring Brittany Murphy and Toshiyuki Nishida; the critically acclaimed film AMERICAN SON which stars Nick Cannon, Tom Sizemore and Melonie Diaz; the historical drama EICHMANN starring Thomas Kretschmann, Troy Garity, and Franka Potente; and the emotional drama LOCAL COLOR starring Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ray Liotta and Trevor Morgan.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sean the Good: Stormy Monday and Windprints by Myriam

By now you are wondering if Sean Bean has ever played a good guy in films. Well, early in his film career Sean played the male ingĂ©nue in two films he made in the late 80’s: Windprints and Stormy Monday.

Windprints (
The Killing Wind) 1991 - is a politically charged mystery that took a snapshot in time of the political realities of apartheid in South Africa and Namibia. The film was written and directed by South African director David Wicht. This film is unique because the political story is told through the story of mysterious Nhadiep (Lesley Fong), who may or may not be terrorizing white farmers, and his own people, the Nama. This film is almost impossible to find since it’s not out on DVD and the video is difficult to find. I was lucky to finally see it a couple of years ago when one of the US cable channels showed the film for a few weeks.

Sean plays Afrikaner Anton van Heerden, camera man and journalist conflicted about his role in fighting the injustices in his country. He joins jaded veteran British journalist Charles (John Hurt) to cover the story. I believe the plot was based on a real story, and the mystery and the characters’ lives end in a rather
unresolved way, just like real life. Sean’s character, Anton, is the conscience of this film, and he proves once again
his ability to transform himself in a role, South African accent and all.
Here are a few clips from the film:

I have a sentimental connection to the second film,
Stormy Monday 1988. It was the first time I saw Sean Bean and I’ve been a fan since that day. I still remember sitting in that small downtown art house movie theater, sadly now a drugstore. I had gone because I was curious to see Sting and Tommy Lee Jones and because I do like the Film Noir genre. I remember the small screen, and the image of the rain, and windshield wipers, and the sounds of modern jazz. Then there he was, looking out a window at Newcastle. It was Sean as young Irishman Brendan, looking for a job in the big city. Jazz lover, he circles an ad for a janitor in a well known club owned by “big man in town” Finney (Sting). Sean Bean barely utters a word in these first scenes, but he controlled the movie from that moment on.

Mike Figgis, who would later direct Oscar winning film Leaving Las Vegas, directed and wrote this moody film about corruption on both sides of the Atlantic, American cultural and financial power, music as international ambassador,and the power of love. The only one not yet touched by corruption, not yet compromised by money, is Sean’s character of Brendan. He falls in love with Kate (Melanie Griffith) the good time girl of American gangster/businessman Cosmo (Tommy Lee Jones). Events take a violent turn as Brendan helps Finney fight the takeover of the nightclub by Cosmo. In the midst of all this, the two lovers, Brendan and Kate, plot their escape from corruption’s clutches. Bean’s character of Brendan is a transformative character in this film, from innocence to revenge. No question Sean is the true star of the film, but his performance is only hinted at in the movie trailer below:

Both films are two small gems in Sean Bean’s career, and little known by the general public. They are worth seeing. Please come back and see what other Sean Bean film gems we uncover in the coming weeks.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sean Bean Ahead of the Polls! Cast Your Vote Now!!!!

Media 8 heads to Cannes Marche flush with Cash!!!

Media 8 heads to Cannes Marche
flush with Cash
Jeremy Kay in Los Angeles
09 Apr 2009 03:44

Media 8 Entertainment has taken on worldwide rights ahead of Cannes next month to Immortal Thoughts Productions’ psychological thriller Cash starring Sean Bean.

The Los Angeles-based financing, production and sales company will introduce the completed project to buyers on the Croisette, when president Stewart Hall said he expected a strong response given the timely themes of "greed, materialism, and morality.”

UK star Bean plays Pyke Kubic, an enigmatic criminal who enters the lives of a young Chicago couple after they experience a stroke of good fortune and lures them into a vortex of violence and deception. Stephen Milburn Anderson directed from his own screenplay.

Cash was made in association with Golden Wings Cinema and Tomahawk Films and also stars Chris Hemsworth from the upcoming Star Trek and A Perfect Getaway, and Victoria Profeta.

Bean’s long list of credits includes The Lord Of The Rings franchise, Flightplan, Troy, and the upcoming children’s fantasy Percy Jackson.

“We are so excited to collaborate with Media 8 Entertainment, as they have worked with many other notable films that fall into the Cash genre,” producer Naveen Chathappuram said.

“We are really excited to bring the movie Cash to the worldwide marketplace,” Hall said. “The film is a smart, action-filled ride, with an excellent performance by Sean Bean at its centre.”

Media 8 Entertainment previously produced and pre-sold Monster and The Upside Of Anger, among others. Its current roster includes Mary Mother Of Christ starring Camilla Belle and Al Pacino and Dali starring Antonio Banderas.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Bean?

By Traci Moore

As we anxiously await the release of Ca$h, we want to take the time for you to get to know Sean Bean a little better. Although he has been a big star in the UK for quite some time, his career spanning nearly 25 years in film alone, there are audiences outside Britain who are still unfamiliar with his huge body of work.

Today we launch the beginning of our foray into the nature of Sean Bean’s work, focusing on what you see is only the tip of the iceberg in what you get with an actor of his skill and talent. Keep your eye on him; you never know which way he might turn. And that’s a good thing.

In Ca$h, we know we will be treated to two sides of a character, a welcome challenge to Sean Bean. In today’s post we are going to dig back a ways, to give you an inside glimpse of a few characters Sean has shown before.

In 1991’s Tell Me That You Love Me, he plays Gabriel Lewis, a man who on the surface seems like every woman’s dream come true. But as the relationship progresses, he stops being supportive and loving and becomes jealous, possessive and finally obsessive,

It’s a hallmark of Sean’s talent to go seamlessly from the charming, suave, sophisticated persona into the frenzied, driven personality who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

However, is Lewis such a bad guy?

"Yes, he's a nutter, he goes too far, but I usually find a quality I like in a role I play,"
says 32-year-old Bean. "I like him. This guy is screwed up, but he's not deliberately nasty - he's not a villain; he's a bit sad."
On screen, however, he relishes playing the oddball. "Everyone's got an obsessive, manic streak in them somewhere, and it just depends on how virulent it is," he says. "The man I play in Tell Me That You Love Me is just more manic than most of us."
Yorkshire Post 31 August 1991

Extremely Dangerous (1999)

Convicted of the shocking and gruesome slaughter of his wife and young daughter, Neil Byrne (Sean Bean) jumps off a speeding train and escapes into the night, leaving behind only his guards and a paperback novel. As Byrne goes undercover, taking on former acquaintances of a ruthless organised crime syndicate and evading capture by their mobs, the police and sinister government agencies, we begin to learn more details of his crime, and the significance of the missing paperback. Protested innocence seems an irrelevance as unseen masters use Byrne and his pursuers as expendable pawns in a chilling battle to protect deeper, darker secrets.

In this scene, DI Danny Ford (Sean Gallagher), who put Byrne away for killing his wife and daughter, struggles to reason with the escaped convict. Audiences aren’t quite sure whether to believe Byrne’s protestations of guilt or to agree with Ford. Bean’s countenance registers layers of emotion, dealing with Byrne’s graphic and painful memories, as the Detective Inspector details the history of the conviction.

"I liked trying to get into this man's head and what was going on in his mind. He’s been through this awful tragedy, this intense trauma where he's getting flashbacks and he's not quite sure himself that he hasn’t committed a crime."
Leicester Mercury November 11, 1999

Later in the story, we see Byrne deal with a couple of thugs out to rob the mini cab service where he is working undercover:

Neil Byrne is a volatile personality, capable of great anger and violence. Is this a psychopath capable of cold-blooded murder or an ordinary man driven to the edge by other people’s machinations? As the audience, we never know what Bean is capable of, but we are never disappointed. He always keeps us guessing.

Stay tuned as we continue to bring you more insight into the career of Sean Bean, featuring his thoughts on his chosen profession and the degree of focus and professionalism he puts into his roles. Something that many perhaps more well known names do not come close to by comparison. But don’t just take our word for it. All you need do it watch and listen.