Channel 4 Interview with Sean Bean for Wasted
You’ll be on our screens shortly in Wasted. Explain a little bit about who you play?
I think I’m a cross between the characters I play in Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I guess I’m a dream of Morpheus [the lead character], his hero, his spiritual guide, and I’m just trying to help him navigate through life and relationships. I keep appearing to him in the woods and in different places, and giving him advice.
How was this pitched to you, and what did you make of the idea?
I didn’t know what to think. My agent told me about it, and she said “You’d better read it, because I can’t really explain it! It’s bizarre!” And I was interested, and bemused. The idea of playing myself, a character called Sean Bean – although I’m not playing myself, I’m playing a character I’ve played before – it’s really odd. But then I read it, and I just thought “Oh wow, I want to do this, it’s right up my street.” It’s wonderful writing. Surreal and stupid and ludicrous. It’s absolutely hilarious, I really think it’s a cracker. We had such a good time on it, it was so much fun. It was only for a couple of days, but it was magical, to be working with Danny, and the director, Tom Marshall, and the writers James and Jon. And what I’ve seen is just hilarious; everyone is so good in it. I didn’t get a chance to meet the others, but it’s so well cast. I’m very excited by it.
Was it as much fun to film as it looks, and was it difficult to keep a straight face at times?
Yes, it was every bit as much fun as it looks. Especially working with Danny. We improvised and put things in there, there was quite a lot of ad-libbing as we went along. You always know you’re doing a good comedy when you’re filming and you get a feeling that you can’t help but laugh. You know you’re on the right track then. And that happened quite a lot.
You’re much more known for your dramatic work. Was it quite refreshing to be doing a comedy? Did it feel very different?
Yeah, it did feel different. It’s a lot more fun than killing people or getting killed. That can get a bit grim sometimes. It was good to get to do a bit of comedy. I had to play it straight, though. If you go looking for laughs, it’s not going to work. So the scenes with Danny I just played very straight. That’s why we started giggling now and again, because we were taking ourselves very seriously.
You’re so well known for those roles, and for Sharpe, when you’re dressed as a warrior. Then, finally, you get a call to appear in a contemporary comedy, and they put you in the exact same gear!
[Laughs] I do do stuff where I dress in contemporary clothes as well! But I enjoy all of that. Immediately when you start to wear a costume, you start to create something, you put forward an image of yourself. I feel quite comfortable in that garb.
I didn’t know what was going to happen. I’d never played a role like this where I really didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately, it went well and it was very relaxed and easy-going. But everyone else was dressed normally, and I’m just this man in a wood with a big cape on.
The story is about four young adults getting wasted and not doing very much. Did you ever have a time in your life like that, or were you too busy actually working?
I think I probably did go through a period like that – I think that’s partly why I was laughing my head off at it last night. I can identify with it. I think everybody can identify with times where they don’t know where they’re going, or where their life’s heading. It’s all part of the process of growing up and finding out who you are and what you want to do in life. They’re quite shaky times, but very funny ones. The characters in this are all good people, but they’re almost playing a part. I think we all do that when we’re young, until we find out what we really are. In my case, I’m still playing parts! I’ve not grown up in that sense.
Some trailer caps: