Sean Bean went on Reddit yesterday to promote his new TNT show, Legends, but he mostly talked about his role as Ned Stark on Game of Thrones, his role as Boromir in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and getting mixed up with Rowan Atkinson. Here’s what we learned.
1. He broke Nicolas Cage’s prehistoric bear skull. “There was one where I went back to Nic Cage’s house, and we’d had a few drinks, we were playing pool and he accidentally knocked over his prehistoric cave bear skull and smashed it. And he was really upset about it, and the next day went and buried it in a field.”
2. He’s a foodie. Whenever someone asked a question about food, Bean often posted several answers in a row. His favorite comfort foods include chocolate, tomato soup, tinned custard with bananas, milk, milkshakes, mashed potatoes, an meat and potato pie with gravy with Henderson’s relish. When asked about his favorite flavor of ice cream, he first said strawberry, then changed his mind and said “raspberry ripple.”
3. While filming Lady Chatterley’s Lover, he accidentally walked onto the Enchanted Garden set and didn’t know the difference. After a lunch break, he tried to go back to the film set and accidentally ended up on the set of another period piece. “everybody was dressed in the same clothes, I sort of realized I was on the wrong set and wandered off. I was a little bit tired. I just saw all these actors that I didn’t know, and I was like ‘wait a minute’—because it all looked the same, except it wasn’t my film.”
4. His side of the story of when Harrison Ford hit him with a boat hook while filming Patriot Games. Bean says he knows it was an accident because of the “chaotic conditions” of the shoot. “we were just slipping around on this boat, it was in Los Angeles in a studio on a boat on rockers, hydraulics, there were wind and rain machines.” Ford whacked him in the eye and Bean got 35 stitches—the wound’s scar is still visible. “The next day we carried on filming and they shot me from the other side in profile to finish the scene. They gave me a suit at the end. I suppose that’s compensation.”
5. He’s a fan of the GoldenEye video game. Bean played he villain in the James Bond movie, and likes the iconic N64 game—but not the way his character looks. “I think my head looks a bit square innit,” he said.
6. He’s rather fight alongside Robert Baratheon than with Aragorn. “He’s from Yorkshire. That’s why. Why not Aragorn? If Robert got ahold of you, he’d crush you. You’d be careful not to get caught.”
7. How he’d like fans to approach him in public. One Reddit user asked Bean if he cares about fans approaching him in public. He said he’d like them to be “On their knees!!!!!”
8. He’d kept some swords from the sets he’s worked on. His favorite is from his Sharpe series, which he says is “an original cavalry sword from the late 19th century.”
9. He was shocked when his Game of Thrones character was beheaded. Even though Bean read the books and knew it would happen, it still surprised him. “When I read it, you know, it just comes out of the blue and was a nasty shock. Especially after Ned Stark thought he’d got some agreement between Joffrey and the various factions, and for them to renege on that deal was pretty shocking.” The silliness on set made the whole seem feel even more tragic. “They made a cast of my head with hair on it, I’ve got some pictures of me holding my head. And it was fun. I don’t know, you kind of just have to imagine what it’s like to have your head chopped off, Ann Boleyn and how she must have felt.”
10. His thoughts on the “One does not simply” line from Lord of the Rings. He uses the line himself, sometimes. “A few too many drinks, and one says ‘one does not simply this’ or ‘one does not simply that.’ It’s a line I say in Lord of the Rings, innit? One does not simply walk into Mordor. It’s a great line because you can apply anything to it. It’s immortalized.”
11. If he weren’t an actor, he would probably be working in the woods. “I kind of like gardening, I like being outdoors in the garden and nature around me, wildlife.”
12. He’s accidentally gotten fan mail meant for the other Mr. Bean. For a long time, Bean often received letters intended for Rowan Atkinson, who plays Mr. Bean in the British comedy franchise. “These letters would say things like ‘You’re so funny, you make me laugh, with your big rubbery face’ and I would say ‘you can’t mean me!'” Sometimes it’s hard for people to take him seriously because of it. “Whenever I call people up and they say ‘who’s calling’ and I say ‘Mr. Bean’ and you can hear people giggling on the other end of the phone… he’s got a lot to answer for, that Rowan Atkinson.”
13. His favorite book is The World of Little Foxy by Norman Smithson. The book is out of print in the U.S., but Bean says it’s a childhood favorite. “It’s about this young lad, you know, young kid growing up in Yorkshire, all the fun and frolics he gets up to. Just a really nice, cheerful book.” Somewhere out there right now, a publisher is fervently trying to republish the book and get Bean to blurb it.