Sean Bean Now Refuses Certain Roles Thanks To His Notoriety For Dying Onscreen

Dimitrios KambourisGetty Images

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains character death details for HBO’s Game of Thrones and the Lord of the Rings movie. Please proceed with caution if you want to avoid spoilers.

It has long been a running joke. As soon as people see actor Sean Bean’s name in movie or television credits, they assume the worst and expect his character to die onscreen. In fact, for many tuning into HBO’s Game of Thrones for the very first time, the arrival of Bean’s character caused instant distress as it would appear that even main characters are not safe whenever Sean is around. Little did they know that it would then set the scene for a TV series that was prone to killing off main characters.

It is also a trait that the actor has noticed and has taken certain preventative measures as a result of this. In fact, he has recently revealed that he has previously turned down roles rather than take on another character who would not last the distance.

“I’ve turned down stuff,” Sean Bean told The Sun.

“I’ve said, ‘They know my character’s going to die because I’m in it!’ I just had to cut that out and start surviving, otherwise, it was all a bit predictable.”

Sean Bean stars as Ned Stark, as seen in HBO's 'Game of Thrones'
Featured image credit: HBO

In addition, the actor has also made suggestions regarding his character when he has learned of their onscreen demise.

“I did do one job and they said, ‘We’re going to kill you’, and I was like, ‘Oh no!’ and then they said, ‘Well, can we injure you badly?’ and I was like, ‘OK, so long as I stay alive this time,'” he said.

Of course, considering how many roles of Bean’s have belonged to villains, it comes as no surprise that these characters have been killed off.

According to Nerdist, Sean Bean has died a total of 25 times in his acting career. While this is a staggering number, apparently, John Hurt tops Bean for the number of times he has died onscreen. In fact, Hurt played 43 individual characters who perished onscreen.

And, if you think that all onscreen deaths are the same, according to Radio Times, Bean actually has a favorite character death. In the Lord of the Rings movie, Bean played a character called Boromir. It was this death, that included a slowed-down frame rate and a death that “went on forever” that captured Bean’s heart as his favorite onscreen death.

“I thought his death was very heroic and triumphant and poignant. It had pathos,” he said.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the other problem Bean finds with his role in the spotlight is the fact that some people mistake his name for the comedic character, Mr. Bean, played by Rowan Atkinson.