From 1998 to 2008 Sean Bean played Napoleonic soldier Richard Sharpe in 16 episodes of the television series Sharpe, based on Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling novels. Now, in the two part HISTORY series, Sean Bean on Waterloo, the actor draws on actual eye-witness accounts of soldiers who fought in the battle to tell the story of the dramatic events of 18 June 1815.
While Sean is busy providing us with gripping information about Waterloo, perhaps we should take a moment to familiarise ourselves with some interesting little known facts about the man himself.
- Sean Bean was considered for the role of John Smith in Disney's 1995 film Pocohontas but lost out to Mel Gibson.
- He played baddie agent 006, Alec Trevelyan, in GoldenEye, but Sean Bean had earlier auditioned for the role of James Bond himself in 1987's The Living Daylights.
- While filming a fight scene for the 1992 film Patriot Games co-star Harrison Ford accidentally caught Sean with a boat hook, resulting in eight stitches and a lasting scar above his eye
- The real scar was deliberately stressed with make-up in the TV series Sharpe to add to his character's back story.
- Sean Bean has a terrible fear of flying and avoids doing so as much as an international film star possibly can. This meant that while his Lord of the Rings co-stars would take a helicopter from one bit of Middle Earth/New Zealand to another, Sean would sometimes hike across the countryside instead.
- His real name is Shaun Mark.
- Sean Bean often receives fan mail intended for Rowan Atkinson's comedy character Mr. Bean.
- On April 13th 2012, webcomic artist Peter Chiykowski from Rock Paper Cynic posted what became known as the Save Sean Bean Meme. The joke was based on the idea that Bean's characters seemed to meet an untimely end more often than those played by other actors.
- The idea that Bean dies on-screen more than other actors has become so prevalent that some people have actually gone through the films and done the maths. According to Nerdist.com Sean Bean is actually fourth in line for the title of Most On-Screen Deaths behind John Hurt (42), Bela Lugosi (36), and Vincent Price (33). Sean Bean's total as of December 2014 was 25 on-screen deaths.
- In a 2014 online “Ask Me Anything” session Sean revealed the following bizarre story: "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."