From Villain to Victor, Sean Bean Is a 'Revelation' On-screen

From Villain to Victor, Sean Bean Is a 'Revelation' On-screen

Oct 26, 2012

"The Weekend Rent" offers quick-hit suggestions of what to watch at home to get psyched for new releases in theaters, on Fridays. Click on any of the below titles to find out how you can watch the movie right now.


Ash snows down on the abandoned mining town now populated with nightmarish creatures in Silent Hill: Revelation, the sequel to the 2006 horror film based on the popular video game. In the original movie, Sean Bean played Christopher Da Silva—a concerned father who frantically searches for his wife and adopted daughter in the ghost town of Silent Hill. Christopher never sees the horrors that befall his family because he doesn't fall down the rabbit hole into the maddening dimension they've slipped into, but that all changes in Silent Hill: Revelation when he is kidnapped by the dark forces he's been trying so hard to protect his daughter from.

Bean might play a protective papa in the latest Silent Hill, but filmmakers saw the English stage actor more as a villain when he first broke out in Hollywood. He played an Irish republican terrorist in 1992's Patriot Games, in which Harrison Ford hit him with a boat hook and gave him a permanent scar.

Maybe it was Bean's rugged, tough-guy looks or his tolerance for pain, but this led to a string of antagonist roles—most of which didn't last until the end credits. In GoldenEye, he played James Bond's nemesis Alec Trevelyan, formerly Agent 006. In Ronin, Bean plays a specials ops veteran who is exposed as a fraud while working opposite Robert De Niro. The roles got nastier from there: a wife-beating ex-con in Essex Boys, a kidnapper/jewel thief in Don't Say a Word, the villainous treasure hunter Ian Howe in National Treasure, an evil scientist in Michael Bay's The Island, and a Russian mercenary who turns on his female rescuers and pits them against each other deep in the tundra in Far North.

Just when it seemed that Bean would never be a hero, Peter Jackson waved his magic Middle-earth wand and cast him as Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Sure, Boromir becomes obsessed by the One Ring's power and tries to take it from Frodo, but in the end he dies fighting the Uruk-hai and takes many arrows to the chest for the hobbit hero. Bean also appears in flashback sequences in both The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

Boromir's death was one of the heaviest moments in The Fellowship of the Ring, and filmmakers took notice of Bean's ability to be a sympathetic character. He became a repentant, poetry-reading cleric in a world where art is forbidden in Equilibrium opposite Christian Bale, a sympathetic Odysseus in Troy, and the lightning-god Zeus in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

Bean achieved a new level of heroism in HBO's hit series Game of Thrones, a role far removed from his early days as a go-to villain. As Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark, Bean hoped for a better world for his family and fought for his kingdom in a civil war until his character's shocking demise in season one. He was the closest thing to a decent man in a show populated by characters with a wavering moral compass, and when he lost his head it was felt throughout the series' Seven Kingdoms… as well as the one from which we all watch.

All of the movies listed above are available on DVD, Blu-ray and/or various VOD services. Silent Hill: Revelation opens in theaters everywhere on October 26.

Categories: At Home, Features
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Angelina Jolie