Do you have a question you'd like to ask Sean?? Sean was one of the longest serving Rohan extras, so I'm sure he can answer whatever you want to know! :-) Send your questions to me and I'll pass them on to him! Answers will be posted here about once a week/month. PLEASE put the subject as "Ask Sean". :-) Also, check to see if your question has already been answered before sending it! Thanks.

Questions & Answers--2-19-04

Seth asks:
"Dear Sean, I think it is awesome that got to play an orc, uruk-hai, rohirrim, gondorian, and even gandalf the grey. I love lord of the rings and thought all the different character and creature rolls would be very interesting to play. Of all the different creatures and such that you played, which was your absolute favorite?"

Sean's answer:
Rohirrim, dude, no question. That is what I was originally cast as (I grow a beard and look just like one!) so I guess I came to identify with it the most. It was a great chance to indulge one's long held fantasies to recapture one's anglo-celtic warrior ancestory.
It needs to be remembered what an incredible sub culture of pride grew up amung the principle Rohirrim during our first shoot - Helms Deep. We were Rohirrim 24/7. Days off were nights off as you habitually slept during the day. The only people you ever saw were other Rohirrim, Elves, Uruks and film crew. Viggo was dead right when he said we all went a bit crazy. End result - I AM a Rohirrim now and will be to the day I die. I know a lot of the other guys feel the same. Truth be told the on screen persona of the Rohan male was a reflection of the kind of guys who were cast in the role; swaggering, swashbuckling, slightly arrogant, no nonsense types who like beer, women, song and fast cars - or horses :O)"

Kathleen asks:
"How where the fighting lessons?"

Sean's answer:
when you grow up on the Riddermark you are riding a horse before you can crawl and waving a sword around shortly thereafter. Its a part of your rites of passage as a young man of Rohan, unlike the Gondorians who have a standing army of professional soldiers. Add that to the fact you have all there big, black, ugly uruks rolling over the side of your castle intent on having your women and children for breakfast and you fly into a homicidal rage. We didnt need no damn fighting lessons! Just as well they redo the sound - at Helms Deep most of the time the obscene language that was flying around would turn the air blue."

Sandra asks:
"What was it like to be around the wonderful actors in the movies? They all seem so nice, I just wondered who was the most fun to be around? "

Sean's answer:
To be honest being around them was no big deal as up to that point I did not even know who most of them were. Exceptions were John Rees-Davis and Christopher Lee. Meeting Mr Lee was about the only time I was 'star struck' - he is an impressive figure and I must have seen all his Dracula films as a kid!
Viggo is an absolute sweet heart. Very humble guy. You need to remember that the actors are there to work not chat with the extras so you make a point of staying out of their way on set. I did end up chatting to Viggo once or twice, even saw him in town one night (this is before Fellowship had been relesed so he could walk through Wellington unrecognised then!) While doing the reshoots he walked up to me an slapped me on the back and said high - he still remembered me after a couple of years. I dont think my experience of him is exceptional, everyone has very fond memories of Viggos bon hommie - alot more than could be said for some cast members!
In terms of fun the award has to go to Bernie Hill. You have to realise the culture of kidding around and humour that existed amung the Rohirrim right from day one - the first night we probably went through every possible quote from Monty Pythons Holy Grail - even Liv Tyler once told us we always made her think of the scene with the French from that movie! So when Theoden showed up he was like the perfect king for us since he was a bigger clown than the rest of us put together.
Honorable mention has to go to John Bach, a very experienced NZ actor. He lives not far from me and just before ROTK pick ups I saw him at a petrol station and asked if he was doing any - at that stage he didnt know! He is another guy who is very personable and in no way big headed. "

Shelly asks:
"had you read the books prior to filming the movies? did you have a favorite character? thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! :)

Sean's answer:
Hugs and kisses back ;) No I had not read the books but was fully aquainted with the story since I played the game - (Iron Crowns Middle Earth Role Playing game). To be honest I am of the opinion the story is fantastic but the book itself it kinda hard to get into in a lot of places!
Favorite charactor is probably Boromir since he is so complex. I loathe the way he is often portrayed (as in the animated version) as a bit of an oaf. The new material included in the extended edition of T2T does a brilliant job of fleshing him out a bit more. This is a man who has huge expectations on him, both in terms of the weight of office he is due to inherit and the times in which he is likely to inherit it. To make matters worse he has a father who both dotes on him and at the same time pushes those expectations to an unbearable level. One sees that Boromirs reluctance to go to Rivendell is as much due to his suspicions his father is trying to get him out of harms way as anything else.
Sean Bean is fantastic in the role as he has a tremendous talent for acting with his face - to portray unspoken emotion. A really nice guy in person as well."

Thanks SO much to Sean for taking the time to answer these questions!