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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

I never expected to play Catholic priest, admits Sean Bean following BAFTA win

Sean Bean has said he never expected to play a Catholic priest after winning a BAFTA for his role in BBC’s Broken.

However, the popular actor said he is now looking forward to playing more characters like Fr Michael Kerrigan.

Receiving the BAFTA for best leading actor, Bean thanked Broken writer and creator Jimmy McGovern.

“This means a great deal to me, I’m really honoured and it means such a lot to me,” he said. “I don’t think I’d be in this situation without the great mind and the great writing of Jimmy McGovern who is an inspiration to me, I’ve worked with him before and he’s an incredible man who shines a light on some of the darker aspects of our society.”

Speaking to presenter Clara Amfo following his win, Bean, who first found mainstream success for his portrayal of Richard Sharpe in ITV’s Sharpe, said he enjoys the excitement of being such a diverse actor and playing so many different roles.

“I never expected to play…a Catholic priest so it’s constantly surprising me and I like it like that,” he said.

The six-part drama series focuses on Fr Kerrigan, a well-respected Catholic parish priest in northern England who supports several of his most vulnerable parishioners while also suffering from his own troubles.

Bean, who was also an executive producer on the show, revealed that one of the key points he examines when looking through a script is character development.

“In terms of character there are not a great deal of scripts that have characters that develop and we can relate to, there’s quite a few one dimensional characters that you can kind of play but you’re trying to supplement it with whatever you do in order to improve the character whereas something like Broken or Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, the characters are there and you kind of live up to their expectations and it’s up to you to reach that peak of characterisation,” said Bean, who is also popular for his roles as Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark in Game of Thrones and Boromir in Lord of the Rings.

“I look forward to playing characters like Fr Michael Kerrigan again,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bean praised McGovern’s writing, describing it as beautiful, eloquent and powerful.

“I find his writing very natural to say and it’s not very often that happens,” said Bean. “He just seems to know how to create characters that express real humanity and real deep down emotions which are quite fascinating for an actor but he just seems to have that quality and I just relate to his work and his writing quite strongly.”

Picture: Sean Bean with his leading actor award in the press room at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 held at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London. (Ian West/PA).