Recommended second chance
From Bond villain to hero soldier Sharpe, Sean Bean has cornered the market in portraying tough guys but viewers are about to see him in a very different role. As Jimmy McGovern’s acclaimed drama strand Accused returns to BBC1, Sean plays a cross-dressing teacher who falls for a married man and finds himself caught up in a crime of passion. TV Choice met up with the former Game Of Thrones favourite in a pub near his north London home…
What’s so special about Jimmy McGovern’s work?
I love the tone and the approach he takes to working-class issues and his principles.
Describe the character you play in Accused…
Simon’s an ordinary guy. He’s a teacher and very well read — his love is the Lake poets. I don’t think the kids quite get it, and that’s basically his life. But outside work he transforms into Tracie and you see that transition, which is amazing — it’s not just black and white, Simon/Tracie. There’s a happiness when he’s Tracie and getting made up to go out, and a sadness and resignation when he’s going back into Simon. Back to an everyday life he isn’t comfortable with and wasn’t created for.
It sounds like a subject that hasn’t had much coverage in TV drama…
No it hasn’t and when it has it’s either really serious or quite funny and cheeky. This is grown up. He’s a very lonely person who just wants to be with someone and be loved. He looks around at couples in the street kissing and being happy together and he wants that.
How does he hook up with Tony, played by Stephen Graham?
Tony’s at a stag do with his brother who is a bit homophobic and really doesn’t like people like Tracie. He starts abusing her in a bar and she holds her own, she’s used to that kind of behaviour from guys. Tony admires the fact that Tracie stands up for herself and there’s something between them. Tony offers her a lift, they discuss things in the car and it goes on from there really.
Did you go shopping for your costume?
Yeah, and the costume designer was wonderful. He bought a few things for me to try — there’s a blue sparkly dress with full on sequins.
How did it feel when you were dressed for the role with padding etc?
Quite alien. It changes your body shape and you have to walk differently. I had pads that made my bum look a bit larger, to give me a womanly shape. It was a long process in the morning but doing that helped me mentally into the role.
Changing the subject completely, you were shockingly killed off in Game Of Thrones. Have you had any feedback?
Yes, and I saw a few spoofs on YouTube. These two guys did a brilliant one in LA saying how furious they were that my character had been killed off. It was very amusing.