Sean Bean Talks The Wachowskis' Imagination & His Characters' Dying Habit

The road to the release of Jupiter Ascending was been a long, complicated and publicized one. No matter the media coverage or critical consensus, the Wachowskis' original contributions to cinema deserve the attention and whether or not we ever see another Matrix, the industry needs their original movies.

Screen Rant recently sat down with fan favorite supporting player and Jupiter Ascending co-star Sean Bean to dig a little deeper into what what went into the making of the film. Check out the video above for Bean's thoughts on walking into the uniquely creative world of the Wachowskis, a key component of his character's "hive" mind, and what he thinks of fan interest in and angst over his characters' penchant for getting killed off.

Screen Rant: What is it like either being welcomed into the world of The Wachowskis or just jumping into their world?

Sean Bean: I think it was kind of jumping in. I think it was jumping into their world for all of us, because they’re such a creative, such a diverse, kind of rich universe with so many things going on, so many multi-layered stories, different characters. You kinda go with that and you trust in them because of this belief, the desire they have to create something rather special. And you go along with that because you believe in them. That wasn’t so difficult to jump in like that. You didn’t think, “I’m a half a bee, half a man. What shall I do?” It was all kind of being pointed. We kind of absorbed that from them. We certainly did absorb that kind of watching them, their passion and their just total laser focus on what they are going to achieve. So even though we didn’t have a good idea of a backstory or we couldn’t read a book about 'Jupiter Ascending' and all of the characters, because of the fashion it wasn't hard to immerse yourself in that world.

Sean Bean and Channing Tatum in Jupiter Ascending
Sean Bean and Channing Tatum in 'Jupiter Ascending'

In your experience, you've done fantastical characters and fantastical films. How much different or how much more fantastical is Jupiter Ascending for you? Is it more of a stretch? Is it just a different…?

SB: I found it very interesting in the fact that I was relaying information about how the world was being populated and what had happened thousands and thousands of years ago. As almost an industry I found it quite interesting that there’s not these various planets or systems, these planets that are almost like nations, these superpowers all fighting for power. It’s not hard to kind of imagine these days because you see so many fantasies through really rapid advances in technology and stuff that I think sci-fi films are much more believable now. What was your question? I’m sorry.

Just how much more fantastical was this movie compared to the worlds you’ve explored in other films?

SB: Yeah. I guess with the other films, like 'Game of Thrones', I mean there certainly CGI in that, but there were massive sets. With this, you know, first I think we’re a little mystified just to try and keep all that information from the script in our heads and actually show it as a condensed version of what it was about. It was like kind of a simple version of what the end product would be. And that really helped us to kind of find out who was who, who was related to who, who was an enemy of who and everything. So once you threw yourself in, once you thought, “All right. Let’s go with this." You know, “Let’s go for it.” It was good. It was just a real joy.

Sean Bean in Game of Thrones
Sean Bean in 'Game of Thrones'

It’s so fun to watch. What was the most surreal or fantastical day on set versus costumes or the backgrounds or…? 

Sean Bean: The costumes and deciding how you dress as a bee and what, [laughs] which was quite interesting. But I had no idea. I knew I was half man, half bee, but I didn’t realize the kind of subtleties that would be explored. They were done quite well. And I like bees anyways.

It works so well. It’s just so beautiful. It’s so fun to watch. With your fans knowing and obsessing over the fact that your characters sometimes die in a movie, what do you like most about that anticipation for fans and the comments that they make about it and their expectation that your character is not going to survive?

SB: They always think I’m going to die. And I’m not going to tell them until they watch it. [laughs] Yeah, I think recently, in the last year or so, I’ve been surviving a lot more, which is quite nice. But yeah, somebody keeps these figures. I think I’m third in filmmaking of the actors who die most. John Hurt is #1, Bela Lugosi, and then me.

That’s good company.

SB: I’ve only gotta die a few more until I move up. [laughs]

Sean Bean in LOTR
Sean Bean in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'

Why do you think your fans will love you in this movie?

SB: I hope they enjoy it. I think it’s just an interesting… as all the characters, they all just very interesting, very different, and very…I have not seen anything like it before. I’ve seen sci-fi stuff, but I’ve not seen it on this level where the characters are so interested in the backbone of the story. You go with them and you feel for them. At the same time, you’ve got these wonderful images and effects and they’re combined with these real three dimensional characters that you believe in. If you can do that, then that is kind of a very non-comprising view of the film. That’s what excited me about it, just that we’re going to make this film and we’re going to make it…we’ve got a vision. We’ve got it all in our head and we’re going to do it like that. We’re not going to compromise about anything. That’s very kind of rebellious and very exciting.


Jupiter Ascending is directed by The Wachowskis and stars Channing Tatum (“Magic Mike”) and Mila Kunis (“Oz the Great and Powerful”), Sean Bean (“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy), Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables”), Douglas Booth (“LOL”), Tuppence Middleton (TV’s “The Lady Vanishes”), Doona Bae (“Cloud Atlas”), James D’Arcy (“Hitchcock”) and Tim Pigott-Smith (“Alice in Wonderland”).

Jupiter Ascendingis now playing in theaters.

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