Sean Bean

The Fellowship of the Ring

Interviewed by James Mottram

Had you read "The Lord of the Rings" before you joined the cast?

I'd read the books some years ago. And I always wanted to be involved should there be the possibility of it being a film, so I was very thrilled when it happened. It was something that I'd heard about. There'd been a lot of rumours about this film going ahead, so I'd always been very interested. It took some time before it came to fruition.

How was it working in New Zealand for such a long period of time?

It helped that we were able to leave the baggage at home. You're not stranded on the island, but you do get a sense of isolation; it's a very peaceful place. You're not faced with traffic lights, cars, and stuff. You're up a mountainside that's inaccessible unless you have a helicopter. It was very conducive to helping you focus and concentrate. The other difficult thing was the conditions. They helped to give it that reality: windswept, mud and rain, and tiredness.

Did you get along with your fellow cast members?

Everybody was very supportive, as they were in the Fellowship. During the course of the journey, somebody might suffer a tragedy, or lose hope, and the rest of the group would pull together and give him support. That constantly happens during the course of the journey; there are a lot of ups and downs. Nobody's ever strong all the time. Everybody's suffering some kind of loss of hope or despair.

How did you feel when you finished?

When you finish, it is quite a strange feeling. Everything stops. You're back to reality: paying bills, doing your laundry, and you're not surrounded by elves any more with your sword by your side.

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