Sean Bean: ‘It’s odd playing a character called ‘Sean Bean’ in Wasted!’

Sean Bean
Sean Bean (Image credit: EMPICS Entertainment)

Sean Bean reveals he plays a version of himself in E4’s new comedy, Wasted…

We’ve seen Sean Bean play heroic Richard Sharpe in ITV’s Sharpe series, Bond baddie Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye, and a tragic transvestite in Accused - which got him a BAFTA nomination. But until now we’ve never seen the celebrated Sheffield actor play a version of himself playing himself!

To explain: Sean makes an appearance in E4’s new six-part comedy Wasted. He plays the spirit guide of loveable waster Morpheus (Danny Kirrane). Sean knows the 20-something’s every secret thought and offers him solid life advice such as: ‘be more assertive like [Jeremy] Paxman’.

For more read Sean’s interview below…

Sean Bean

E4's Wasted with Sean Bean and Danny Kirrane (Image credit: Dave King)

Sean can you explain your role in C4’s new comedy Wasted? "I’m a cross between the characters I play in Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I guess I’m a dream of Morpheus’s… His hero, his spiritual guide, and I’m just trying to help him navigate through life and relationships. I keep appearing to him in different places and giving him advice!"

What did you think when the idea was first put to you? "I didn’t know what to think. My agent said, ‘You’d better read it because I can’t really explain it. It’s bizarre!’ I was interested and bemused. The idea of playing myself, a character called Sean Bean – although I’m not playing myself, I’m playing a character I’ve played before – it’s really odd!

"But then I read it and I thought ‘Wow, I want to do this, it’s right up my street.’ It’s wonderful writing. Surreal and stupid and ludicrous. It’s absolutely hilarious."

Was it as much fun to work on as it was to read? "We had such a good time on it, it was so much fun. Especially working with Danny. We improvised and put things in there. There was quite a lot of ad-libbing. You always know you’re doing a good comedy when you’re filming and you get a feeling that you can’t help but laugh. And that happened quite a lot."

You’re better known for your dramatic work. Did it feel different to do a comedy? "Yeah, it did feel different. It’s a lot more fun than killing people or getting killed. That can get a bit grim sometimes. It was good to get to do a bit of comedy. I had to play it straight, though. If you go looking for laughs it’s not going to work. So the scenes with Danny I played very straight. That’s why we started giggling... because we were taking ourselves very seriously!

"I’d never played a role like this where I really didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately it went well and was very relaxed and easy-going. But everyone else was dressed normally, and I’m just this man in a wood with a big cape on."

The story is about four young adults getting wasted and not doing very much. Was there ever a time in your life like that or were you too busy working? "I probably did go through a period like that – I think that’s partly why I was laughing my head off at it. Everybody can identify with times where they don’t know where their life’s heading. It’s all part of the process of growing up and finding out who you are and what you want to do in life.

"The characters in this are all good people, but they’re almost playing a part. I think we all do that when we’re young until we find out what we really are. In my case, I’m still playing parts! I’ve not grown up in that sense."

Wasted stars Danny Kirrane as Morpheus, Rose Reynolds as Danny’s sister Sarah, Dylan Edwards as best mate Kent, and Gwyneth Keyworth as love-interest Alison - and, of course, Sean Bean as ‘Sean Bean’!


Watch the trailer here:




Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.