BUZZ OF NEW GIG
Sean Bean has played many roles – but nothing quite like the half-man, half-bee hybrid he portrays in new sci-fi flick Jupiter Ascending
Sean Bean has been to many worlds. The English actor battled orcs as the great warrior Boromir in the Lord of the Rings films and as the Lord of Winterfell, Ned Stark, in the TV series Game of Thrones, he found himself in the middle of the bloody fight to control the mythical land of Westeros.
Bean, 55, doesn’t catch much of a break in his new role. The English actor is Stinger, a geneticallyengineered half-bee warrior in the science-fiction film Jupiter Ascending.
The film is by siblings Lana and Andy Wachowski, the duo behind the Matrix trilogy, and is set partly on Earth, but also involves a bloody, interplanetary power struggle between a royal family not too unlike Game of Thrones.
The aliens use Earth like a farm, harvesting humans to create a youth serum.
“It was quite complex,” Bean says, describing reading the Jupiter Ascending script for the first time. “It was a very dense, rich script with a lot going on. It is multi-layered with different civilisations, different planets and different people all vying for power and there’s this girl in the middle who is the natural successor and who will be the leader.”
The girl is Jupiter Jones, a Russian-born Chicago resident struggling to make ends meet with her family as a cleaner. Jupiter’s day job is cleaning toilet bowls, but suddenly she finds herself in the middle of the alien power struggle.
Stinger, along with Caine Wise, a genetically engineered albino-wolf-human hybrid played by Channing Tatum, step in to protect Jupiter while this year’s best actor Oscar favourite Eddie Redmayne plays Balem Abrasax, a creepy, slow-talking member of the alien royal family who wants control of Earth and the harvest of the humans.
“Before we started they (the Wachowskis) made a rough animated version of what the first half of the film was about,” says Bean. “That was very useful because we could visualise it.
“We sat in a little cinema and all watched it to together before we started filming so that was a great help.”
Audiences first meet Bean’s Stinger when Jupiter and Caine suddenly appear at his Earth outpost.
Instead of Stinger and Caine giving each other a hug, they have an epic, bareknuckled fight.
“Kind of, yeah,” Bean, in his deep, northern English accent, laughs when asked if he showed pretty boy Tatum a few moves learned from the tough council estates in Sheffield where he was raised. “He’s quite fit – a big guy.”
Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, and David Ajala at the premiere of