Last Thursday, HCF’s editor-in-chief, Bat, met with accomplished Sheffield-born actor Sean Bean in a roundtable interview in London to promote his new movie, SILENT HILL: REVELATION.
With the film due out on Wednesday 31st October 2012, he was eager to discuss all things spooky in Silent Hill…
It’s taken quite a while for a sequel to be made of Silent Hill. Did you think it might not happen and what did you like about the script when you read it?
I didn’t know it was going to happen. There was talk about it for a few years ‘cos it was about 8 years since the first one, then there was talk a few years ago and then finally it came and it was for real. I read the script and I liked it. I liked the first one and I liked the premise of it, the disturbing, surreal quality, and I enjoyed playing that character. I thought “why not play him a few years on” with his daughter, a teenager now. Things have changed since the first film and I wondered what’s ahead. It’s kind of like the next building brick for the game and the game is really parallel along with that. Obviously, it’s very popular and it’s earned a massive following, so I was really pleased to be asked to be a part of it again.
Before the films, were you familiar with the Silent Hill games themselves?
I wasn’t really, no. When I did the first Silent Hill, my kids showed me some of it a few years ago and I thought, “Wow, this is quite amazing”. I can understand why there’s such a following. The director, Michael J. Bassett, he is a big fan and he’s familiar with all the games and he really squeezed every ounce of horror, emotion, suspense and fear out of what he had from the game. It was good to have someone on board who was a fan and who was also the director.
I know the games are quite terrifying…
Yeah, it’s that kind of suspense and tension. This makes you jump and shocks you often.
I thought the first film was spot on with the feel of the games…
I think this one is even better now because of the technology like the CGI and special effects and it’s in 3D which is perfect for Silent Hill.
In Silent Hill: Revelation, how has your character grown since the first film and has he come to terms with what lies within Silent Hill?
I think he’s come to terms with it. Yeah, he’s firmly aware of the dangers, the dread and the fear of Silent Hill and I suppose that’s why he’s keeping his daughter as close to him as he can. He’s trying to raise her in a relatively normal way as if she was a normal teenager but with difficulty as she’s breaking out, breaking free and she also feels the attraction. He senses that but he doesn’t realise just how obsessed she is by it until sometime later, which it’s extremely worrying. Just when you think it’s gone away, it comes back and that’s quite scary, you know.
What’s your favourite scene from the film?
I like the scene with the Silent nurses. It’s in a laboratory, an operating theatre, and they just move. Anytime they hear anything, they go towards her and stop. That’s really quite scary. She’s trying to get away and every time they hear her moving towards them she’s gotta stop and then they move back round and stop moving. I don’t like the thought of that.
In the first Silent Hill film, your character was very much in the happier side of Silent Hill so was the experience very different to come back for Silent Hill: Revelation?
Yeah. Because she’d been through it all in Silent Hill 1, I suppose you start off with Silent Hill 2 that he’s had that experience and he’s already quite damaged by it, I think. He’s aware there is a danger and he’s got a young daughter to look after, so there’s not that comfort that he had in the first where everything was going along quite nicely. Now he starts off in this sort of elevated state of apprehension and things just escalate. He becomes more drawn into it and sees more of Silent Hill than he did previously. This time he goes in there and sees what it’s all about
Are you a particular fan of horror films and have you any particular favourites?
Yeah, I quite like horror films. I used to like all the Edgar Allan Poe and a lot of his stuff with Vincent Price in, like the House of Usher (The Fall of the House of Usher). There’s quite a few of those he did. I used to like all the Frankenstein and Dracula films with Christopher Lee, and Hunchback of Notre Dame and werewolves. I also like SAW, the first one, and Amityville. Stuff like that.
Compared to the classics, how do you feel about the 3D aspect of movies?
I think it’s good for something like this (Silent Hill: Revelation) and for Avatar. For this, it was great. It was really perfect for Silent Hill. I don’t like watching any film in 3D. I wouldn’t want to watch Coronation Street in 3D [laughs]. I think it’s for specific occasions and I think it should be used sparingly. That’s my view. I’d only watch it if it was relevant and enhanced the subject matter. I wouldn’t like to see things jumping out all the time for no reason.
The film’s been called, in numerous places, either horror, thriller or psychological. Which do you think is the most important factor?
It’s more psychological, I think. There’s a lot of things that are in there that are fearful and they’re kind of phobias, a lot of things that people are scared of and they don’t know why they are scared of them. It’s not pretty clear cut what the horror is, you know, it’s a bit more subtle than that. I think you can’t quite pin it down and think , “why is that disturbing me?” and “why is that not nice?”. It’s clever.
Is that something that particularly interested you about the film, as your tastes seem quite gothic?
Yeah, there’s a bit more to it. It’s not about people being chopped up for the sake of it. There’s a family unit in the midst of all this, who are trying to deal with what’s around them: the fear and the evil. So I think we care about these people. As I said, it’s not just a horror slasher for me, it’s more pyschological and much more bizarre and macabre.
This year is the 50th Anniversary of James Bond. How much does being part of that franchise mean to you and what do you think of the franchise nowadays?
It’s great, I think they really pulled this around from a few years ago. Pierce Brosnan was responsible for that, by creating a new Bond. Barbara Broccoli was great with us. Especially now with Daniel Craig who’s proved to be an excellent Bond. He was up against it in the beginning, people putting him down and criticising him before he’d even started. He’s turned it round and proved he’s a really good Bond and shown them. I think it’s gone from strength to strength recently. To be able to keep that going for such a long time is quite an achievement. It’s still so popular now. Even more popular than it was then.
Do you look back on GoldenEye fondly?
Yeah, it’s the first one that Pierce did and the first one I did. When you play a Bond villain, there’s a fair amount of expectation, I suppose, when you’re in that position. I look very fondly at it. I remember it, we had great times. It’s moved on like, now, but it still holds up.
Your characters more often than not meet a grisly end. How do you feel about that?
I’ve stayed alive in more recent films, I suppose. There was one point where I was dying in everything, that’s the problem being a bad guy, I had to die at the end, so it’s quite refreshing to play someone who stays alive. It’s all good stuff though. That’s just what you get when playing a bad guy, you usually have to die at the end. I can’t complain, ‘cos some of those roles, like Patriot Games and GoldenEye, were great opportunities for me and they are great parts to play.
Do you enjoy playing villains?
Yeah, I do. As I said, there was a point were I was playing villains a lot and I had to change it round ‘cos I wasn’t doing anything else. It’s nice to be in a position where I can pick and choose though.
Thank you for your time
We’d like to thank Sean Bean and Lionsgate for the interview.
SILENT HILL: REVELATION opens in UK cinemas nationwide from Wednesday 31st October 2012