Q&A: Sean Bean Talks Coming Back To Life In 'Missing'

Sean Bean lost his head during Season 1 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” and he started out ABC’s “Missing,” which premiered in March, being blown up in a car. Last week, though, the ABC drama spiced things up when Ashley Judd, as ex-CIA agent Becca Winstone (in her continued search for her missing son, Michael), chased down a man only to discover it was Sean’s Paul Winstone, the husband she thought died years before.

Before Becca had a chance to catch him, or grill him on where he’s been, Paul jumped off a wall in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and into the sea. And, as the British actor (who plays an American on the show) told AccessHollywood.com on Tuesday, Paul is “a good swimmer.”

The show continues this Thursday at 8/7c and with it, a search by the CIA for Paul, who, before his fake death, was suspected as having ties to a group of rogue agents.

And, in a chat from London on Tuesday, Sean told Access what to expect in the coming weeks with an alive Paul now in play. But first, a little “Game of Thrones” talk.

AccessHollywood.com: The last time we saw you was at the ‘Mirror Mirror’ premiere, where you came back and asked our producer for the ‘Game of Thrones’ ‘Ned’s Head’ poster we showed you. (Click HERE to watch that moment)

Sean: That’s right, yeah. ‘The King Can Do As He Likes’ [Editor’s note: That’s the tag line on the poster].Yeah [I said], ‘I’d never seen it, can I have it?’

Access: Have you recovered from seeing that image yet? (Click HERE to view the gruesome poster)

Sean: I’d never seen it before, so that’s why I was quite excited. [I thought], ‘Wow, that’s good. That’s cool.’ But yeah, I’ve kind of recovered now, from the beheading.

Access: Your ‘GOT’ character Ned died in King’s Landing and in ‘Missing,’ on last week’s episode, Paul came back to life in Dubrovnik, which is the city that stands in for King’s Landing in Season 2 of ‘GOT’. (Editor’s note: Sean’s ‘GOT’ death was actually filmed in Season 1 in Malta). Was that weird?

Sean: Yeah, it was. I’m getting kind of mixed up with it really ‘cause I kind of die off in one, come back in another… It didn’t occur to me at the time, but now you mention it, it is a bit kind of spooky, isn’t it?

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Access: When did ‘Missing’ producers tell you Paul was actually alive?

Sean: Oh, they told me right at the beginning. I said, ‘That can’t be it, can it? Is that it? He’s gone?’ They said, ‘No, no!’… It’s quite a relief for me to be able to tell people I’m alive again, because obviously you’ve seen me now [in last week’s episode]. Before, I was having to say, ‘Well, I come back in flashbacks’ and stuff like that… I knew I was more involved and I knew I wasn’t going to snuff it in the first episode and not be seen again.

Access: How stunt heavy is the stuff coming up with you? So far, we’ve seen you in flashbacks eating cake at the wedding, sitting on the bed finding out Becca is pregnant, and then last week, jumping into the sea. Is more action on the way?

Sean: There is (laughs). I think you can kind of see the sensitive vulnerable side of the guy, so far, but he’s certainly someone who you wouldn’t mess around with. He’s very capable of force, if it’s required, but he’s not the kind of guy that goes around shouting about it. And also, at the same time, he’s trying to reconcile some kind of relationship with Becca, and he’s carrying this sense of guilt around with him… And in order to get Michael back, he’ll do anything. So there is more action to be seen and he can be a mean guy when he wants to be.

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Access: Which is harder, shooting the action scenes in ‘Missing’, sword fighting in ‘Game of Thrones,’ or wearing heels and getting waxed for your upcoming BBC show, ‘Accused,’ where you play a transvestite?

Sean: Wearing heels. That’s something I’ve not had much experience with. That was difficult. I don’t know how women do it. It’s pretty painful. I got pretty good at it at the end… That was quite a jump for me and very exciting leap into another kind of world as it were. Fascinating stuff. I’ve not seen it yet, so I’m looking forward to it. But that was a bit more difficult than sword fighting, I can tell you that.

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Access: Ashley is coming on our show, Access Hollywood Live, on Wednesday.

Sean: Give her my regards.

Access: What was it like working with her?

Sean: I think we work very well [together] — the scenes that we had together and you do get a sense that there’s a conflict there, but [Becca and Paul] are still very much in love. It’s kind of heart wrenching that they can’t kind of just throw their arms around each other and be the same, but there’s been so much time, so much waters passed under the bridge that that’s not possible. But she was good to work with… I enjoyed the scenes we had together, and they are quite moving, as revealed in the later episodes.

Access: Did you learn anything interesting about her off set?

Sean: She seemed to enjoy being on her iPod, or whatever it’s called, and eating good food and lots of salad and lentils.

Access: Did that rub off on you?

Sean: No, it turned me the other way, actually. I just [ate] a big lump of steak!

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Access: Are we going to find out if Paul is a bad guy by the time the season is over?

Sean: Yeah. You’ll see what he’s done and how he was involved with these people, but it’s like a legitimate crookedness, so it was all done with the best intentions… Sometimes you have to compromise, you have to go do things that you don’t want to do in order to make a situation good in the end and that’s the kind of thing he’s doing and it’s quite – psychologically – it’s quite demanding for him and it’s a big conflict and there’s guilt and there’s all sorts of things running around in his head.

Access: Hopefully we’ll get to see you in Season 2. They already killed you once on the show, so you can clearly stick around.

Sean: Yeah, I get killed off that many times and I’m starting to come back to life again. It’s pretty weird.

For more on “Missing,” click HERE.

-- Jolie Lash

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