Sean's loving life at the Sharpe end
(Daily Record Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)After almost a decade, Sean Bean is back this week as swashbuckling Captain Richard Sharpe in ITV1's pounds 4million epic adventure.
Filmed in Jaipur, Sharpe is sent by the Duke of Wellington to find a maharaja opposing British interests in India.
Sharpe fences for survival with Colonel Dodd, a rebel East India Company officer and the maharaja's sinister sidekick played by ex-Bond baddie Toby Stephens, sparking a series of bloody battles.
He also has to deal with a beautiful enemy, the devious Madhuvanthi, played by author Salman Rushdie's wife, model Padma Lakshmi.
The 47-year-old Sheffield-born actor has made 15 previous Sharpe dramas - the last was in 1997 set amid the Battle of Waterloo - and was keen to return to the role.
He said: "I was very excited about this. I got to ride horses, fence and kiss beautiful women.
"I loved the sword fights, I really went for it. Toby and I are well matched physically and I got quite an adrenaline rush because I forgot everything around me and got stuck in.
"Toby is excellent in this - very menacing.
"There are some incredible battle scenes too. There's an amazing one at a fort - it's very violent.
"A couple of hundred men get killed and lie dying, piled on top of each other.
"There is a young guy at the front carrying the flag and you know he's going to die. It's really poignant.
"I loved working in India. It has a wonderful energy. I love the vitality of the place and would like to return for a holiday.
"I tried lots of local curries but also had it in my contract that decent Western food was available. I like eggs, chips, bacon and beans and didn't want curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner."
Bean claims the worst part about being so far from his home in Belsize Park, north London, was missing his daughters.
He has three kids - Lorna, 17, and 14-year-old Molly with ex-wife, actress Melanie Hill, and Evie, six, from his marriage to actress Abigail Cruttenden.
He said: "I miss them and they miss me but I try to minimise the time I'm away now or I get them out to where I'm working.
"They've grown up with my job. They know what it's like and don't resent it. When we get time together I make sure we have fun."
Bean, who starred in last year's box office hit "Flightplan" with Jodie Foster, has two films released later this year - thriller "Silent Hill" and mythical story "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" with Patrick Stewart.
He said: "I live alone and keep busy. I have no plans to change that."