Sean Bean: Game of Thrones star explains why he loves living in Somerset
When fans saw Game of Thrones star Sean Bean near Wincanton, it was hard to believe the man once named the second greatest Yorkshireman who ever lived was moving to genteel Somerset.
Rumors began to swirl after diners at The Wagtail pub spotted the Lord of the Rings star in the county amid reports he was watching a property near the small village of Maperton, Wincanton.
Rumors that he would move here have proven true and over the past six years Bean has given several interviews in which he revealed why he moved to Somerset and how he finally found peace in the county.
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And it seems any fans hoping to stumble upon the five-times-married Sharpe actor might be better off hanging out at local garden centers than Somerset celebs.
So why did Sean leave London?
According to the 62-year-old, it was because he was kicked out of his Belsize Park home that he once shared fourth wife Georgina Sutcliffe with neighbors “who opposed everything”.
They divorced in 2010 and Sean said The temperature his neighbors “went to solicitors” about his pet chickens in the garden.
“I wanted to do a rooftop terrace for the wildlife: they got together, had wine parties to talk about how they were going to arrest me,” he added.
“I was like, ‘F*** me, I’ve had enough of this.’
Why not Hollywood?
Sean once lived at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles when he starred in movies like National Treasure and Flightplan with Jodie Foster.
But he told an interviewer, “I don’t think I could ever put down roots there. It’s one thing to live in a hotel and know you’re going home and another thing to settle in.
Bean is known as a man of few words and when not working he prefers solitary activities such as reading, listening to music, playing the piano, welding and drawing.
But the actor, who married fifth wife Ashley Moore in 2017, says his favorite hobby is gardening and he’s there “most of the time”.
“We bought the house from a designer called Ken Bolan, and fell in love with how he created this kind of hideaway,” he told an interviewer.
“I made it a little wilder.”
When a Grade II listed mansion in Totteridge, north London, where he lived with his third wife, Abigail Cruttenden, was put on the market for £6million, it became clear he had no intend to return to the capital.
What does her Somerset garden look like?
The word he uses the most to describe it is “savage”.
“When we moved to Somerset I left the garden alone for a year, so I saw what was growing naturally and what wasn’t, and I went with that,” he said to an interviewer.
“I planted trees, shrubs, plants and flowers that grow well in my garden. I didn’t go for fancy stuff that you have to keep going in and out and tending to.
“I just think if he dies, he dies, he’s not supposed to be here; and if he survives, I’ll plant more.”
During the lockdown, he planted lots of trees and put up birdhouses and bat houses.
“I’m taking it quite slowly and reaping the benefits year after year, which is a wonderful feeling,” he once said.
Where does the love of gardening come from?
Growing up in Sheffield in the 60s and 70s, he loved football and explored abandoned farmhouses, scrap heaps and old bomb craters with friends.
Gradually, he became interested in birdwatching and began to roam the pockets of greenery in the industrial and steel town.
“My grandfather did a lot of vegetable and fruit gardening, and he was very disciplined, but he got great produce,” he once said.
“And there was my next door neighbor, a guy called Ron Howard, who was our neighbor for about 40 or 50 years. I learned a lot from them both, and I gradually started to garden too.
“I remember planting trees in mum and dad’s garden; it wasn’t very big, but I tried to get as many hawthorns and native trees and shrubs as possible, and lots of birdhouses. That’s how I got into gardening.”
Why does he like it?
He likes it because he forgets about work and says it helps free his mind from everyday stress.
“I find that I just focus on the moment,” he told an interviewer.
“It’s kind of a conscious process: you know where you are, you know you’re in the present, but at the same time your mind wanders and visualizes and imagines colors and structures and shapes,” he said. he declares.
“It’s precise, in the sense that you know exactly what you’re doing, but other ideas are coming through as well. You plan for the future without really acknowledging it. It’s an interesting state of mind. »
What to doshe wears?
His uniform is either overalls or a camouflage t-shirt which he receives each year for Christmas from his wife and children, but which he always takes off when not in the garden.
“I’m not going to the supermarket in camouflage and hiding behind bushes or something!” he told the Financial Times.
“I also have some boxer shorts with cute little tool pictures on them – hammers and chisels – so that gets me in the mood and I think, okay, I have some work to do. Sounds like a bit crazy, but it works for me.”
He is a huge Monty Don fan.
He watches Gardeners World weekly and says he likes the way Monty Don goes with nature rather than fighting against it.
“He has a wonderful way of looking at gardening”, he explained in an interview.
“He’s more of a naturalist in a sense and almost like a painter in the way he deals with and visualizes the world around him.”
Does he still love Somerset?
He told an interviewer he was ‘lucky to live in the county and added: ‘In Somerset I feel like I’ve really found the place where I feel settled and contented.
Asked about his favorite place in the world, he said: “If it’s a matter of the heart, then it would probably be my home town of Sheffield.
“If it’s anywhere now that I’ve chosen to be, it’s here in Somerset. »
After that ?
He recently appeared in Tim, Jimmy McGovern’s acclaimed three-part series Time, so he’s not yet due to retire.
The grandfather of four told an interviewer he loved what he did and enjoyed the challenge of experimenting with new roles.
“But I also value my time,” he said.
“I really enjoy my time at home with my family, with my wife and with nature.”