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The Boyfriend of the Week

January 12, 2004

Hey, everybody! Welcome to the first Boyfriend write-up of the New Year! I hope everybody had a terrific holiday season and wish all you guys a great 2004 packed with extremely handsome and talented Boyfriends and, uh, millions and millions of American dollars. Hey, if you're going to wish, wish big, right?

I spent my Christmas vacation this year the same way I try to spend it every year -- I went to my parents' house for a week and pretended I was 8 years old again. This time, it was that times ten, too, because I also came down with a wretched flu while I was there, and ended up spending the entire week on Mom's sofa. You'd think this would have really bummed me out, right? I finally get a week off and I'm sick the entire time? However, if you have to get the flu, I cannot recommend highly enough that you get it while you're at your parents' house right after Christmas. I literally spent the whole week being doted on like never before, and when I wasn't being doted on, I was watching movies with my Mom and sister (since my sister was there, we did have to rent GOOD movies instead of our usual horrible sci-fi and monster dreck, but the good movies were really good, so I can't really complain), eating fabulous home-cooked meals, snacking on cookies, having my temperature taken with the back of Mom's hand (I love that), and enjoying the scene out the window, as it snowed almost the entire time I was there. Snow, couch, blankets, movies, cookies, Mom, Dad, sister, an excuse to literally DO NOTHING for an entire week. Dude, as vacations come? Not so bad.

Anyway, while it might not seem like it at the moment, all of this actually has everything to do with this week's Boyfriend, the incredibly handsome and particularly-nice-when-unshaven Sean Bean. And here's how. Whenever I'm at my parents' house, sleeping in the same bed I used to sleep in when I was in high school, I have the most bizarre, vivid dreams every night. They are always long dreams, and they are always intense and very, very weird. Typically, these dreams have been about things like gorillas in my high school, inoculations at the grocery store, houses that have multiple stories but no stairs, or the CIA chasing me down the Champs Elysees (don't ask, because I don't know either). I never dream like that in my own home. I can't explain why. But anyway, this time the dream really stood out, because this time, the dream was all Sean Bean, all the time.

What the dream actually was about, I honestly can't remember now. I should've written it down, but I just never thought to do it. I vaguely remember, however, that Sean Bean was in a punk band I had gone to see, and that there was an amazingly cliché scene in which Sean spots me in the crowd while he's on stage playing and our eyes meet and he falls head over heels in love with me. I couldn't tell you if there was kissing, because the details after that are fuzzy (and plus, they were different every night). However, I think it's probably a safe bet to assume there was some kind of smooching going on. Because, well, you guys know me -- would I bother to dream about a Boyfriend if I wasn't going to dream about smooching him while I was there?

The strangest thing about all of this is that while I've been planning to feature Seanie on the site for a really long time now (roughly two years -- ever since his turn as Boromir in the first "Lord of the Rings" movie), I really wasn't ready to do so. I kept meaning to rent some of the installments in the Richard Sharpe series, first of all, and I never got around to seeing beyond the first one. But fate is fate -- you can't ignore a message like this. Clearly I was meant to make Sean Bean the first Boy of 2004. And I just couldn't get him out of my mind until it was done.

So, instead, I had my sister run out and rent "Ronin," which is a great movie you all should check out, if only because it also stars ex-Boyfriends Jean Reno and Robert De Niro and features one of the longest and most insane car chase scenes of all time. The movie is about a bunch of guns-for-hire who take a job for a group of guys who want to steal a mysterious briefcase from this other group of guys. Jean, Bobby, and Sean are all like ronin -- samurai without masters -- but they all have different reasons for taking the job, some of which are not quite what they seem. Sean's character is a rookie, and while he's the only weapons expert on the team, they end up giving him the boot in the first hour after he reveals himself to be a pukey spazoid.

Now, despite the fact Sean isn't in the picture long, while he IS there, he's damn sexy. Longish hair, stubbly cheeks -- a real rugged look about him. And also, he speaks with an Irish accent (something he does in many of his films, despite the fact he's actually a Brit), which is something I'm really into at the moment (I've been listening to The Pogues a lot lately). Suffice it to say after I got this extra piece of validation on the Sean Bean Boyfriend idea, I knew I was a goner. There could be no more delay.

Now, because this was a fairly last minute decision, when I got home from my trip last weekend, I needed at least one more week to prepare. Hence the wait. I spent that whole week looking for great Sean Bean photos (and failing, by the way -- I'm not crazy about any of these) and renting several more of his films, including two more Sharpe's movies that I still haven't gotten around to watching.

Next up in my DVD player was the 007 movie "GoldenEye," which I think was the first Bond movie to star ex-Boyfriend Pierce Brosnan. I have to admit, though, while I love Pierce as Bond, "GoldenEye" is not one of my favorites. It's kind of hokey, for one thing, and despite the fact it features Sean Bean as a really gorgeous bad guy, he doesn't get as much screen time as I would've liked. And the only kissing scene he gets is a borderline sexual assault kind of thing, which just makes me kinda queasy.

However, you really can do no wrong with "Patriot Games," which was the flick I watched next. It's one of the Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan CIA spy movies and it's about an Irish rebel (both played by and named Sean) whose brother Jack shoots during a terrorist attack. Sean becomes fixated on the idea of revenge, and the movie is basically about his spiral out of control as he attempts to murder Jack and family in about a gazillion different ways. I really like all the Hank Ford as Jack Ryan movies, and since this one features Sean as an Irishman, this is definitely one of my favorites. Irishmen are just damn sexy. Especially the ones who are tall, have dirty blonde hair, and who seem rarely to shave. Uh, except for the lead singer of The Pogues, who kind of fits into all these categories, but who also, unfortunately, has no teeth.

Up next was the miniseries "Scarlett," which I didn't get all the way through. Sean is great, and also, he's Irish in this one too (big surprise! I wonder if he ever thinks he was born in the wrong country?), but the rest of the movie -- eh, not really for me. So, instead of spending more time slogging through it, I decided to pop it out and get back to basics by watching "Fellowship of the Ring" for the 86 bazillionth time.

Boromir, Boromir, Boromir. He's a complex kinda guy, don't you think? And man, I just really had a lot of sympathy for him, despite the fact I'm sure a lot of people thought he was a weak, greedy jerkface. Who hasn't been so tempted by a piece of shiny jewelry that they haven't gotten a little close to losing control? Okay, okay, so I'm not really into jewelry. But if that ring had been made out of espresso and I'd been camping all weekend with a bunch of short people with hairy feet and no camp stove? I would have totally acted the same way. And besides, he knew he screwed up, and he redeemed himself fully in the end when he sacrifices himself to keep Frodo safe. (I'd apologize for the spoiler there, but if you haven't see "Fellowship" yet, you have no business being here in the first place. What is WRONG with you??)

However, I do have one complaint about Boromir, and this goes for Aragorn, Eomer, Faramir and all the other "men" in the films. Ever hear of taking a bath? Because, honestly, you all just look like a bunch of stinkbombs. Yes, I understand that you had bigger fish to fry. But was there anyone else out there besides me who went, "Yeeeeech!" when Aragorn bent in to kiss Arwen? I mean, I love a good smooch as much as the next girl. But you just KNOW he smelled like sweaty socks. And she was all clean and pretty and looking like she spent a lot of time shopping at Bath and Body Works. I think a gentle hand to the chest and a "Hie thee to the showers!" would've been perfectly acceptable behavior on Arwen's part. Dodge that kiss, baby. Otherwise you're going to have to soap up for days just to get the grime off.

Alas, I digress.

Aside from the movies I just mentioned, though, and the 80 million Sharpe's installments, I was surprised to see that Bean hasn't really had much of a Hollywood career (not that that's necessarily a bad thing, mind you). He seems to be doing a lot better ever since LOTR (for obvious reasons), but many of the other movies in his list look either really obscure or just plain bad. And, even worse, just from looking at the descriptions of many of them, it appears that his niche is in playing bad guys. Which, of course, he does very well. But can't somebody cast him as the lead in a romantic comedy? I mean, it could be a period thing so he could still ride horses and wear chain mail and stuff. But I'd really like to see a lot more of his smile, if that's okay with you movie producing types. It's a rare thing to see in a film -- bad guys don't smile much, and when they do, it's because they're psychos and they're relishing the fact they're about to blow your head off. Somehow, not such a turn-on, you know what I mean? But dang he's got a great smile. And for evidence, just look at the right-most picture above -- doesn't that just pull at your insides? Don't you just want to grab that smile and plant a smooch on it?

Okay, time for the biographical skinny on Mr. Sean Bean. He was actually born with a much more phonetically spelled name, oddly enough -- his real name is Shaun (or Shawn -- I saw it both ways on the web) Mark Bean and I can only assume he changed it because Sean Bean just looks really cool (even while it begs for the pronunciation "Seen Bean"). He was born on April 17, 1959 in Sheffield, England. His father was a steel plater with his own business and his mother was a secretary. When he was a kid, he was headstrong and a bit of a rebel with a temper and his primary goal in life was to play football for his favorite team, Sheffield United (football actually being soccer in his part of the world). But, when he was a kid, he got mad at a cousin who wouldn't share and smashed a glass door, resulting in a long shard of glass becoming embedded in his shin. After the accident, he couldn't walk well for a time, and while he did eventually play football for the school team, he knew the training for the pros would be more than he could handle.

He was not the most model of children growing up. For one thing, he was involved with a local gang called "The Union," who were in perpetual war with a rival gang called "The Firm" (by the way, you call those gang names? What's next, "Local 17" versus "MacKenzie, Smith, and Brown, Esq."?). Lucky for him, however, though he was a hothead with an attitude, he never got arrested for gang-banging, and was only ever charged once with a crime (when he punched out some guy who was trying to keep him from crashing a party).

At age 15, Sean decided he'd had enough with his misguided anger, and he decided to channel his urge to act out into something more productive. He took up boxing, something his father had been into at one time, and worked at a local boxing club for two years, focusing on getting healthy (giving up booze and cigarettes) and staying strong. Meanwhile, in 1975, he left school with two O-levels (in Art and English) and took a series of odd jobs to keep afloat. When he realized he needed to pick something productive soon or else starve to death, he reluctantly agreed to take a job working in the steel plant with his father.

As fate would have it, however, he was sent to a local college to take a seminar on welding (who knew they had seminars on welding?) and while he was there, he stumbled into an arts class, which rekindled his interest in drama and literature. He decided to quit the plant and go back to school, and by 1979, he was enrolled in the Fine Arts program at Rotherham College. From there, he began acting in several local theater productions, married his high school sweetheart, and eventually got a job as an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1984, he landed his first role in a film, "Winter Flight," and he decided movies was where he wanted to be.

You pretty much know the story from there, except possibly for the fact that he divorced and remarried twice more, and now has 3 children (though I think he's not married anymore).

Not sold on the scruffy Sean Bean yet? Despite the fact this must be the the longest write-up of all time? Man, I give up.

MacGyver Factor Score: 94.947%. Points off because the fact that anyone would choose to have a name that wasn't spelled phonetically (Sean instead of Shawn? Why?) is just weird. But points back because "Seamus" isn't spelled phonetically either, and I actually think Seamus is a really cool name. So, like, what's my problem, anyway?

Boyfriend-Related Links
Sean's IMDB Page
The Compleat Sean Bean
Sheffield United's Official Site
The Tiscali page's Bio on Sean

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