Interview with Sean Bean who plays Ian in Marriage

Hi Sean, tell us about Marriage.

Marriage only takes place over 12 days or so. It’s an extract of that time in their lives and you drop in to watch their lives. However, what is in those days is rich, revealing and you see what a relationship is… what a marriage is. Their doubts, fears, joy, happiness and heartbreak that go into everyday living.

What struck you about the script?

Stefan’s dialogue is very natural and free flowing. It doesn’t seem like that sometimes when you are doing it. I guess we all jump to conclusions about how we perceive delivery of the lines, and sometimes you go for the easiest option, but Stefan breaks it up and doesn’t allow it to just become one-dimensional thought. There’s a lot happening in between various sentences and statements we make which is hard to get your head around, but makes it very varied and rich.

He also throws in a lot of business: props, opening and shutting bins, getting tissue paper out at the same time as you are talking, which is something you have to get used to. However it’s very well observed and quite hard work to get your head around, even though it’s very naturalistic and free flowing. There’s so many different layers he has created within his script.

Tell us about the situation with Jamie, Emma’s colleague?

Ian is a man who isn’t very sure of himself and not very confident. He used to be when he had a job and was in a relatively a high up position. He was a moderator at his firm, but that’s gone and he’s recently lost his mother. Emma is working and going places. Then there’s a younger man on the scene [Jamie] so when you add them all together, he’s quite suspicious. Ian is a very vulnerable and unsettled man and lots of little things begin to stir up into a big pot of worry!

Tell us about working with Stefan.

Stefan is very communicative. He has lived with this project for so long that he knows what he wants from us, it’s a matter of getting on his wavelength. I’ve never really thought this much about what I say or do, but in this I feel very grateful to be able to have that opportunity. It’s not method acting, but you really do think about how you are doing a scene. You have to be so truthful in the portrayal to bring out all the feelings and emotions that Stefan has put in.

What’s it been like working with Nicola?

It’s been a real pleasure for me working with Nicola, and I know everyone says that, but it really has.

Why should people watch Marriage?

People will be able to see many things that they can relate to in their own lives and their own relationships. There aren’t any big stunts or reveals, it’s just a very simple story, simply told, about people and the complications of daily life.

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