Actor fits Hollywood’s ‘dead man walking’ niche

I think we all fantasize about being famous. But have you ever thought about what you would be famous for?

The key to dreaming big is determining what niche you would fit into in Hollywood.

Some niches are positive. George Clooney is typically cast for his handsome tenderness as a middle-aged actor. So often shirtless you could put your money on him, Channing Tatum struts his muscles to send every woman’s jaw crashing to the floor. Robin Williams spent years as the not-too-crude funnyman – although you might gulp if you heard his standup.

But some niches emphasize an actor’s faults. Kristen Stewart shoulders much of the criticism for being an expressionless dimwit. Megan Fox faced backlash for leaving Michael Bay’s “Transformers” franchise when the filmmaker said she was just a pretty face with no talent.

Few moviegoers consider that both actresses were sick of their niches. Stewart probably hated the poorly written sourpuss role she had been forced to play for years. Fox refused to adhere to Bay’s typecast eye-candy female lead.

The niche I would hate to have, however, belongs to Sean Bean. His thing? He dies in most of the movies or television series he’s in.

Don’t believe me? A June 2011 issue of GeekSpeak Magazine lists 25 productions where Bean’s character bites it before the credits roll, dating back to 1986. Add two more to that list from two films that were released after the article was written. The total is now 27.

Some roles are small – “War Requiem” (1989) – while others are not – “Patriot Games” (1992), “GoldenEye” (1995), “Equilibrium” (2002) and “The Island” (2005).

For the sake of analysis, let’s determine Bean’s total number of acting roles. To date, Bean has appeared in 83 TV and film productions. If we remove one-episode roles and his 16-film recurring character Richard Sharpe, the number slides down to 59.

So, out of 59 “major” acting gigs, Sean Bean’s character has died in 27 of them. That’s 45 percent! The actor is nearly a Two-Face coin flip away from death whenever the camera rolls.

Looks like Sean Bean has found his niche.

Sorry if I ruined your next Netflix binge. I didn’t even notice this trend on my own, and I pride myself on being a bit of a movie buff.

Who really knows if actors and actresses watch their own movies in their spare time—I don’t think I could—but for their family members that do, I wonder if seeing their loved ones bite it on tape elicits any emotional response.

I’m sure the Bean family has gotten used to it by now.

After being fatally shot several times, beheaded and even chased by a herd of cattle off a cliff, Sean Bean has dying down pat.

But with no major awards to his name, Bean must wonder why his characters are consistently written off. His terminal performances have morphed into a running joke on the Internet.

It’s just a shame when an actor’s niche is more of a gimmick.



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