Sean Bean in 'The Fellowship of the Ring' (Photo: Rex/Shutterstock)
Sean Bean has been beheaded, pulled apart by horses, crushed by a flaming satellite dish, and skewered with an anchor, but there’s one onscreen death that stands above all.
As Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Bean takes three arrows to the chest while defending the Hobbits from brutal Uruk-hai. “It’s my favorite death scene, and I’ve done a few,” he says, laughing. “You couldn’t ask for a more heroic death.”
Director Peter Jackson considered using CG arrows, but he ultimately opted for the old-fashioned approach: sticking arrows into a metal breastplate under Bean’s clothes. As soon as Jackson called “Action!” Bean would mime getting shot.
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For that final moment with Aragorn, he and Viggo Mortensen met with Jackson and co-screenwriter Fran Walsh the night before shooting. Over beers and a bottle of wine, they came up with Boromir’s dying words: “My brother, my captain, my king.”
As for his actual dying breath? Bean has a few guidelines for how to make a death scene believable.
“You can’t show off,” he explains. “You can’t be vain or posing.... Because every time you die, it’s a big f-ing moment!” Take it from the expert.