Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sean as Sharpe

When Cindy mentioned our "Historical Hotties" week, I racked my brain--I couldn't think of who on earth to talk about, and then I remembered:

What a Sean-o-phile I am!

Sean Bean, who I first saw as Richard Sharpe, in the Brit series, Sharpe's Rifles.

Bad-boy Sharpe is field-promoted from sergeant to lieutenant then captain during the Peninsular War (1808-1814) by Wellington (before he was Wellington), because Sharpe exhibits courage, intelligence, and initiative (and he saves Wellington's life, which doesn't hurt).

He's given command of the Rifles (The Chosen Men), who are considered the riff-raff of the army. Two things make them stand out from the others, their bottle-green uniforms and their new rifles, which are far more accurate than the musket. The Rifles become sharp-shooters and are sent on clandestine missions for Wellington.

Sharpe is tough and courageous, not afraid to be hard on his men, and he shapes the Rifles into the best fighting team in the army. He falls in love with a beautiful Spanish woman who leads a contingent of Spanish rebels (she wears pants and shoots as well as Sharpe does). He deals with personal enemies as thoroughly as he deals with French soldiers in battle.

Richard Sharpe not a "nice" guy--he's alpha male, and he makes sure we know it.

Sharpe's Rifles played through the 1990s. I remember at the time how many Regency historicals featured heroes who'd been in the 95th Rifles. Coincidence? I think not--the Rifles were too cool to pass up, and Sean Bean gave them a face and a character.

Most Americans know Sean as Goldeneye from the James Bond movie of that name (Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean in one movie--what's not to love!)

And also as Boromir from Lord of the Rings.

In fact, I only reluctantly watched the second and third movies of Lord of the Rings, because Sean was only in the first one. Aragorn, piffle. Give me Sean!!!

Most of the Regency-era hotties play Darcy and other Austen heroes--Richard Sharpe is the rough, tough bad boy of the lot.

And it's no coincidence that in my Regency mystery series, my hero/sleuth is a half-pay cavalry captain from the Peninsular War. Captain Lacey is not Richard Sharpe (Lacey was gentleman born, but just as tough as Sharpe ever was), but Sharpe's Rifles helped me visualize Lacey's background.

Any other Sean-o-philes around? And if not, I hope I've inspired you to rent DVDs and get to know the terrific actor Sean Bean. (Note: You can see a *lot* of him in Lady Chatterley's Lover.)


EmilyBryan April 9, 2009 at 6:23 AM  

He was the villain I loved to love in National Treasure! Smart, devious and driven, he's a worthy villain and you always have the sense that but for a few wrong choices, he might have been the hero.

SidneyKay April 9, 2009 at 7:05 AM  

You know that if you view the extended version of Return of the King, you get to see more Sean.

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner April 9, 2009 at 10:44 AM  

Sidney--great motivation to get that DVD! I can skip to Sean's parts and watch them over and over. Hee hee.

Sean Bean is equally good at both heroes and villains--I love that (says the author who likes to make heroes out of her villains).

One of the funniest things I saw him on was a cameo on The Vicar of Dibley. The lady vicar had a big crush on Sean. She has a dream of her white wedding with one of the villagers, and in walks Sean at the back of the chruch. "No!" he cries. "Geraldine, you must be mine!" And she runs to him in misty slow motion, orchestra blaring.

I fell out of my chair laughing.

anne April 9, 2009 at 11:01 AM  

Sean fan here. Loved what you wrote.

Rachel April 10, 2009 at 5:39 AM  

Sean fan, here!

He first came tomy attention in Patriot Games and the mini-series Scarlett. He played The Wonderfully Evil Earl Fenton. Very nice!

aspiemom April 10, 2009 at 8:30 AM  

Another Bean fan here! Bet you're a little surprised at the response!

Gerri Russell April 10, 2009 at 8:56 PM  

I love that Sean can play a villian or a hero, and you adore him either way!

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner April 11, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

Thanks everyone who weighed in on Sean! Great response! He's not as well known in the States but I'm trying to spread the word. :-) :-)

Sable899 April 11, 2009 at 11:29 PM  

If you really want to overdose on Sean as Sharpe or any other character, come visit
Sean Bean Online and if you want nothing but Sharpe, come visit The Sharpe Compendium There's a forum you can join to talk about him to your heart's content, too.

blue-jay12345 April 12, 2009 at 8:32 AM  

And Sable is a pretty good writer herself as well ...

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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