Sean Bean Scaled An Actual Mountain To Get To Set For The Lord Of The Rings

One does not simply walk into Mordor, and it turns out that some of the shooting locations for Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" films weren't an easy stroll away, either. Jackson's trilogy was shot in New Zealand, using the beautiful landscape to create the world of Middle-earth instead of just throwing it together digitally later. The result is stunning and won multiple Academy Awards, but for one performer, the journey was almost too much. In a Zoom get-together that reunited the cast of "The Fellowship of the Ring" to chat for charity, Sean Bean's fear of flying and dedication to his craft were brought up by co-star Orlando Bloom. Apparently, Bean hated flying so much that he would get up early and scale the mountains where they were shooting in order to get to the actual shooting location. The rest of the cast and crew took helicopters, but Bean wasn't about to trust the whirlybirds and opted to climb sheer cliffs in his full Boromir getup instead. That's certainly a choice, but hey, at least it made his costume look appropriately lived-in!

The son of Gondor prevails

Orlando Bloom, who played the elven archer Legolas, explained that Bean was terrified of flying, and the helicopter rides weren't exactly smooth or easy:

"We had to take a helicopter to get to work, and I remember sitting next to Sean in this helicopter going up over the – we had to go up over the Remarkables, remember, to get to Queenstown, and his hand on my knee I will never forget. It was like a white knuckle, it was like a proper bony white knuckling ride."

Picturing Bean's rugged fingers digging into Bloom's leg is both comical and the stuff of slash fan-fiction, but it really does show just how terrified the actor was of flying around in a helicopter. So, instead of taking a little flight, Bean opted to do things his way and climb to set. It's not exactly Method acting, but there's something to be said for Bean putting in his steps. 

A hike fit for hobbits

This story isn't brand-new to "Lord of the Rings" fans, who might remember a short clip about Bean's hellish hikes in the extra features on the "Fellowship of the Ring" Blu-ray, but it is funny to hear it brought up again. After all, Bean has become best known for both playing tough guys and dying a lot. Having a fear of flying feels a little pedestrian for the man who played 006 in "Goldeneye," but hey, we're all only human. Jackson looked back on the memory fondly, reminiscing about when Bean came to him asking for permission to walk to set: 

"Within a week or so we had a scene that we all had to be helicoptered up to this lake, and it was quite high in the mountains, and Sean just said, 'Look, I can't do it. I'll come very,very early, I'll get all my gear, all my Boromir gear, and I'll start to climb, just on foot.' So we're flying up and I look down and there's this vast, vast cliff in the mountain, and I could see Sean like a human fly climbing up a nearly-vertical rock face."

Even if he looked a little silly doing it, Bean managed to make it up the mountain and put in a career-best performance, bringing humanity and charisma to Boromir and filling the complex and sometimes controversial character with life. Long live the son of Gondor.