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Sean Bean says there would be ‘uproar’ if he played transvestite role from Accused today

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  • Sean Bean
    Sean Bean
    English actor

Sean Bean has reflected on playing a transvestite character in Jimmy McGovern’s 2012 BBC series Accused.

The actor wore a blond wig and false breasts for his role as Tracie, the alter ego of an English teacher, in the episode “Tracie’s Story”.

When asked about his casting in the part, Bean told The Guardian: “I come from a generation that started in repertory theatre, playing a different role each week. The aim was to play as many parts as possible. Whereas there’s a tendency now to argue that characters can only be played by someone like them.”

He added: “I think that is restrictive and counterproductive. We risk getting into a situation where drama is dictated more by which boxes are ticked than the story being told.

“I often think that, if I did ‘Tracie’s Story’ today, there’d be an uproar. I have a feeling it would be questioned and wouldn’t even be made, but it’s one of the roles I’m proudest of. It seems such a shame if actors can’t play a range of parts.”

In “Tracie’s Story”, Bean portrayed a bored English teacher who teaches uninterested teenage students by day, and becomes Tracie, a transvestite, by night. One night he meets married man Tony (Stephen Graham) at a nightclub, and seduces him.

Bean has collaborated with screenwriter McGovern on three series in total: Accused, faith drama Broken and the recent prison thriller Time.

Read The Independent’s review of Time here.

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