The award-winning actor said he felt it was harder to be a man nowadays (Picture: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Sean Bean has said that he feels many men are now ‘made to feel like apologists for their sexuality and their masculinity’ while discussing his latest acting project.

The 63-year-old popular Yorkshireman has starred in The Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones, Bond film GoldenEye and spent a 15-year period as Bernard Cornwall’s popular Waterloo-era army major in Sharpe.

He won his third Bafta earlier this year for his role in Jimmy McGovern drama Time with Stephen Graham.

Ahead of the start of his latest project, BBC drama Marriage, Bean spoke in a new interview about how he feels views on men have changed in the post #MeToo movement world.

Bean said, when asked, that he felt it was harder to be a man now.

He told The Times: ‘Certain aspects of a man’s character are frowned upon now as being discriminatory or boorish. But I think you’ve got to be careful we do not lose sight of what a man is.

Bean urged men to ‘celebrate’ their masculinity and sexuality (Picture: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

‘Look at the old heroes in mythology, history – there’s a great respect for a man’s adventures and his strengths.’

Explaining his stance further, the actor continued: ‘A lot of men these days are made to feel like apologists for their sexuality and their masculinity. And I think that’s something that men have to retain and celebrate as much as women celebrate their femininity.’

Bean, who has been married five times and wed his current wife Ashley Moore in 2017, also shared his views on the use of intimacy coordinators in film and television productions.

He also said his casting as trans character Tracie in Accused would be met with outrage today (Picture: BBC/RSJ Films)

Reflecting on how his experience of portraying Mellors in the BBC’s racy adaptation of Lady Chatterley in 1993 may have been different if intimacy co-ordinators were used at that time, he said he felt it ‘would spoil the spontaneity’ and ‘inhibit’ him due to ‘drawing attention to things’.

‘Somebody saying, “Do this, put your hand there, while you touch his thing?”’

‘I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise,’ he added.

Bean claimed he would have stuggled on the set of Lady Chatterley with an intimacy coordinator (Picture: BBC Picture Archives)
He next stars with Nicola Walker in Marriage (Picture: BBC/The Forge/Rory Mulvey)

In upcoming drama Marriage, written by Bafta-winning Stefan Golaszewski, Bean portrays Ian, with Nicola Walker starring as his on-screen wife Emma.

The four-part series, which starts on BBC One on August 14, follows the couple as they navigate the fears, comforts and frustrations of their 30-year marriage.

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