Sean Bean has said “a lot of men these days are made to feel like apologists for their sexuality and their masculinity” while discussing his latest acting project.
The 63-year-old British actor has starred in The Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones and recently won a Bafta for his role in BBC One drama Time.
Ahead of the start of his latest project, BBC drama Marriage, Bean spoke to The Times newspaper about how he feels views on men have changed in the post #MeToo movement world.
When asked if he believes it is harder to be a man now, he said: “Yes, I suppose it is, really.”
Bean added: “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.
“Look at the old heroes in mythology, history – there’s a great respect for a man’s adventures and his strengths.
“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 co-ordinators in film and television productions.
Reflecting on how his experience of portraying Mellors in the BBC’s Lady Chatterley in 1993 may have been different if intimacy co-ordinators were used at that time, he said: “It would spoil the spontaneity.
“It would inhibit me more because it’s drawing attention to things.
“Somebody saying, ‘Do this, put your hand there, while you touch his thing?'”
He added: “I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise.”
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.