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'Missing': Sean Bean Talks Paul's Skeletons, the Big Twist and a 'Game of Thrones' Return

Bean tells THR of the likelihood he'll reprise his role as Ned Stark: "There is some mention of flashback."

The Missing Sean Bean Ashley Judd Wedding - H 2012
ABC
"Missing"

In the pilot of ABC's international caper series Missing, all signs pointed to an explosive death for Sean Bean's Paul Winstone. Last week, viewers learned that that wasn't the case when Paul's wife Rebecca (Ashley Judd) discovered he has been alive all this time.

Ask producers and cast members about Paul's fate prior to the reveal and answers range from "you'll see" to the matter-of-fact "he's dead." As Bean tells The Hollywood Reporter, there's much more to the fiery car explosion than meets the eye. "What you saw [in the pilot], it could have been anything in hindsight," he said. "It was part of an elaborate story which kind of reveals itself in the next few episodes." Of course.

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Bean spoke to THR about the twist, Paul's "triple agenda" and whether he'll be back on HBO's Game of Thrones.

The Hollywood Reporter: First off, Paul's alive.

Sean Bean: What a relief. [Trying] to work around whether I come back or not has been a pain in the ass so it's nice to have it out in the open and I'm back in it again. [Laughs]

THR: Even after the pilot aired (with the car exploding with Paul supposedly in it), there were people who believed that Paul had to be out there.

Bean: It's plausible, thinking he's still alive. What you saw [in the pilot], it could have been anything in hindsight. It was part of an elaborate story which kind of reveals itself in the next few episodes.

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THR: You must have known early on in the process, before the reveal, that you were around for a while?

Bean: Yes. I knew I was going to be in it a bit longer than one episode. [Laughs]

THR: Now that we know he's around and we aren't sure what he's been up to. What can you tell us about where he's going?

Bean: Obviously he's seen his wife. The main objective is to get a kick-back, to get to the bottom of that. A lot of people are keeping things close to the chest, all of the characters of Missing. One really never knows what could happen next and what their objectives are and what their motives are. For Paul, it's his child and it's Rebecca. There's a conflict between the job that they have -- the secrecy -- and their child. Which one comes first? And obviously it's the kid.

THR: Is family all that he's driven by? Is there something else at play?

Bean: There are other things at play and other characters that are a part of this story. There are skeletons in the cupboard as there were and things to be revealed. He's got a double or a triple agenda. There are things happening that he's well aware of and he's got to be careful because they're very dangerous people that he's surrounded by. He's also keeping something to himself.

THR: Can you offer a clue to a scene that viewers should pay particular attention to?

Bean: The moments between myself and Ashley, which are quite emotional. We go back in time and she's had a relationship and I've been seeing someone -- it's been a long time, 10 years. They both still obviously love each other. Time has passed and secrets have been kept. In a sense, I suppose he put his work first and on some occasions, he has a strong sense of guilt.

THR: Switching gears, have you been watching Game of Thrones this season?

Bean: Yea, yea, I watched the first one or the second one.

THR: What did you think?

Bean: It's great! I just thought, I should get back in it again. I know that's a really stupid thing to say. [Laughs] I've been very impressed by it. Lena Headey, she's wonderful in it, Peter [Dinklage] is great.

THR: Have there been talks about whether you could jump back into Thrones, perhaps in flashback?

Bean: It's a possibility. There is some mention of flashback with Ned Stark so that'd be nice, just to pop in again and get me crackle on.

THR: You've played characters who've died in so many other projects. It's eye-opening.

Bean: [Laughs] I'll have to remember that: I'm a really good dier. I've been fortunate that I've [had] a lot of good heroic deaths.

Missing airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.