I attended the HVFF in Atlanta a while ago and had the pleasure of meeting Sean again. I was also lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview him again.
I’m forever grateful for all the love and support I get from him. It’s something that I don’t take for granted and that means a lot to me.
What I can tell you about Sean Maguire is that every single person that met him that weekend walked away with a huge smile on their faces (and a hug). He gives so much to his fans and is grateful to every single one of them and I’m pretty sure that everyone that met him fell in love with him some more after this weekend. He is a great guy who really cares, who takes the time and really listens, who will give you a hug to make you feel better and who simply says it as it is and all that is what makes him so charming and what his fans love about him.
Thank you, Sean!
Read the interview and get to know Sean better. I hope you enjoy!
What would be your dream cast for a movie/tv show?
Mark Rylance is an actor I would love to work with. Olivia Coleman, who I have worked with before. David Morrissey. Claire Foy, who I am a fan of since “The Crown”. Anthony Hopkins. Michael Shannon. There are just so many actors I’m a fan of.
Is there a role you would find too disturbing or disgusting to ever play?
Definitely. There is not a specific role but there are just certain things I don’t want to do. I’m happy to play all sorts of characters that are not likeable or not good people but there are certain things–like if it was particularly offensive in a religious way–but I guess the end justifies the means. If something is brilliantly written and has a really intelligent point to it I’m happy to play a disturbed, sick, evil person but it has to be justified in the writing. I don’t like those things used gratuitously just for the sake of it like recently I saw something and I just thought it was in poor taste. It was taking something down and destroying it. There is just material that I will end up not doing because it just doesn’t resonate with me, is offensive to me or to the audience without any sort of payoff.
How far would you go for a role? Like lose or gain weight? Do you think it’s worth putting your body through that kind of thing?
Yes. I’m an actor. I’m an artist. It comes with the job. For “Meet the Spartans” I put on about 35 pounds of muscle which was incredibly hard. I’m one of those people that don’t find it hard to lose weight. For me, it’s almost easier to lose it than to put it on.
How do you feel about people that criticize your body?
People are entitled to their opinion but I’m fine with myself as I am. I’m the same as I have been for the past 20 years, it just fluctuates a bit depending on how much I work out and things like that. But I’m happy with me and so is my wife, so that is all that matters.
How is the writing going?
We ran into a bit of a problem. We had to abandon one idea because we found out one of the best writers in the world is already doing it. We were nearly finished but we had to chuck that into the bin.
But I did finish a script I’m very proud of and think is really funny but I can’t say much about it because it involves some people that are very prolific at the moment. I can’t really say too much about it cause I don’t want anyone else to copy it because when I say what it is and what it’s regarding you will immediately know. It’s complicated and I can’t give much away about the nature of the script and who and what it is about.
There is also a TV show comedy that my partner Alex Hardcastle and I are going to finish as soon as we can and see if we can sell it. Alex will direct and I will be in it.
Do you plan on directing?
Yes, very much so. If we sell our show I will direct a couple of episodes to get the experience and hopefully in the near future, I will direct a movie.
What is your favorite and least favorite thing about the business?
My favorite thing is that I get to make a living out of the thing that I’m passionate about. The thing I like least about it is the uncertainty. You can be flying high and doing really well and then a few months later the phone is not ringing and like with anybody being out of work is tough.
The other day, someone had a go at me for standing up for something, saying: “Don’t you get it? He’s an actor. They are all democrats, they are all libertarians. That’s just how they are.” As if it was a bad thing to be all that. Actors are used to being out of work and are used to being unemployed and also used to being marginalized. We sort of relate to those unjustly punished or unfairly marginalized. I just think since our job involves emotions and feelings, actors are more conscious of the disparity that comes with the lack of equality. Artistic people tend to be more supportive of LGBT rights, women rights and equality for people of color.
But then there are also actors celebrating a victory who are happy about other people’s misfortune, not realizing that those are fellow Americans and, more fundamentally, human beings. I think, we all lost in this election. The Republican party may have won but we all lost a little dignity, a little respect for the process and we lost respect for each other. There is a lot of horrible stuff being said and happening to people of color and people in the LGBT community because some people think they are in charge now and can do and say as they please. But no matter who is in charge, we should always be respectful of each other and always be respectful of a person’s right to choose who they love. I think there should be a fundamental level of respect in America where we listen to each other and try to find common ground and I’m worried this is slipping away at the moment, which is not right.
How has fatherhood changed you?
It changed me in the way that I think changes most fathers: I see the world differently. Where it once used to be “Well, this will do me” you now think of what the world will be like when they have a child. The first thing I think about when we talk about parenting is the environment. Climate change is a real thing. All of the top scientists around the world have done the research and have come back and said that there is a significant change happening. Earth is getting warmer, the melting of the ice caps is raising the water level. Florida at the end of this century will be under water. Venice will be under the water and if that is not real to you, just get out of the way and let others do the work.
Being a parent is providing a safe future for our children and regardless of what your politics are, climate change is not up for negotiation. It’s a real thing. It’s happening whether we like it or not and whether you agree with it or not, it won’t stop it or slow it down. What we do need to do is make drastic changes so we can radically slow it down. I don’t think we can reverse it but we can slow it down. So, parenthood has made me feel more responsibility for that.
How would you feel about Flynn becoming an actor?
I would encourage him to do whatever his passion is but if he wanted to become an actor I would make him very aware of the reality of the job and the reality of the success rate, which I think is less than 5% of actors make over 30 grand a year. So if you like stuff and money, this is probably not the right game unless you become very successful, in which case you make a lot of money. I would encourage him to do what inspires him but I certainly wouldn’t encourage him to get into this profession. That’s certainly for sure.
Who are the people that inspired you the most while growing up and that you still look up to?
My mom and dad are my first original role models and that hasn’t really changed. They raised six children with the belief that somebody’s character is more important than how they look, what they practice or who they love, and I believe that is more relevant today than it has ever been. But there are loads of people that I look up to. I always loved and respected Muhammad Ali for his strength of character. He stood up for what he believed in even if it was unpopular and that is something that I have learned from him. The kindness and sweetness of Gene Wilder. The brilliance with gravitas of Anthony Hopkins. The list just goes on because there are so many people that I admire, but essentially the things that I gravitate towards are respectful behavior, equality and kindness. If you don’t fall into that bracket you are probably not gonna resonate with me much.
How important are things like awards, money and being recognized to you?
Well, I have never really won any awards so that’s something I never had so I never missed it. Being recognized is nice when people are nice but I don’t need it. It doesn’t validate me. It’s nice when people are just: “Hey, I see your show and it makes me happy.” That makes me happy but it’s not a requirement for me. Like with material things, I mean we all like stuff, and the other day when I came back home it was almost immoral how happy I was to be home again but it was more about being home than the materialistic aspect of it. Material things matter less and less to me as I get older. I was one of six children so I wanted things when I was younger but now the things I need most are the things you can’t buy like love, a smart conversation, inspiring people. Those things can’t be bought in stores. I mean, don’t get me wrong I like nice stuff but it’s becoming less and less important to me because stuff is fleeting. It comes and goes. It’s not what it’s really about.
What charities do you support and are a part of?
There are lots of things I’m involved with and have been for many years but at the moment with the changes that are ahead of us in regards to the government, the thing I feel particularly strong about is the environment, so I’m going to be working with NRDC. I also want to be more involved in keeping alive and preserving Planned Parenthood. I think it’s incredibly important. It’s about the safety and health of women who make up half the population and I just don’t understand in any way, shape or form how you can take away help for women; pregnant women, young mothers, single mothers. That just doesn’t make sense to me at all. Even though I have never really been involved with Planned Parenthood that is something that my wife and I will be actively supporting more of in the future so we can protect the rights of women and healthcare for women.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Ignorance. Just in all of its forms. I’m just a big social justice freak. I believe that all people should be treated the same. I don’t care what the cause is or what area it is if somebody is not getting what they deserve, that pisses me off. For example, seeing this rising number–or maybe we are only hearing more about it now–but seeing innocent, unarmed black people getting shot on a weekly basis, that pisses me off because if that had been white people there would have already been a riot. There would be a civil war about it but they are just being told “Stop moaning about it” and that pisses me off. A government that only looks after a few and not all, that pisses me off. The current view of the upcoming administration regarding the environment, that pisses me off. But generally it comes down to one thing: inequality and unfairness for people of not just this country but the entire world. But in America, we at least expect it to be fair.