Over five million people watched Hollywood actor Sean Bean put on his heels, wig and makeup to play a transvestite in BBC drama Accused last night (14 August).
The British actor, known for playing butch roles in Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, won rave reviews from the critics for his performance.
Airing on BBC1, It was the most watched program of the night with 5.31 million (23.4%) people tuning in.
In an interview with Radio Times, he said: ‘My agent called me up and asked if I’d ever thought about [playing a transvestite].
Bean added he always wanted to work with Accused writer and creator Jimmy McGovern, and when he read the script there was no doubt.
He said: ‘This is the most demanding role I’ve played partly because of the full body wax!’
Accused is an anthology series which tells the backstory of a character each episode awaiting judgment in court.
Bean played Simon in the first episode of the second series, an unconfident loner who only comes alive when going out as witty alter-ego Tracie.
He said: ‘I prepared by walking round in high heels in the kitchen at home and one night I went out in the full gear and arm-in-arm with my middle daughter.
‘I wanted to find out what it felt like, whether I’d be able to pull it off and have the bottle to function in that situation.’
‘I must have been pretty good,’ Bean added. ‘No pictures turned up in the press.
‘Someone even complimented me on my shoes! I’ve still got four pairs of size ten heels lying about my house. I forgot to give them back.’
In 2011, Accused won an International Emmy for best drama series.