‘Snowpiercer’ Season 2: Sean Bean on Playing Mr. Wilford, the ‘Smartest Man in the World’

Snowpiercer Sean Bean Season 2 Mr. Wilford
David Bukach/TNT

A new power struggle takes hold in Season 2 of the post-apocalyptic thrill ride, Snowpiercer. The survivors’ loyalties to Layton (Daveed Diggs), the democracy-minded new leader of the 994-car Snowpiercer, are tested by the arrival of the train’s mastermind, Mr. Wilford (Game of ThronesSean Bean), and his older model, Big Alice.

“He’s the smartest man left in the world,” showrunner Graeme Manson says of the charming schemer, whom Snowpiercer’s now overthrown head Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) left for dead about seven years ago. With him is Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard), the daughter Melanie thought she’d lost! Bean sets the stage.

Why were you excited to board this show?

Sean Bean: I’ve seen the original [2013 movie adaptation] and was very impressed. When I was offered the chance to play Wilford, of all people — who didn’t [feature heavily] in the film — it was a chance to elaborate on that character.

What do you find so interesting about him?

There’s a scene where I’m introduced to the [Snowpiercer] again as a kind of returning hero. I’m in really good form — a bit like Oscar Wilde. Wilford’s such a showman and very flamboyant, which I enjoy playing.

Snowpiercer Sean Bean season 2

(Credit: David Bukach/TNT)

Fans are already speculating that he could be Alexandra’s father. Care to comment?

What I’ll say is Alexandra is very loyal to me and is behaving as though she is my daughter. The season picks up when there’s just been a war on [Snowpiercer] and it’s in shambles. People are wary of each other, and a lot support me still. I’m not going to do them any good whatsoever, but they’re behind me, so I sweep them all up in this pomp and showmanship and promise them the world.

Let’s talk about Wilford’s wardrobe. It’s as luxurious as his lavish quarters.

All handmade for me by a wonderful tailor in Vancouver. The finest fabric. Silk dressing gowns, pajama bottoms, Tom Ford underwear, fur capes, everything. Beautiful shirts, ties, waistcoats, Gucci slippers. The wardrobe is fantastic — so much so, I’ve asked whether I can keep it when we finish filming.

Snowpiercer, Season 2 Premiere, Monday, January 25, 9/8c, TNT