Bean’s most prominent role was as Boromir in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. His major screen-time occurs in the first installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. He appears briefly in flashbacks in the theatre releases of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, as well as in a scene from the extended edition of The Two Towers. Before casting finished, rumours circulated that Jackson had considered Bean for the role of Aragorn, but neither Bean nor Jackson confirmed this in subsequent interviews. Bean’s fear of flying with helicopters caused him difficulties in mountainous New Zealand, where the trilogy was filmed. After a particularly rough ride, he vowed not to fly to a location again; in one instance he chose to take a ski lift, in full costume complete with shield, armour and sword, into the mountains and then hike the final few miles.
Bean has a tattoo of the English word “nine” written using Tengwar on his shoulder, a reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings and the fact that his character was one of the original nine companions of the Fellowship of the Ring. The other actors of “The Fellowship”—Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan and Viggo Mortensen—have the same tattoo. John Rhys-Davies, whose character Gimli was also one of the original nine companions, arranged for his stunt double to get the tattoo.