Mirror Mirror’s Surprise Cameo Will Draw In The Straight Guys

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Sean Bean Mirror Mirror King surprise cameoIn the lead-up to Relativity Media's Mirror Mirror, the only male cast member who's gotten much attention has been Armie Hammer as the sweet but conceited prince that Lily Collins‘ Snow White falls in love with. But when we saw the movie at a press screening a few weeks ago, we were amused at the very end when it turned out that Snow's presumed-dead father was a familiar face in the fantasy world: Sean Bean!

Despite its PG rating and candy-colored costumes, Mirror Mirror saves some jokes and winking asides for its older audiences, whether parents of squirming kids or young Millennials tuning in for Lily and Armie. Making Sean Bean the dethroned king who — spoiler — is cast into the woods in beast form brings to mind his most recent medieval role: Playing Eddard Stark on HBO's Game of Thrones. Though the latter has like 200% more nudity and gore than the former, both are powerful men humiliated and punished for doing the right thing.

To be fair, Sean's involvement in the film wasn't a total secret, not like when we identified Dermot Mulroney as Taylor Lautner‘s dad in Abduction based on his lip scar alone. (I was so proud of myself.) The role is clearly listed on Sean's IMDb page, though his name is located at the very bottom of Mirror Mirror‘s main cast list. He was at the red-carpet premiere, and there are a few videos on YouTube of him discussing the role. Like so:

Similarly, Hugh Jackman‘s cameo in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan last year was incredibly understated; same deal, where it appeared on his IMDb page, but noticeable only to those really looking for it. They weren't hiding it, but they weren't promoting it, either.

Regardless of what's going on in the media, Mirror Mirror‘s plot makes it clear that Sean Bean's appearance was meant to be something of a surprise. The opening narrative is presented with beautiful paper puppets, similar to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1‘s retelling of the Deathly Hallows story with shadow puppets. I had thought that was an odd choice considering we knew the actors who played two of the three characters—that is, Julia as the Queen and Lily as Snow. That was proof enough that whoever played the King was someone that the audience would recognize, and a treat to be played close to the chest until the time was right.

It was a surprise to me, and it may tickle other viewers who weren't trawling Mirror Mirror‘s IMDb page before they went to the theater. Bravo, Relativity Media, for giving fantasy fans this fun nod.