Sean Bridgers

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Sean Bridgers
Sean MacKenzie Bridgers

(1968-03-15) March 15, 1968 (age 56)
Occupation(s)Actor, screenwriter, producer
Years active1991–present

Sean MacKenzie Bridgers (born March 15, 1968) is an American actor, screenwriter, and producer, known for his role as Johnny Burns on the HBO series Deadwood and on the SundanceTV original series Rectify as Trey Willis. In addition to many roles in television and film since 1991, Bridgers received acclaim and awards for the independent film Paradise Falls, which he wrote and produced.[1]

He received praise for his lead role in Lucky McKee's horror film The Woman and another Modernciné film, Jug Face, as well as notable roles in Sweet Home Alabama and Nell. He played Old Nick in the 2015 film Room.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Bridgers was born in 1968 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to Ben and Sue Ellen Bridgers. Ben was the tribal attorney for the Cherokee Indian tribe and published a memoir and books of poetry. Sue Ellen Bridgers is a novelist with seven published novels.[3]

He graduated from St. Andrew's-Sewanee School and Western Carolina University.[4] In interviews, Bridgers has mentioned that as a screenwriter he is influenced by his favorite author Mark Twain and developed an interest in acting after seeing Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies at age 14. Bridgers started watching everything by Tender Mercies screenwriter Horton Foote, and Duvall and Foote became his biggest creative influences.[5]

Sean Bridgers's children are also actors. His son, Jackson, has acted in roles on Justified and Deadwood, as well as his daughter, Kate, who starred in Bridgers' 2012 short, The Birthday Present.[6]

Recent productions[edit]


Bridgers has received praise for a diversity of roles in both film and television, including his role as Johnny Burns on HBO's Deadwood, and his role as the father in Lucky McKee's feature film The Woman. His co-starring role in the southern-horror film, from writer/director Chad Crawford Kinkle's Slamdance award-winning screenplay, Jug Face, released by the studio Moderncine, was another performance in the horror genre.[7] Bridgers received praise for his performance from FEARnet, Dread Central, Birth.Movies.Death, and Starburst Magazine critics, among others.[8][9][10][11]

Bridgers has also received acclaim for his role as Trey Willis on Rectify, particularly in one of the series' most notable episodes in Season 3. Reviewer Nick Hogan wrote, "this was one of the most gut-wrenching episodes of Rectify in some time. Mostly because Sean Bridgers does a masterful job portraying Trey..."[12] Mark Walker wrote in The Copenhagen Post that Bridgers's performance as Old Nick in Room was "brilliantly restrained".[13] Bridgers also starred in the critically acclaimed Epix show Get Shorty.


Bridgers, along with his producing and directing partner, Michael "Ffish" Hemschoot, have been developing a dark western, noted as a "Faustian western" that takes place in the South during the Civil War titled Arkansas Traveler. Bridgers wrote the original screenplay and is a principal in the production company Travelin' Productions with Hemschoot, producing and shooting a trailer of the film featuring a cast including Garret Dillahunt and Angela Bettis.[14] The resulting production was also released online as a Web series of the same name in June 2017.

Actor and filmmaker Ray McKinnon commented on Bridgers's screenplay:

Arkansas Traveler is one of the best un-produced scripts I have read in the last decade, it's not just the complex, larger narrative of the end of the Civil War and the amazing backdrop of the protagonist's travels, but Arkansas Traveler offers the continual smaller surprises of behavior and plot – of man's inhumanity to man [and woman and child and beast] and his infinite humanity. It's universal and timeless and must get made.[15]

Bridgers and Hemschoot, under their production companies Travelin' Productions and Colorado animation studio Worker Studio are also developing an animated documentary about decorated World War II pilot John H. Ross.[16]



Year Film Role Notes
1992 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice Jedediah
1993 Road-Kill U.S.A. Josh
1994 Getting In Dumpster Hunter Credited as Sean Bridges
Nell Mike Ibarra
1995 Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored Mr. Bob
1997 Carolina Low Henry Bancroft Producer and co-wrote with mother Sue Ellen Bridgers; won Southerneastern Media Award at Atlanta Film Festival, Best Feature at Hollywood Film Festival
2002 Clover Bend Tyler
Lullaby Diesel
Sweet Home Alabama Eldon
2003 Apple Jack Les Danyou Short film; the short won awards at L.A. Shorts Fest and Deep Ellum Film Festival
2007 Jake's Closet Peter
2008 A Night at the Zoo Donny Short film; producer, writer and co-director with Michael "Ffish" Hemschoot[17]
Witless Protection Norm
2009 Cold Storage Unnamed
2011 The Woman Chris Cleek
Blood on My Name Thomas Short film
2012 The Birthday Present Dad Short film; co-director with Michael Hemschoot. Bridgers's daughter Kate starred as Joey
The Graveyard Feeder Burke Sawyer Short film
2013 Jug Face Dawai
2014 The Best of Me Tommy Cole
2015 Dark Places Runner Day
Room Old Nick
Trumbo Jeff Krandall
Blue Sheriff Hawkes
Legs Ford
2016 Midnight Special Fredrick
Free State of Jones Will Sumrall
The Magnificent Seven Fanning
The Whole Truth Arthur Westin
Elsie Hooper Ridley Hooper Short film
Snake Heel Leonard Short film
2017 And Then I Go Little Kid's Dad
Thank You for Your Service Sergeant Mozer
2018 The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot Mr. Gardner
2019 Deathcember Uninjured Segment: "They Once Had Horses"
2022 Bones and All Barry Cook
2023 The Weird Kidz Sheriff (voice)
2024 Outlaw Posse Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story Ralph Welch TV movie; credited as Sean Bridges
1995 Death in Small Doses Mr. Carter TV movie
Murderous Intent Dennis TV movie
1995–1998 American Gothic Policeman / Deputy 2 episodes
1996 Stolen Memories: Secrets from the Rose Garden Jeff (Teen #1) TV movie
1997 The Secret Aaron Clemens TV movie
Close to Danger Donna's Date TV movie
1998–1999 Legacy William Winters 11 episodes
1999 A.T.F. Smitty TV movie
2000 After Diff'rent Strokes: When the Laughter Stopped Robert TV movie
Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family Brian Episode: "Turtle Soup"; credited as Sean Bridges
2004 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story Neil Bonnett TV movie
2004–2006 Deadwood Johnny Burns 36 episodes
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2006 Criminal Minds James Charles Episode: "The Boogeyman"
Cold Case Ty Sugar Episode: "The Red and the Blue"
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Art Schuster Episode: "Living Doll"
2008 12 Miles of Bad Road Lyle Hartsong 6 episodes
2008–2009 Private Practice Frank 2 episodes
2009 House Rules Cameron Drummer TV movie
Saving Grace Carl Lafong Episode: "Do You Believe in Second Chances?"
Bones John Collins Episode: "The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken"
Lie to Me Harold Clark Episode: "Tractor Man"
2010 The Mentalist Ranger Tisdale Episode: "Aingavite Baa"
Justified Virgil Corum Episode: "The Hammer"
True Blood Big Bobby Episode: "Hitting the Ground"
2011 Hart of Dixie Leon Mercy Episode: "The Undead & The Unsaid"
2011–2012 Raising Hope Jack 2 episodes
2013–2016 Rectify Trey Willis 17 episodes; seasons 1–4
2017 Arkansas Traveler John Bones 3 episodes; written by, co-director with Michael Hemschoot
Midnight, Texas Sheriff Livingstone 2 episodes
2017–2019 Get Shorty Louis Darnell Main cast; 27 episodes
2018 The Alienist Sheriff Early Episode: "Psychopathia Sexualis"
2019 Deadwood: The Movie Johnny Burns Television film
2020 The Blacklist Nyle Hatcher Episode: "Nyle Hatcher (No. 149)"
2021 The Underground Railroad Fletcher Episode: "Chapter 1: Georgia"
2022 Women of the Movement Sidney Carlton 5 episodes
The Thing About Pam Mark Hupp 6 episodes
2023 Your Honor Det. Walter Beckwith Episode: "Part Seventeen"

Video games[edit]

Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2011 L.A. Noire Motion capture
Rockstar Games


  1. ^ Klady, Leonard (August 17, 1998). "Review: 'Paradise Falls'". Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  2. ^ Martin, Philip (December 18, 2015). "Review: Room". Arkansas Online. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Sue Ellen Bridgers profile". Western Carolina University. January 15, 2013. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  4. ^ "Sean Bridgers: Biography". CBS Entertainment. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  5. ^ McEntire, John. "Interview with: Arkansas Traveler Filmmakers". Featured Filmmakers of the Month. The Oxford American. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "Jackson Bridgers"., Inc. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  7. ^ Dickson, Evan (January 26, 2012). "Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter And Sean Young To Star in Moderncine's 'Jug Face'!". Bloody Disgusting LLC. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  8. ^ McHargue, Brad (January 27, 2013). "Jug Face (2013)". Dread Central Media, LLC. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  9. ^ Weinberg, Scott. "FEARnet Movie Review: 'Jug Face'". Horror Entertainment, LLC. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  10. ^ Saathoff, Evan. "Evan's Alternative BEST OF 2013". Birth.Movies.Death. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  11. ^ Unsworth, Martin. "Movie Review: JUG Face". Starburst Magazine Ltd. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  12. ^ Hogan, Nick (July 24, 2015). "Rectify Season 3 Episode 3 Review: "Sown With Salt"". TVOvermind. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  13. ^ Walker, Mark. "Film review of 'Room'". The Copenhagen Post. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  14. ^ "New film in development: Arkansas Traveler". April 9, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  15. ^ Martin, Philip (June 11, 2010). "ON FILM: Civil War film has potential for greatness if it gets made". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  16. ^ Reeves, Mary. "Old tales for new times: WW2 pilot's story to be filmed". Shelbyville Times-Gazette. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  17. ^ Travelin' Productions. "A Night at the Zoo – Short Film". Vimeo, LLC. Retrieved January 16, 2013.

External links[edit]