Sean appeared in the short film entitled Humanzee! executive-produced by his brother James Gunn. It is part of a series of comedy shorts aired via the XBox Live subscription service.
Sean's first job in acting was an advertisement for the Illinois lottery after he graduated from college.
Sean's agent advised him not to take the small role in Gilmore Girls' first episode. Going against his agent's recommendation, he auditioned for the role of an unnamed character who was later called Kirk in the 3rd or 4th episode of the first season. Kirk became a regular character from season three until the show ended.
In 2007, Sean reunited with the creators of a Showtime series he was in, Going to California, with his recurring role in October Road as the bartender Rooster. He also worked with actors Evan Jones and Brad William Henke on both shows.
Sean attributes his timing as an actor to trying to sneak in a good line during family conversations.
Sean credits his mother for stressing the importance of a large imagination and his father for stressing strong people skills.
Sean was raised in an Irish Catholic family.
He was in a commercial for Read California, and plays an expired milk tester.
Sean appeared in the movies The Auteur Theory (1999) and Pearl Harbor (2001). He was also in the 2006 film Jesus, Mary, and Joey.
Sean has four brothers: Brian, James, Patrick, and Matt Gunn. Patrick, an executive producer for Artisan Entertainment, and James, a screenwriter and director, are both in the entertainment industry. He has a sister who is a lawyer. He is also a cousin of writer/director/producer Mark Gunn.
Sean was himself on the Gilmore Girls Backstage Special, and several of the interviews on the Gilmore Girls DVDs.
He attended St. Louis University High School (SLUH).
Sean's nickname is The Judge. It was his brother Matt who came up with the nickname, because his brother facetiously says "Sean was smug and judge-mental".
Sean: To me, that makes for good TV: when you can simultaneously contrast something totally absurd with something kinda dramatic and touching.
Sean: (on the "Gilmore Girls" episode "Blame Booze and Melville") I get to really be a villain in that episode, which I enjoy. I'd always rather be a jerk than a loser. Unfortunately, Kirk usually skews more toward loser.
Sean: (about "Gilmore Girls" episode "Haunted Leg") She's worried the whole episode, How am I gonna get around this?, and then in the last scene she says, 'Oh, you're a nice guy, but we should just be friends,' and Kirk is very upset. It's actually one of the closest things I have to a dramatic moment on the show, even though it's kinda absurd. I'd like to believe that Lorelei made a massive mistake there.
Sean: (on the "Gilmore Girls" episode "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving") The last scene, where Kirk is bandaged and describing how Cat Kirk is terrorizing him, is the only time in the whole seven years of doing the show that I can remember doing a take, and having Dan Palladino say, 'Sean, that was a little too big. Can you bring it down a little bit?'
Sean: (about "Gilmore Girls" episode "The Festival of Living Art") Actually, there is a great still photo from that episode, where it looks like a nice little tableau of 'The Last Supper,' but it's all people and I'm in the middle as Jesus. I had a bunch of copies framed and gave them to my family members for Christmas that year.
Sean: It's me. I'm the one who would most likely get up and show you the robot.
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