The good folks at ‘Rip It Up’ magazine were kind enough to sent me this snippet of their interview with John Astin, Sean Astin (Sam) father.
I visit The One Ring net almost daily and have a little something you might be interested in. I just interviewed John Astin, better known as the original Gomez Addams, whos here in Adelaide to perform the one-man show Edgar Allan Poe: Once Upon A Midnight as part of the world famous (?) Adelaide Fringe. A lovely guy he was too. Any old how, we got to talking about his son, Sean and this is what happened:
RIU:Tell me John, is the actor Sean Astin your son?
JA:”He is indeed!”
RIU:And hes over in New Zealand working with a director youve worked with before, one Peter
Jackson [John was the ghostly old judge in PJs The Frighteners]?
JA:”That is a fact!”
RIU:Thatll be terrific for his career.
JA:”I think so. As you probably know, hes playing Samwise Gamgee and I think its a great part for him. Hes having a great time working with Peter and Fran. His wife Christine and his daughter Alexandra are down there with him and in fact, I think Ally is going to do a little bit in there too.”
RIU:Yes, Ive heard shes going to play his daughter at the end of the film. Thats a neat piece of casting!
JA:”You heard that?”
RIU:Oh yes, Ive been following the films progress zealously. I thought it was a nicely whats the word symmetrical (?) thing that the two of you will have worked with the same director
JA:”Yes, well they asked me to read for Gandalf, so I did. I think I came up with something that wasnt what they were imagining. I tried to do what they were looking for but probably wasnt prepared for it. I loved working with them on The Frighteners and theyre a terrific pair. Seans having a great time. I believe Allys been playing with Fran and Peters kids and having a good time with them.
Theyre such a nice couple of people. I would be delighted to work with them anytime, in a large part or a small part. Theyre just good people.”Itd be great to see you turn up in there somewhere. “Thatd be fun to do something. I dont know. Schedules are tough. I dont know if its possible even. But yeah! It would be fun.”
RIU:Was yours a Tolkien household?
JA:”Oh! Not really. I was into other things. I read The Hobbit when it came out. Of course, when I grew up, it hadnt been written! But in the household with Sean, oddly, it wasnt one of the stories I read to him. Why, I dont know. It just didnt happen. It couldve very well, it was that kind of a story and of course The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is so powerful.
“Its a fascinating project. I think the idea behind it, that theyre going to film all three films
back-to-back, I just think its fantastic. And unless something wild goes on, theyre going to have three huge hits. I can imagine, as an audience, going to see that first film and getting off on it, and then saying wow, theres going to be another one coming up! And know that it is in the works. Thats going to be a thrill.”
So we have some retro casting news here, John Astin was asked to read for Gandalf!