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, who’s 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 he’s over in New Zealand working with a director you’ve worked with before, one Peter
Jackson [John was the ghostly old judge in PJ’s The Frighteners]?

JA:”That is… a fact!”

RIU:That’ll be terrific for his career.

JA:”I think so. As you probably know, he’s playing Samwise Gamgee and I think it’s a great part for him. He’s 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, I’ve heard she’s going to play his daughter at the end of the film. That’s a neat piece of casting!

JA:”You heard that?”

RIU:Oh yes, I’ve been following the films’ progress zealously. I thought it was a nicely… what’s 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 wasn’t what they were imagining. I tried to do what they were looking for but probably wasn’t prepared for it. I loved working with them on The Frighteners and they’re a terrific pair. Sean’s having a great time. I believe Ally’s been playing with Fran and Peter’s kids and having a good time with them.

They’re such a… nice couple of people. I would be delighted to work with them anytime, in a large part or a small part. They’re just good people.”It’d be great to see you turn up in there somewhere. “That’d be fun to do something. I don’t know. Schedules are tough. I don’t know if it’s 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 hadn’t been written! But in the household with Sean, oddly, it wasn’t one of the stories I read to him. Why, I don’t know. It just didn’t happen. It could’ve very well, it was that kind of a story… and of course The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is so powerful.

“It’s a fascinating project. I think the idea behind it, that they’re going to film all three films
back-to-back, I just think it’s fantastic. And unless something wild goes on, they’re 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, there’s going to be another one coming up!’ And know that it is in the works. That’s going to be a thrill.”

So we have some retro casting news here, John Astin was asked to read for Gandalf!