Sean Astin Book Signing: Huntington, NY

Thorongil writes: About 400-500 fans packed the Book Revue on Long Island last night to meet Sean Astin and get a signed copy of his new book “There and Back Again”. What the people received was more then they could of hoped for. After some of the crowd had been for waiting hours, Sean showed up fresh from a taping of the Bill O’Reilly show. The crowd of people cheered and went wild as Sean made his way through the crowd and he met up with one of his former professors who obviously had a positive influence on Sean as they embraced like old friends. Even though tired from an exhausting day of TV appearances that started early in the morning, Sean showed no signs of fatigue as he warmly greeted each person in line. He flashed his great smile and gave a hearty handshake to each and every person even giving out a few hugs to the overly excited young girls. I had met Sean before on three other occasions and was just thoroughly impressed by his friendly actions this evening. He would attentively listen to what the people would have to say and would spend however long it took to respond to their questions. He posed for pictures and even talked on a few of the fan’s cell phones to eagerly awaiting people who couldn’t be there. But what impressed me the most was the way he interacted with all the small children who came up to the table. His face just lit up when they said hello to him and he would ask them if they had seen the movies or read the books and remarked to them countless times, “oh, you must read The Hobbit”. As people walked away and passed me, I can not tell you how many nice things people had to say about Sean. The highlight of the evening was when he asked one little girl her name and as she answered Sean became animated as he told her that was his daughters name too and then he proceeded to tell her what the Maori word for their name was, although don’t ask me to spell it as I don’t have a clue but it was cute sounding. The girl and her family walked by and the little girl squealed with delight and her brother remarked, “that was cool”.

After about 2 hours the line was finally done and I got to talk to Sean for a few minutes after he did a brief interview with his former professor for Five Towns College and before he raced back to New York City. I asked Sean to tell us about his book and in relation to Andy Serkis’ “Gollum” book, was it just about his role as Samwise Gamgee or did it expand upon that and involve more of his personal life. This is what he had to say, ” Well, I read Andy’s book too and thought it was wonderful, it was lovely and honest and heartfelt and I wanted to read more. I would love to say on, from my perspective my book isn’t authoritative, it isn’t definitive or comprehensive, it’s just my opportunity to express a lot of the things that might have been inappropriate to go into greater detail about sooner and taken in the context of the whole panoply of interviews and all the millions of things said by me and others. It is just a chance by me to share a particular sort of strand of my thinking and my feelings. Some of the more painful kind of introspective stuff that Elijah (Wood) or my wife would be aware of, who knew that I was given to torture myself throughout the process in my own head. I would say simply that the book is kind of a helicopter ride through the ten years of my professional life leading up to Lord of the Rings and relating to how I experienced the Lord of the Rings. Basically what I try to do with the book is place myself in Hollywood history and whether I deserve to do that or not is for others to decide. It is a presumptuous thing to do, but I had applied to the Graduate School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA, I was rejected and I was sort of smarting from that when I was hired to play Sam. I took with me to New Zealand about 35-40 books about the history of Hollywood, History, Methodology, Criticism, Director’s Biographies, those kind of things, so that was the frame of mind I was in when I was having the experiences of The Lord of the Rings. So, the book is to satisfy that audience, actors and people or kids if they are interested in getting into the acting profession.

I read on or one of the other sites, why I didn’t write more about Sean Bean. I have nothing but love and affection for all the actors and all the cast and crew from the movie. The book, because it is in ink, it might seem to be authoritative or definitive about my feelings of some people, it is not. It is just some thoughts that occurred to me while I was writing them down, I hold them in the highest esteem and have great affection, particularly Ian McKellen and Peter Jackson. I hope people are not put off by the fact that I took the bold gesture of putting this out there. I am proud of it, it is honest, but it also is a little more abrasive then I probably would of liked it for it to be, so I want to apologize to the fans for this.