MCM Comic Con Birmingham: Sean Astin Discusses Lord Of The Rings, The Goonies And More

by Olly MacNamee

Seems Sean Astin was the bigger draw than C3PO after all, judging by the full house for his Saturday afternoon at MCM Comic Con Birmingham. But then, by 2pm in the afternoon, all ticket holders would have had access to the show, with only the priority ticket holders there at 11am when Daniels took to the stage. All the same, it’s a packed house for the star of The Goonies, Lord of the Rings (LotR) and Stranger Things. When you list these three major pop cultural phenomenons, spanning three different decades, it’s easy to see why Astin would be such a big pull, appealing to both young and old – well, middle age – alike.
Playing in the background ahead of his appearance was a rather appropriate mash-up of Green Day’s Holiday and the Doctor Who theme tune, with liberal lashings of the The Timelords’ novelty hit ‘Doctorin’ the Tardis’. I must remember to like that one up.
But, I digress.
What we are all here for was Astin, and after a sizzle reel highlighting his many, many parts, on to the stage walked the man himself, with an accompanying host.

After after some small talk, the panel was pretty much what I would have expected. Looking back at The Goonies, He tied this in with his recent appearance on The Big Bang Theory. He rallied when filming that the set they were filming on was the exact same set that was used in The Goonies when he found the map. 
Possibly an unpopular opinion, but when asked, Sean said he was in favour of sequels. After all, as he states, people, want to extend the connection they have, the experience they have when watching a movie, so why not a sequel. But then, he would say that wouldn’t he, having appeared in LotR and Stranger Things season 2. He would happily film a sequel to California Man, he admits, half in jest, but the adding that Pauly Shore was well up for it. But then, with Shore’s career these days, he would be keen, wouldn’t he? Not sure how many people are crying out for a sequel to this one, myself.
Surprisingly, with appearance in both Memphis Belle and The Colour of Magic, the latter based on the novel by Terry Pratchett, Astin is more than a little bit familiar with certain parts of the UK. His accent in the Tolkien trilogy of films was based on the infamous West Country accent here in the UK, which is the equivalent of your own redneck accent, and just as welcome. Not.

When looking through his Instagram account, an image of Astin with the late, great Robin Williams, he shared a story with the fans when he met Williams and it was Williams that recognised the LotR trilogy to be on a similar trajectory to Star Wars before it. That this would be a film series beloved by many for a very long, long time. And, of course, he was right.
I found it somewhat annoying that the host (she never announced who she was) would prioritise questions from Twitter before taking ones from the gathered – and paying – fans, lining up to get them out. But, eventually, and with only 15 minutes remaining, we got to the audience questions. And, with two large queues, they were never all going to get answered. But, many fans did leave happy with their questions answered. 
What came a cross in the panel was Astin’s love for his family – which he often referred to throughout and his acting credentials. A laid back interview that, as ever, only scratched the surface of his wide and varied career. Including voice overs for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesthe voice of Shazam (animation), and, more recently, an appearance in Supergirl. Like the rest of us, it seems Astin is a geek who loves his jobs and his fans.

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