Saturday, December 31, 2011

Exclusive! First images from "Ribbit"

A few months ago, I exclusively reported that Sean had done voiceover work for an animated film called "Ribbit." Sean portrays the title role of a frog in the Amazon rainforest who suffers from an identity crisis. The voice talents of Tim Curry as Terence and Russell Peters as Deepak are also featured.

I can now reveal the first images from the movie, thanks to Chuck Powers, director and writer of the film!

Sean as Ribbit and Russell Peters as vampire bat Deepak.
Yes, this is a vampire movie! ;-)

"Sean gives a performance of amazing range! Subtle, funny, vulnerable… A perfect leading frog!"
—Director and Writer, Chuck Powers

Many thanks to Chuck for the images!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Want Sean Astin to follow you on Twitter?

Sean is trying to encourage people to follow @waterkeeper, a nonprofit organization which aspires to protect every major watershed and provide fishable, swimmable and drinkable waterways worldwide.

He has promised to follow anyone who follows @waterkeeper between now and midnight New Year's Eve (time zone not specified) and lets him know. His tweet:

Read more about Waterkeeper Alliance.

NOTE: Sean's new Twitter name is @SeanAstin.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Witches of Oz to see US theatrical release

According to Dread Central, the newly renamed "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz" will have a limited theatrical release in the US this February.

The movie, which originally aired as a two-part miniseries in much of Europe, has been edited to theatrical length and had its special effects upgraded for the US market. Set in modern day New York City, Witches is a sequel to L. Frank Baum's stories (not to the 1939 movie), in which Dorothy, played by Paulie Rojas, struggles to remember her long ago past. It features Christopher Lloyd as the Wizard of Oz, Billy Boyd as Dorothy's love interest, and Sean Astin is a small but funny role as the tiny sprite, Frack.

Sean Astin as the sprite Frack
A new trailer is expected to be released shortly.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sean plans marathon and half marathon

Sean already has running plans beyond the 2012 LA Marathon on March 18. He has signed up for the inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon on April 7. This 13.1 mile race will begin and end at Universal Studios and will pass such iconic locations as the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood & Highland, Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite celebrity. Wonder who Sean will go as… :-)

Sean will get this medal for finishing the course.
Press release here.

We expect to have an exclusive report on Sean and running in the next couple of weeks!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sean Astin volunteers at Operation Gratitude

Sean worked with other volunteers at Operation Gratitude in Van Nuys, CA, today, helping to assemble care packages for troops serving in hostile areas, their children left behind, and wounded warriors recuperating in transition units. Today, the non-profit organization expected to ship their 750,000th package since their formation in 2003.

With Ricky Paull Goldin, 750,000th care package recipient Sgt. Eric Rodriguez and friends. Photo tweeted by Sean.

CBS Sunday Morning did a story on Operation Gratitude on December 11. Do watch the video; it shows how one person can indeed make a difference.

Learn more about Operation Gratitude and how you can help on their website and Facebook page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Anna Pearce, aka Patty Duke, on Twitter

At the urging of her son, who has become a Twitter addict, Anna Pearce, better known as Patty Duke, has joined Twitter. Sean has vowed to get her 1,000 followers by Christmas. Follow her here!

Official Santa to the Sea race photos

The official race photos for the Santa to the Sea half marathon held Sunday, December 11, are posted here. Sean's bib number is 0252.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sean wins Best Actor award at NYII Film & Video Festival

Sean won a Best Actor award for his performance as the Father in Clay Beabout's "Deep Blue Breath" at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival last month. The film itself also won Best Short Film.

Deep Blue Breath has been shown at over 20 film festivals around the country, and has also won a Best Young Actor award for Clay at the Action on Film Festival, Best Short Film at the Independent's Film Festival, and Best Creative Media Film at the Poppy Jasper Film Festival.

In 2009, both Sean Astin and Elijah Wood worked with the Make a Film Foundation to help then 11-year old Clay with his film. MAFF teams film industry professionals with children who have been diagnosed with critical or life-threatening medical conditions in order to help them create short film legacies. More info on Sean's and Elijah's roles, and on how to get the movie and help MAFF are here.

You can like MAFF on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Sean Astin and Clay Beabout

Santa to the Sea & Byron Goodloe race photos

These photos of Sean at the finish line of the Santa to the Sea half marathon December 11 are courtesy of Gouki Cookie. Official race photos should be available tomorrow.

Sean applauds the finisher just ahead of him.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Official Santa to the Sea race results

Sean's official chip time was 2:03:17, for a 529th place finish among 1,140 runners who finished the half marathon. Source

Sean with fans before the race. Source
After the race with fans. Source

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Interview with Sean following half marathon

Sean did a brief interview with KADY TV following the Santa to the Sea half marathon in Oxnard today. Sean's interview is at the beginning.

Following the race, Sean tweeted a pic of his swag:

Sean runs Santa to the Sea half marathon

Sean Astin ran the Santa to the Sea half marathon in an unofficial time of 2:03:24. Congratulations to him!

Thanks to Hildigard Brown for creating the card for me!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sizzle promo for "Napa"

Filming of Napa starts in January, starring Rose McGowan, Sean Astin, Jonathan Schaech, Taryn Manning and Kevin Pollack.

Sean to run half marathon

After running a 10K race on November 13 and a 15K race on December 3, Sean is scheduled to run in the Santa to the Sea half marathon in Oxnard, CA on Sunday, December 11 at 8am PT.

A half marathon is 13.1 miles or about 21K. Sean is training for the LA Marathon March 18, 2012.

Sean films comedy short today!

Sean filmed a comedy short today in which he plays a plastic surgeon. From the description on costar Shelly Martinez's blog, sounds like he may not always be successful! :-O

Shelly will talk about her experience tomorrow (Thursday, December 8) on Fun Time Radio w the Martinez Girlz at 5 PM ET, 2 PM PT.

Make sure you check out the photos on Shelly's blog!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Full Empire hobbit interview online!

And it includes some new photos by Sarah Dunn of our favorite foursome!

Full interview here

Sean to attend Night of 100 Stars!

Sean is scheduled to be one of almost 200 guests at the conservatively named "Night of 100 Stars," an Oscar night black tie celebrity party held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, February 26, 2012.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ceremony honoring John Astin

In recognition of ten years developing and leading the Theatre Arts and Studies program at Johns Hopkins University, the theatre of the newly renovated Merrick Barn was renamed the "John Astin Theatre" on Saturday.

The ceremony was emceed by close family friend, Ed Asner, who used the opportunity to make good-humored jokes at the expense of John and his sons, Sean and Mackenzie. JHU President Ronald Daniels and Arts & Sciences Dean Katherine Newman made remarks and presented a plaque to John, and students performed two short humorous skits, followed by a reception.

My daughter Joy and her boyfriend Devin were fortunate to attend the event and provide photos of the dignitaries. :-D

Devin, Sean and Joy

Joy, Mackenzie and Devin

Joy and honoree John Astin
Joy gets an honor of her own from Ed Asner!

Many thanks to Jennifer Astin for assistance with photos. Further photos should be available later, so stay tuned! :-)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sean and Mack to attend celebration for dad John Astin

Sean and Mackenzie Astin will be attending a celebration today honoring their father John Astin's tens years as director of the Undergraduate Program in Theatre Arts & Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

John Astin
Fellow actor and close friend Ed Asner will emcee the event, which will feature an unveiling of the newly renovated historic Merrick Barn, home for the program and student performances.

Congratulations to John and his sons!

Press release

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sean to run in 15k race Saturday Updated

Sean posted another photo of his running shoes earlier this week. Via his Twitter account, he announced that he will be running in the Goodloe Byron 15k Mountain Run at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD, Saturday, December 3 at 9am.

Sean says these are his favorite running shoes,
but wore a blue-trimmed pair for the Calabasas Classic 10k.
Sean is training for the LA Marathon, March 18, 2012. FYI, a 15k race is about 9.3 miles; a marathon is 26.2 miles.

"The hilly, picturesque course takes runners along dirt roads through the forests of College Mountain. The course winds past mountain streams, ponds and farm fields." Source.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sean's "hook" for Samwise

At the Super Megafest in Boston, Sean discussed a "hook," a phrase he was given to help remind him of how Samwise's accent should be done. This is his hook:

Many thanks to Ellen for the videos!

Sarah Dunn Hobbits video

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Additional photos from Empire Magazine hobbit shoot!

Photos of Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan by Sarah Dunn.

Sidewalk conversations

Click for larger version
Click for larger version

(This is from an earlier photo shoot for comparison.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Super Megafest Part 2; Twitter; And They're Off news

• Sean reached his goal of 10,000 Twitter followers Monday evening! Thanks to all my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LiveJournal friends who helped spread the word!

• "And They're Off" will be released on video on demand, DVD and iTunes by next April. I'll be posting a review of the movie in a little while.

• Here's an interview with Sean from Boston Events Insider at the Super Megafest. Says interviewer Johnny Monsarrat "I was pleased to find him so comfortable with the fans, and humble. If fame comes to any of us, we should keep our act together so well."

Sean discussed his desire to keep creative control over his "Number the Stars" project, involvement with politics, working on "Amazing Love," and other topics.

See full article here

I'll have a full report of Sean's Q&A session from my intrepid reporter on the scene, complete with video, shortly!
Sean Astin signs autographs for fans at Boston Super Megafest. Source

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sean at Super Megafest in Boston Part 1

These are pics Sean Astin tweeted today from the Super Megafest in Boston.

The back of Sala Baker's and Sean Astin's heads during their Q&A session.

Sam Wars?

Full report coming soon!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Marathon Man!

Here are a couple proofs of official race photos of Sean in last weekend's Calabasas Classic 10k. You can purchase your own high res images and see more photos at the Supersports Photo website.

Sean has said he is in training for the LA Marathon on March 18, 2012. He ran the 2010 LA Marathon in 5:16:12, not bad for having pulled a calf muscle earlier in the week!

Note: He did not wear the shoes he posted a photo of the morning of the race!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sean and friends at Rudy screening

All the luminaries from "Rudy" were there—Sean Astin, Jon Favreau (D-Bob), director David Anspaugh and even the original Daniel E. "Rudy" Ruettiger—for the special screening of the movie at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica Thursday evening.

Photo by Sean Astin posted to his Twitter account.
The following is based on a report from Jan-u-wine, who attended the screening.

The movie played to a nearly packed and appreciative audience, and the special guests were given a standing ovation when they took the stage for the Q&A afterwards. There were many good questions asked and good answers shared, and all in all, it was a general love-fest.

David Anspaugh, Jon Favreau, Sean Astin and Rudy Ruettiger. Source
On the topic of the casting of Rudy, the director said Sean had been recommended to him by the script writer, Angelo Pizzo, who had seen a trailer for "Encino Man." (Sean rolled his eyes when this movie was mentioned—it is apparently not one of his favorites!) A lunch meeting was set up between David and Sean, and the director immediately knew he had his Rudy. The studio execs were not so sure, but eventually gave in, and later admitted Sean was the perfect Rudy. The audience cheered wildly in agreement with this sentiment, and Sean appeared very touched by their reaction.

Sean talked about the scene where he had to cry on reading the news that he'd finally been accepted into Notre Dame. He'd come on set that morning and had been instructed not to talk with anyone, so he'd been alone and isolated for a couple of hours. Even so, when it came time to do the scene, he couldn't muster up the tears. Sean said that until then he'd found it hard as an actor and a man to cry. After three takes, David came up to Sean and asked him "What are you so afraid of?" David's question was just what for Sean the actor and Sean the man needed. Why indeed are we afraid of honest tears? It was enough to trigger the tears, and Sean said he cried for at least two hours.

Sean was asked about the scene where Rudy steps onto the football field for the first time. It's a quiet moment, and Rudy hesitates for a moment before stepping reverently onto the field. Was it the director's idea or Sean's? Sean responded by talking about a similar moment in The Fellowship of the Ring, supposedly one of Peter Jackson's favorites, where Sam hesitates before taking the step that will take the farthest away from home he's ever been, moving him into a hugely different world from the one he's known.

David said Sean did a lot of his own stunts, but managed to avoid injury. (In another interview, Sean did mention a small cut he got over his eye from Vince Vaughn's long fingernails. They had to duplicate the cut with makeup later for continuity!) Sean's stunt double had to have knee surgery. The real Rudy also avoided major injuries, quite amazing considering he really was a little guy among the big Notre Dame players!

Sean said that not a day goes by when he isn't stopped and complimented on Rudy, or hears chants of "Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!" He believes it's the movie he'll be most remembered for when he dies.

There was also a discussion of Jerry Goldsmith's beautiful and evocative score. Sean said he was honored to have been a part of one of Goldsmith's projects.

Sean's oldest daughter Ali (Elanor Gamgee in "The Lord of the Rings"), now 15 and a cheerleader, was in attendance, and Sean said they held hands throughout the movie. :-)

Says Jan-u-wine: It's easy to see the Sean that you hear about often: the passionate, caring man, very intelligent, his ideas spilling out so fast that they even (seemingly) take him by surprise.

After the Q&A session, David said they would continue the discussion at a nearby bar on Wilshire Boulevard, what surely must have been a great experience for those who tagged along!

Sean and fan. Source
My gratitude to Jan-u-wine for providing her thoughts on the Q&A. All remarks are to the best of her recollection, and we apologize for any inaccuracies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I think he's thinking of kumara & Lisa Simpson on Sean

Sean did an interview with Fred Topel, just published, while Sean was filming "And They're Off" last year.

Sean talks about a practical joke played on Dick Donner (director of "The Goonies"), whether technology affects the ability of kids to have adventures today, "The Lord of the Rings" 10 years on, "Rudy" vs "Rocky," and several other topics.

Of note is this: "The one thing they always have in New Zealand, it’s kind of like a squash. I can’t remember the name of it now. Yeah, put that in there. A signed autographed poster by the cast of Lord of the Rings if anyone can name the vegetable that was the predominant vegetable."

Sean, I think you're thinking of kumara, a New Zealand sweet potato ubiquitous in local cuisine. Please send the poster to me c/o the blog! ;-)

Of Sean's character of Dusty Sanders in "And They're Off" Sean says: "I think Rudy and Doug from 50 First Dates, if you could combine their DNA and just plop them into the horse racing world, you’ve got Dusty."

Sean also discusses his system for playing the ponies, spectacularly unsuccessful especially compared to brother, Mackenzie. Says Sean: "So with two dollars, he turned it into $300. I took $200 and turned it into nothing."

Read the full interview here.

In other news, Sean popped up in last night's episode of "The Simpsons" on Lisa's list of cutest vegetarians:

I don't want to disillusion Lisa, but Sean apparently stepped off the vegetarian wagon some time ago, if the reports of him having roast lamb and a pepperoni pizza while on location in Mexico are true!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sean will go all in!

Sean is expected to be one of the participants in the 4th annual All In For CP No-Limit Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament on December 9 at The Venetian Poker Room in Las Vegas.

The event will benefit the One Step Closer Foundation—a non-profit organization seeking to ease the lives of those suffering from cerebral palsy.

Source and more info, including video interview with Sean from last year's event. 

Sean Astin and "Dish Dogs" costar Shannon Elizabeth at 3rd Annual All in for CP Tournament in 2010

Sean runs Calabasas Classic 10k!

Sean Astin ran the Calabasas Classic 10k race in 59:32 today!

Sean's running shoes, tweeted by him this morning!

Finisher's medal

More pics will be posted as they appear!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Polls are closed: results are in!

The results* have been tallied in the "What should Sean have on his head" poll. An overwhelming majority (72%) prefer nothing but curls, with cowboy hat coming in a surprising but distant second with 16%.**

A baseball cap worn backwards beat out forwards baseball cap 15% to 2%,*** while hair gel drew only 2%.

Mr. Astin, the results are clear!

* The total is > 100% as multiple selections were allowed.
** Sean has recently tripled his cowboy roles by adding Mayor Wayne in the just aired "Love's Christmas Journey" and Cal Calhoun in the upcoming comedy "Out West" to his Martin Jarrett in "Into the West."
*** One could argue, with some validity, that baseball caps, both forward and backward, came in second with a combined total of 17%.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sean Astin appears with costars: Supermegafest and Rudy screening

• Sean will be doing a Q&A with "Lord of the Rings" costar Sala Baker at the Boston Super Megafest convention at noon on Sunday, November 20. It's expected he will be signing autographs both Saturday and Sunday.


• He will also be doing a Q&A following a screening of "Rudy" at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, CA,Thursday, November 17 at 7:30pm, with costar Jon Favreau and director David Anspaugh.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sean to play superhero!!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s onetime Goonie Sean Astin playing a poor man’s Superman on "Franklin & Bash." 
The Lord of the Rings vet has signed on to guest star in an episode of the TNT legal dramedy as a college security guard who dons a cape and tights by night to fight campus crime under the name Viper.
When he’s accused of killing a so-called culprit, he retains Franklin and Bash to defend him.
Sounds like a hoot!

TV guest spot on "Franklin & Bash"; "Napa" news

• According to a tweet from @Franklin&Bash, Sean will be a guest star on the TNT comedy-drama lawyer-buddy series "Franklin & Bash." The series, which has aired one season so far, stars Breckin Meyer, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Malcolm McDowell.

Tweets fellow guest star Meredith Myers: Isn't he just the best? LOVE him. He is exactly the man we dreamed he would be :) and He's an incredible actor but an even better man. Those pics in my school locker were justified :)
Sean Astin and Meredith Myers
The episode should air next summer.

• Variety reports that Rose McGowan and Sean Astin will be joined by Kevin Pollak,  Johnathon Schaech and Taryn Manning in the indie romantic thriller, "Napa." The film is starting filming now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fan helps Sean in goal to reach 10000 Twitter followers

A few days ago, Sean posted the following on his Twitter feed:
@SeanAstin says I Love You All...Thanks for playing!!! I'm on to Pizza... Oh, help me get to 10,000 followers...hold up signs if you have to
One fan, Laura from Italy, took him at his word and produced this sign:

You, too, can help Sean reach his goal! Follow @SeanAstin!

Monday, November 7, 2011

More soldier Sean

Photo by Eduardo Verastegui
Sean Astin with Andrey Pishalnikov & Svyatoslav Odnolitok