Friday, April 27, 2012

ForceCast interview with Sean at C2E2

Jason Swank and Jimmy "Mac" McInerney of, a Star Wars focused podcast site, interviewed Sean at C2E2 two weeks ago. They talked in depth about the expected topics: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Rudy and Goonies, but some unexpected anecdotes and tidbits came out!

It's a great interview!

Listen here. Sean's interview starts at about 27:30. Stay for the post interview discussion of #run3rd and Sean's autobiography "There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale"!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sean's new show: Vox Populi

Sean has long been a political junky, and he likes to talk. What makes more sense than combining the two in a weekly internet audio/video podcast? “Vox Populi: The Voice of the (occasionally interested) People,” hosted by Sean, will premiere Thursday, May 3, noon - 2 pm PT, on the growing Toadhop Network.

(You may recall Sean was a guest earlier this year on Two Guys and a Mic on the Toadhop Network. Watch/listen to that podcast here. Sean comes in around 32 minutes into the show.)

Sean graciously agreed to answer a few questions about his new show.


How did the idea for doing a radio blog come about?

I've had the idea of doing a politically themed show for longer than I can remember. My mom [Patty Duke] was President of the Screen Actors Guild and my father [John Astin] did lots of Directors Union business. They were very active with causes they believed in, like gay rights, water safety, Muscular Dystrophy and many others. In my house there was much discussion of the world and the ways that people could work—including in politics—that might improve our world. From student to Presidential elections and many in between, I have fallen in love with government and political leadership. Campaigning is a natural for me and while I'm not quite a wonk, I do watch CSPAN for pleasure, as well as download Supreme Court decisions so I don't have to trust news commentators' analysis.

Recently, I did a string of media appearances to promote an inspirational Twitter campaign I am doing called #Run3rd. It is about encouraging people to make dedications about their loved ones and causes they believe in. One outlet that I wanted to do was the ToadHop Network on a show called Two Guys and a Mic. I had a great time and the setup looked perfect for the show I had in mind. I pitched it and they went for it. Ta Da, a show was born.

What unique talents or perspective to you hope to bring to the show to make it “Radio Worth Watching?” [ToadHop Network’s tag line]

I am me. It's hard to encapsulate the variety of experiences I've had that give me a unique vantage point to work from. But, at the risk of throwing out my resume, I've served on two Presidential appointments and campaigned seriously and visibly in three Presidential elections. I've appeared on countless political shows, Bill Mahr, Bill O'Riley, Chuck Todd, Larry King, etc. I was educated at UCLA with degrees in History and American literature and Culture. I could go on for a while, but let it suffice to say that I think my personality and perspective on the world, combined with a burning curiosity to learn, and what I hope is a core fairness and a genuine desire to help give people a platform to express themselves, are hopefully the recipe for a successful show.

Tell us about the name “Vox Populi.”

My favorite television show in the history of the medium is "The West Wing." There is an episode where President Bartlet [Martin Sheen] is at a Hollywood mogul's mansion for a fundraiser and Josh [Bradley Witford] is sitting at a table. Marlee Matlin (who is hearing impaired) and he are chatting, and at the end of their conversation she signs "Vox Populi Vox Deus." Trying to sort it out, Josh asks, "The voice of the people is the voice of dog?" She corrects him by mouthing, "The voice of the people is the voice of God." It's a funny, sweet and poignant moment. I've always liked to believe I have a populist streak. So, because the ToadHop Network has really bold, colorful titles, I thought Vox Populi would look good in a cool graffiti font. We ended up with something different, but there it is.

I used to call it Civic Duty in my mind, but that didn't sound pompous enough so I went for Vox Populi instead.

What is the format of the show? Will listeners be able to call in?

There will be callers in. The tone of the conversation will be both serious and fun, but constructive not combative. I expect that we will pick through current events and news stories, and have segments dedicated to different aspects of our political culture and government. I hope to bring interesting people into the show and conduct interviews that are meaningful and worth listening to.

Will you have guests? Anyone lined up? Who would your LOVE to have on your show?

It's a surprise who will be on the show. As soon as I start calling people to invite them, I will begin keeping it secret. I'm interested in interviewing elected officials and people who have significant insight into the process. As the Presidential election cycle gets even more spun up, I'm eager to interview surrogates and others. I also want to interview opinion makers, historians, etc. I could go on forever. I just want to find really cool people who love and live government, politics, news, etc.

What topics do you want to cover? Will you take suggestions for topics from your listeners?

My appetite for this stuff is huge, so the topics will run the spectrum from hot button issues to the inner workings of government and current events. Topics suggested by listeners will be vital to the success of the show!

At the beginning I expect that the show will succeed or fail on the strength (or not) of my personality. Going forward, I'm hoping to shape the show into an experience that people become familiar with, enjoy and really get something out of.


Be sure to check out Vox Populi with Sean Astin, available worldwide on the Toadhop Network: Radio Worth Watching, Thursdays noon-2pm PT! Note that you can watch/listen on the website after the show ends, or subscribe to the podcast via RSS feed or iTunes.

While you are waiting for next week, read Sean's Toadhop bio here and follow him on Twitter @HostVoxPopuli. You can send email to the show at or leave a voice message at 1-626-VOX-TALK. Also check out the Vox Populi web site.

See the FAQ for details on how to watch/listen to the show!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Demoted" on DVD and Blu-ray in June

"Demoted," a comedy starring Sean Astin, David Cross and Michael Vartan, will be released on DVD and Blu-ray June 12, 2012. It's available now for pre-order from Amazon.

"What goes around comes around for a pair of prank-playing tire salesmen (Sean Astin and Michael Vartan) who find themselves placed in secretarial jobs by their put-upon boss (David Cross). Now the two pranksters will have to climb their way back to the top."

I saw Demoted at the Uptown Film festival in Michigan a year ago, and wrote this in a journal at the time:
The movie was better than I had expected from the trailer, and everyone in the audience seemed to enjoy it. There was a bit of bathroom humor (including a scene in the bathroom), but also a lot of good slapstick and other funny bits. Sean had some very funny as well as cute and sweet scenes, and a couple places where his eye crinkles and general adorableness had me melting in my seat. Sean got the opportunity to indulge in a number of sports, including softball, bowling and jogging. There's also a very funny (and adult) scene where Mike (Sean) and Rodney (Michael Vartan) give anniversary present advice to one of the secretaries.  
After the movie there was a Q&A with Warren Zide, one of the producers. … I asked if there was much improvisation, as it seemed to me there was, and he said about 1/3 of what made it to the screen involved improv. They would shoot the scene first following the script, then do additional takes with the actors improvising. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review of "And They're Off"

“And They’re Off” is a mockumentary style comedy starring Sean Astin that saw a limited theatrical release in the fall of 2011. It is being released on DVD, iTunes, video on demand, etc., on May 1, 2012. This review is based on an online preview made available to me by producer Howard Bolter last fall. Thank you, Howard, for the opportunity!

As the movie opens, we’re introduced to Dusty Sanders (Sean Astin), a down-on-his-luck race horse trainer who’s being filmed for a horse racing documentary. He’s just lost a horse in a claiming race to [real life] trainer Doug O’Neill.

“Even at 1100 pounds, these horses are like my children,” Dusty tells the film crew earnestly before saying a tearful goodbye to the horse. It’s no surprise Dusty doesn’t do well. His unconventional training methods include showing inspirational videos to his horses and relying on advice from a Feng Shui master on stall arrangements. Why would someone be making a documentary about an incompetent trainer? Not clear, but apparently another film crew is following a successful trainer as well.

Meanwhile, despite his sweet nature and eternal optimism—his catch phrase is There’s always tomorrow, it’s the day after today—Dusty’s luck isn’t improving. His girlfriend, temperamental jockey Dee (Cheri Oteri), has dumped him, and he loses the last two other horses in his stable. His father (Martin Mull), who has tried to be both father and mother to Dusty by wearing dresses and wigs, urges him to find another line of work as a taxidermist (at least he’d be working with animals). Dusty is finally reduced to running a pony ride concession for kids.

Of course, the story doesn’t end there, and a chance for redemption comes when four neophyte owners (Mark Moses, Gigi Rice, Peter Jacobson and Mo Collins) ask Dusty to train their horse, Caveat.

Like any good comedy mockumentary, the movie is full of wacky characters, off-beat dialog, non-sequiturs, inside jokes (Dusty’s favorite TV show is “Facts of Life,” which starred Sean’s real life brother Mackenzie Astin) and unlikely situations. It’s also peppered with plenty of cameos and name-dropping of famous horses, trainers (including a narcissistic Bob Baffert) , jockeys and race commentators for the racing enthusiast. The natural sweetness that Sean brings to many of his roles (Samwise, Mikey, Rudy, etc) is much in evidence here, but things might have turned out very differently for Middle-earth if Dusty had been Frodo’s companion! Still, while not the Kentucky Derby, “And They’re Off” shows that a simple county fair race can be just as fun and rewarding. :-)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hats were shipped today!

All #Run3rd hats were shipped today by either USPS Priority Mail (2-3 days delivery) or International First Class Parcel (6-10 days delivery). You should have received an email confirmation with tracking number. If you didn't, please contact immediately!

Many thanks to Lupe for all her hard work in getting these shipped to us to quickly! :-D

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Sean Interview at C2E2

Drew Duhig interviews Sean at C2E2 for the Windy City Show. They talk about Drew's prom, Sean's appearance in "Law and Order" and LL Cool J's pectorals!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hollywood Treasure returns with Sean Astin

Press Release:  Syfy's hit series Hollywood Treasure kicks off second season traveling to "Middle-earth" with Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings). Premieres Tuesday, May 22 at 10pm
NEW YORK – April 19, 2012 – Syfy’s hit series Hollywood Treasure, starring collectibles expert Joe Maddalena, will return for its second season Tuesday, May 22 at 10PM (ET/PT). Each episode takes viewers into the fascinating world of showbiz and pop culture memorabilia, with the season opener traveling to “Middle-earth” and featuring actor Sean Astin’s Lord of the Rings collection.
Complete press release

Joe and Sean, source

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sean and the ISU Quidditch Team!

Sean posed with the Illinois State Quidditch Team at C2E2!

Posted by @ISUQuidditch

Sean signs #Run3rd hats!

Sean very kindly took time today out of his busy schedule to stop by T-Shirt Haven and autograph 60 of the #Run3rd hats. Hats will be shipped to Lupe, who will then mail them to the individual purchasers. It won't be long now, folks! :-D

Sean at T-Shirts Haven with Randy and pal

Sean on WGN Morning News in Chicago

WGN reporter Pat Tomasulo dressed as Batman to report on the C2E2 convention in Chicago last weekend, and briefly caught up with an amused Sean.

Full video here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sean & Team StarKid: How it came about

Excerpted from
Now, I am a huge LOTR fan and I love Sean Astin. So when I found out he was there giving autographs I was psyched…until I found out he wanted $40 for an autograph, then I was just crushed. But luck and the awesomeness of Sean Astin was in my favor. The line for Starkid autographs was right next to Sean Astin’s line and he had all but finished up signing so he came over to our line and talked to us and told us to come get his autograph. One girl in line explained that while she was a huge fan she just simply could not afford the $40 and pretty much all the other Starkid fans, including me, expressed the same. He is such an amazing guy that he spent the next 20 minutes walking up and down the Starkid line shaking hands, giving hugs and talking to everyone. We explained to him who Starkid and gushed about them. I noticed that after he left the fan line he headed over to the Starkids who were equally geeking out about him as their fans were. Here was someone who really appreciated his fans. This isn’t even the awesome part yet. 

More on Sean and Team Starkid at C2E2

[Team Starkid] had a new friend make a surprise appearance at their panel – fellow C2E2 guest and Lord of the Rings star, Sean Astin.

Astin appeared at the Q & A wearing the Scarecrow costume belonging to absent cast member Dylan Saunders, and sat in on the panel as an honorary StarKid. Both Team StarKid and the audience threw questions to him as ‘Dylan’, and he did his best to answer in character.

Astin appeared to enjoy the experience of being a StarKid for a day, dancing around the room with the cast as they performed “Super Friends,” the closing number of Holy Musical B@man!, before taking some pictures, signing a guitar, and doling out hugs to the group, telling them, as ‘Dylan’, “You guys will always be my Fellowship.”
Team StarKid, being the renowned geeks that they are, could not entirely make light of the situation, with Nick Strauss stating that this was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and Meredith Stepien interrupting herself mid-answer to squeal “I’m sorry, but Samwise Gamgee is sitting right there.” The whole table leapt to their feet cheering in excitement when Astin mentioned his involvement in Nickelodeon’s upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.
More at the Source, plus great pics and full video!

And now some additional pics from yesterday:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sean at C2E2 day 2

Day 2 held a rather surprising event for fans of Starkids! But first, let's start innocently enough with a couple more pics from Day 1:

Sean autographs a boy's shirt! Everyone go "awww!"

Race to Wrigley pics and official results!

Sean ran the 5K Race to Wrigley in 25:11 for an 8:08 pace. See the entry on the TEAM #Run3rd blog for more details and lots of pre-race photos!

Sean at C2E2 day 1

Sean spent the first day at C2E2 signing autographs and taking photos with fans. He will be signing again today from 10am - 7pm, and Sunday 10am - 5pm.

Posted by @MaxGyrion
Many more below:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sean at Story Chicago 2011

Sean's session with JR Kerr at the Story 2011 Conference in Chicago, September 2011. He talks about "Number the Stars," risk taking, Doug Whitmore's pectoral dance in "50 First Dates," and what he liked about his role in "Bigger than the Sky" and more!

More videos from the conference and info on this year's Story 2012 can be found on their website.

Sean Astin on Running: Five Questions

The LA Times posted an interview with Sean about his running.
It's easy to be motivated with a legion of orcs on your tail. But on the streets of Los Angeles on regular old Earth, Astin must find the drive to run from within. On March 18, Astin ran the L.A. Marathon for the third time — but as he explained in a recent interview, he doesn't always find it easy to push himself to lace up those shoes.
Read full interview here. You don't want to miss the question about barefoot running like a hobbit!

Introducing the TEAM #Run3rd website

Sean and friends have created a new blog for the #Run3rd project called TEAM #Run3rd.
What started as an inspirational Twitter campaign is now a global movement sharing and honoring the dedications people make on behalf of the loved ones, the causes and the ideas that matter to them.
Join us by participating in organized races carrying the #Run3rd banner and mission.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quick race before C2E2 Saturday

Sean will be running in the 7th annual Race to Wrigley 5K in Chicago this Saturday, April 14. The race begins at the famous Wrigley Field at 8am, and after winding through the Lakeview neighborhood, runners returns to the stadium's ground level concourse, and finish under the famed Wrigley Field Marquee at Clark and Addison.

Sean on training run along Chicago lakeshore

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Adopting Terror review

This is from a review of "Adopting Terror" which is airing this month on Lifetime. Ratings were high enough for the premiere that additional times have been added. Check here for the latest info.
The film centers around Tim and Cheryl Broadbent, played by Sean Astin (Goonies, Lord of the Rings) and Samaire Armstrong (The O.C., Entourage) respectively - and their adoption of a lovely little baby girl, Mona. Only trouble is, Mona's biological father has just been released from prison and now he'll stop at nothing to be reunited with his daughter. What follows is a psychological game of cat-and-mouse, manipulations and intimidation, violence and the different degrees different people will go to in order to preserve and protect their families. 
Adopting Terror is laden with powerful performances that elevate the film. The seemingly ageless Sean Astin is a loving father and husband, a sensible protector who as the film progresses, struggles to keep himself together amid the mounting strain to his family. Astin is a perfect Everyfather - if you'll allow the term - and thus when he finds himself pushed to the brink, the experience is tangible and resonant. 
 Bottom line, Adopting Terror is a taut, well-paced, uncomfortably realistic thriller from set-up to payoff. It comes across simultaneously heartfelt, vicious, tense and suspenseful, and manages to mix in a few awesome, totally unexpected twists along the way to its pulse-pounding conclusion. 

UCLA Alumni Day panelist

Sean will be attending UCLA Alumni Day as a panelist at the "Life as a Movie: Living On and Off the Set" session, May 5.
Enjoy a freewheeling discussion as notable and award-winning actors and directors share their experiences, perspectives and anecdotes on balancing life and work, off screen and on the set. Find out how they manage raising families with busy shooting schedules that may take them far from home or keep them well into the night. Learn about their creative approaches to building and keeping relationships on and off camera.
More information here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sean to attend CollectorMania in UK

Sean will be a guest at the CollectorMania convention in Milton Keynes, UK, June 1-3, 2012.

For more information on the event, see their official web site, Facebook page and Twitter account.

Next race: Santa Monica Classic

Sean's next race will be the Santa Monica Classic 10K on Sunday, May 20, in the city's of Sean's birth, Santa Monica!

Details of the race here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hollywood Half Marathon photos

These photos were all posted by Sean on his twitter account.

Taken by Coach Milena Kellie around mile 7. It was a smoggy day!

Sean, Milena and other runner. They did not stop to take this!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hollywood Half results and expo pics

Here is Sean's time for the Hollywood Half Marathon, plus some photos from the Expo last evening! His time of 2:13:10 is much better than he'd hoped for after suffering Achilles tendonitis after the LA Marathon!

All results here

@theRunProject booth. Posted by @jonrankin

Sean and Hollywood Half director Ken Nwardike.
Posted by @jonrankin

Posted by @DearOdette

Posted by @sodiyum

Friday, April 6, 2012

Four great geeky fandoms collide! Nerds explode!

Jonathan Frakes, Jewel Staite, Ben Browder, Sean Astin
(Star Trek: The Next Generation, Firefly, Farscape, Lord of the Rings)
Posted by @JewelStaite

Trailer for Adopting Terror

If video not visible, watch here.

Busy day tomorrow: Hollywood Half & Adopting Terror!

Don't forget Sean will be running in the Hollywood Half Marathon Saturday, April 7. The 13.1 mile race begins at 6am PT at Universal Studios, Hollywood. Results will be posted as soon as they are available.


Also tomorrow, "Adopting Terror" premieres on the Lifetime Channel at 8pm ET. Check your local listings.

Sean attending C2E2 in Chicago next weekend!

Sean, in another last minute convention appearance, will be a guest at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, April 13-15, 2012, at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago!

The show is only a week away, so check out details at their website, Facebook page and Twitter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Samwise Gamgee wins Middle-earth March Madness!

Samwise Gamgee won's Middle-earth March Madness. Just a bit of online voting madness, but it's nice to see our favorite Hobbit win out over Rangers, Elves and Wizards! That's why they called him "Hope Unquenchable." :-D

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More Oz Comic Con photos

These great black and white images are from thehydrogenjutebox on Tumblr. Open in new window for full size.

Posted by Haley Turnbull on Facebook. More on site.
Too cute not to include! Posted by Finerfur on Tumblr.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Video of Sean's panel at Oz Comic Con

Sean discusses what it was like working on The Lord of the Rings during his panel at Oz Comic Con in Adelaide last weekend.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sean in Adelaide Day 3

The University of South Australia posted an article about Sean's appearance at Oz Comic Con.

Photo and article by Amy Louise Maynard
It was time for the Sean Astin panel. Remember that scene in Lord of the Rings when the Isengard army are rowdily rabble-rousing outside of Helm’s Deep? Okay, now picture those Orcs holding bottles of Coke and wearing jeans and bright t-shirts, and you get what it was like in the line-up for Astin. 
The crowd went nuts as Astin took the stage, waving and smiling. Even though Astin admitted that he’s an old hand at doing the convention circuit, it was still excellent to see that he was excited to be there and treated the fans with warmth and respect. He thanked people for their questions, made sure that said questions came from a mix of men, women and kids, and also made sure to thank the Comic-Con stage crew. 
The Lord of the Rings featured prominently in the Q and A session, as one would expect, but there were also snippets from Astin’s time on The Goonies, his theatre acting, and part in film Encino Man 
Even he had the crowd in stitches, Astin had the audience hanging on his every word as he spoke about how much he loved working on the cultural phenomenon that is the Lord of the Rings. As he recited part of Sam’s speech at the end of The Two Towers, you could have heard a pin drop. 
Over far too soon, Astin paid his respects to Adelaide and Cooper’s Pale Ale, and bid his breathless and cramped fans adieu.

Sunday saw Sean doing more autographs and photo ops. Here are a few posted by fans.

I want to know the story behind this one! Posted by @Stuman11

Posted by @AnnalieseWebb

Posted by @nicwoolhouse

Posted by @thunder_67au

Posted by JuliaPuff on Tumblr

Posted by Mitch Ross

Sean movie news: Adopting Terror & And They're Off

"Adopting Terror" will have a one-time theatrical showing Thursday, April 5, 11 am, at the Claremont 5 Theater in Los Angeles. The movie is directed by Micho Rutare and stars Sean Astin, Samaire Armstrong, Monet Mazur and Brendan Fehr with Michael Gross.

The movie then premieres on April 7 on Lifetime Channel and comes to DVD and Blu-ray September 11.


Ticket information from Fandango


Meanwhile, the DVD of horse-racing comedy "And They're Off" is now available for preorder on Amazon. It will be released on May 1.
This hilarious mockumentary centers on failed horse trainer Dusty Sanders (Sean Astin) whose career is on the brink. Given one more chance to train a Derby winning horse, Sanders must overcome the odds and his eccentric family and friends to return to the wine's circle. Laughs are aplenty out of the gate in this uproarious film in the vein of Best in Show and This Is Spinal Tap!
I will be posting a review of "And They're Off" later this month.