Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sean on HBO's Newsroom Rudy reference

Two episodes ago, The Newsroom used the jersey speech from Rudy in an episode of the HBO drama. Today [August 3] Rudy himself was at the Television Critics Association press tour with a new animated show. Sean Astin provides a voice in Nickelodeon’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, so after his panel we asked him what he thought of the Rudy reference on The Newsroom. 
“Loved it, thought it was great,” Astin said. “The funny thing is that that scene that they’re depicting in it is actually one of the pieces in the movie that is a dramatic license, but it’s got that emotional resonance. Aaron Sorkin is my favorite television and film writer/producer/creator ever and he’s always been really nice to me. We’ve had interactions together, but the show is exactly what you want to have now to look critically at that business which has such an impact on American culture. So to see him do that show and have another huge success is not surprising, but gratifying. Then to see them use Rudy to help make an emotional point, I felt it humanized Jeff [Daniels]’s character and that made me happy.”

In Rudy, Astin played Rudy Ruettiger, a real life underdog who dreamed of playing for Notre Dame. Though he wasn’t big and strong, his teammates banded together and gave him a chance to wear a uniform and play on the field.  Sorkin did not consult Astin or alert him to the episode. Astin found out the old fashioned way. 
“The Twitterverse,” he said. “I heard about it through the Twitterverse. One of my fans tweeted a link that had just the bookends. I haven’t actually seen that episode yet. I’m trying to go in order of the show, but the second I saw two frames of that, I knew exactly what they were going for. Then the scene at the end when he goes down and they’re lined up, I’m an idealist and I just love it. Happy for [director] David Anspaugh, [screenwriter] Angelo Pizzo and also [composer] Jerry Goldsmith the composer of Rudy. All three of those people really designed that moment in the movie, and I’m not in it so it doesn’t directly relate to me but I think it’s fantastic.” 
In a career that includes Lord of the Rings and The Goonies, Astin says Rudy is the film he hears about the most. “In my life everybody’s always talking about Rudy anyway but to have the rest of the country talking about it for a minute too is fun.”

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