‘LOTR’ star Sean Astin hits DC for Awesome Con

June 13, 2024 | (Jason Fraley)

WASHINGTON – He starred in “Lord of the Rings,” “Rudy” and “The Goonies.”

Now, Sean Astin hits Awesome Con all weekend at the Washington Convention Center.

“I was here last year and I came back because it was aptly named Awesome Con,” Astin tells WTOP. “People around DC and Virginia and everywhere that came in, it was just a family affair. People were dressed up and just having a ball.”

Astin joins a celebrity guest lineup that includes William Shatner (“Star Trek”), Ralph Macchio (“Karate Kid”), Judith Hoag (“Ninja Turtles”), David Yoast (“Power Rangers”), Brian O’Halloran (“Clerks”), Dana Snyder (“Squidbillies”), Emma Caulfield (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Kristin Bauer (“True Blood”) and WWE Champion Seth Rollins (listen to our chat with Shatner here).

So which role is Astin asked about the most at these Awesone Con conventions?

“You would think it would be Samwise Gamgee, but it’s actually ‘The Goonies,'” Astin says. “I would say more people talk to me about ‘The Goonies’ and is there going to be a ‘Goonies’ sequel and ‘Goonies’ was my childhood.”

Astin was still a child actor when he starred in the 1985 classic, directed by Richard Donner (“Superman”) and written by Steven Spielberg (“E.T.”) and Chris Columbus (“Harry Potter”).

By the next decade, he had created one of the most inspirational sports movies ever in “Rudy” (1993), which recently joined his mother Patty Duke’s “The Miracle Worker” (1962) among the AFI’s Top 100 Most Inspirational Movies.

“There’s a line in the movie, ‘Having dreams is what makes life tolerable,'” Astin says. “You set your goal, you set your dream, you decide what your ambition is. If you want to learn a language, if you want to travel somewhere, if you want to have kids, whatever it is, fight for it.”

Astin fought for it in his acting career and, at the turn of the millennium, landed the role of a lifetime in Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (2001-2003).

“I don’t think that I even conceptualized 15 years later … people just binge-watching the movies. They’ll come up and they’re bleary-eyed and they’re like, ‘I just watched the whole trilogy yesterday,’ and you’re like, ‘That’s 12 hours!'” Astin says. “They’ll ask you to do a line from the movie — ‘There’s some good left in this world, Mr. Frodo’ — and you do that while you’re holding someone’s hand, and they’ll burst into tears.”

This weekend is your chance to “burst into tears” as you meet Astin in person.

“There’s no expectation that you cry,” Astin jokes, “but it’s entirely possible that you say something that’ll make me cry.”

June 13, 2024 | Sean Astin chats with WTOP's Jason Fraley (FULL INTERVIEW) (Jason Fraley)
June 13, 2024 | (Jason Fraley)

Click here for Awesome Con ticket information.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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