Sean Astin has starred in Rudy, which many people feel is the greatest sports film of all time, and The Lord of the Rings, which many people feel is the greatest trilogy of all time.
Tiki Barber’s favorite Astin movie? That would be The Goonies.
“Well,” Astin said on The Morning Show, “there’s no accounting for taste.”
All kidding aside, Astin, 43, has carved out a very successful acting career – in part because his parents were actors. His mother is Patty Duke, and his father is John Astin, who was the original Gomez on the 1960s television show The Addams Family.
“My mom and dad are famous actors,” Astin said. “I came out like Simba in The Lion King.”
Acting can be a fickle, funny business, but Astin’s parents never tried talking him out of it.
“My mother was all for it,” he said. “The only reason I got Goonies is because (my dad) worked with me for six hours on the audition. I’m very grateful to him for my career. But he did insist when I was in school that I was always subject to the same curriculum as the other students were. So if I went away for three months, when I came back, I had to be able to sit down at a desk and take the same tests that everybody else was taking and not lose a step. So that was his mandate. He’s the one who was really desperate for me to go to college, which is why I went to UCLA. I would say they were 100 percent encouraging (about my career), and my dad had a caveat of, ‘You need to have a formal education too.’”
Given Astin’s role in Rudy, it’s a good thing he went to UCLA – and not USC. Brandon Tierney said his favorite shot in that movie is Rudy running through the bowels of Notre Dame Stadium.
“When I got that movie, they put me in this workout regimen that was at the Notre Dame athletic center, where the football guys train . . . two hours a day and six days a week,” Astin said. “That was the most fit I’ve ever been in my life.”
That’s not to say Astin is out of shape. In fact, he’s running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. on October 26. It’ll be his seventh marathon, and he’s “determined” to finish in under four hours.
Astin is also starring in a new television series, The Strain, which premiered on FX in July.
“It’s a totally new take on vampires,” Astin explained. “Everybody’s kind of sick of vampires at this point, but Guillermo del Toro, the film maker, loves vampire lore, and he’s (giving) it (a) medical (twist). It’s not like your sweet guy with rippling abs and sunsets (where he) bites his fang into a beautiful girl. These are like violet, angry disgusting monsters – and it’s not for kids.
“Basically, (these vampires) come to New York. The one big bad vampire comes to New York on an airplane, lands at JFK, there’s 300 dead bodies, and the CDC is calling to figure out what is going on. It’s really really cool.”
It sounds like quite a series. Of course, the show could run for a decade or more and Astin would still be known to many as Rudy Ruettiger. Astin said he encounters a Rudy fan at least three times a day.
Astin was asked if he ever gets sick of that.
“No,” he said. “You got to be grateful for everything you get.”