‘Rudy’ actor Sean Astin received audience and critical acclaim among moviegoers, fantasy fiction readers, and fans of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien for his portrayal of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ character Samwise Gamgee, friend to protagonist Frodo, played by Elijah Wood.
For the anniversary of the first film’s release, Astin spoke with Collider about the role and why he still enjoys discussing it with fans.
“I didn’t even know what Lord of the Rings was when my agent called me,” he admitted. “Would’ve been late spring of ’99. She’s like, ‘It’s the Lord of the Rings trilogy.’ I’m like, ‘What’s that?’ She goes, ‘The Hobbit. It’s The Hobbit.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ So that’s bad. But I went to the bookstore. And I went in there, [because] she said I was going to audition for Sam. So from the second I heard of the existence of these things, I heard the name Lord of the Rings and the character of Sam. So everything I’ve experienced from Lord of the Rings has been from Sam’s point of view.”
He continued, “So I feel like I could do a dissertation, or maybe I have, on Sam. But in terms of perspective about him, I mean, he’s so reliable. He’s so reliable in his ethics, in his choices, the choices of Master Samwise, but just as a literary character, he’s such a reliable literary character.”
“It’s reliable that he’s a devoted friend and never is compromised. So the story takes you in all these different places and all these different conflicts and all these … But the one thing that you can go back to and can have faith in is that at least there’s Sam by your side all the time. It’s just one thread of many to focus on. So I don’t think my perspective on that has changed,” he added.
Sean Astin would go on to win six awards for his portrayal of Sam in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, including Best Supporting Actor at the Saturn Awards for ‘Return of the King.’
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