Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sean Astin: A Bit of the Shire Comes to Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sean Astin: A Bit of the Shire Comes to Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con

Article excerpt

Sean Astin is eager to see how St. Louis reacts to "Bob Newby, superhero."

The local Wizard World Comic Con will be his first since he played the sweetly sincere (yet doomed) boyfriend Bob on Netflix's "Stranger Things."

"'The Goonies' and 'The Lord of the Rings' have been the staples. I can't wait to see how much 'Stranger Things' has affected people," Astin, 46, said, talking by phone from Beverly Hills, Calif.

Even though the last movie in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy came out in 2003, $4 billion in sales means a lot of people know hobbit Samwise Gamgee.

"I don't think 'Lord of the Rings' will ever pass out of consciousness," says the man who played Sam, Frodo Baggins' loyal, valiant aide. "It's a classic."

And it's not just the movies that keep the con crowds interested in author J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world.

"It's a very literate group of people," he says. "These are people who read a lot. And the comic books have their own literary potency."

So Astin's fans seek those $50 autographs for a number of different reasons. He even says that kids bring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpacks for him to sign (he was the voice of Raphael in the 2012-17 TV series). Some fans get annoyed if photos of Astin in their favorite role aren't available.

He encourages them to bring their own favorite image if that is what they want him to sign. "I'll sign anything people bring as long as it's appropriate."

But this goonie/hobbit/ninja seems to genuinely look forward to hearing from fans.

"People are so happy to meet you. ... They tell me how much something meant to them. That's really special."

Sometimes they mention the determined football player Astin portrayed in "Rudy" or even his mother, actress Patty Duke, who died in 2016.

She knew that her work touched people, he says, but "she didn't get a constant drumbeat of people who really appreciated her," like a comic con provides, he says. …

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