Sean Astin

  1. Wil Wheaton, Stand By Me, 1985.    “We saw so many people. I can’t remember them all,” said director Rob Reiner of his finest movie. Well, Rob, you tested Astin, Stephen Dorff, Ethan Hawk and Rivert Phoenix, for the young Gordie Lachance – and got your high school buddy, Richard Dreyfuss, to voice the older, now a writer, narrating the drama. In Brent Lang’s 2016  Variety oral history, Wheaton (who has since penned several books), praised Reiner for finding four boys “who were the characters we played.” Wheaton was awkward, nerdy, shy – “really, really sensitive. ” River Phoenix was cool, really smart, passionate “and even at that age, kinda like a father figure to some of us.  Jerry O’Connell  was one of the funniest people I had ever seen in my life… before or since. And Corey Feldman was unbelievably angry… in an incredible amount of pain [with] an absolutely terrible relationship with his parents.” Astin, instead became one of The Goonies that year – and, later, better, a Hobbit called Sam in 2001. “We sent it to every single studio,” said Reiner. “Everyone turned it down.” Norman Lear put up the budget and Columbia’s new Brit-boss, David Puttnam, wept at a screening and released it.
  2. Stephen Dorf, The Power of One, Australia-France-US, 1991.     The Karate Kid In South Africa…  Astin and Ethan Hawke were also seen for the British orphan PK  in “a violent cartoon that trivialises apartheid,” said Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers.  What else from the the Kid’s writer and director team: Robert Mark Kamen and John G (and R for Rocky) Avildsen.  Somehow, Daniel Craig survived his debut and  become a superstar. 

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  2