Go Away With … Sean Astin

Sean Astin MNO-02803_Saeed Adyani

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
April 29, 2014

To some, Sean Astin is known as Patty Duke’s little boy. But for moviegoers who grew up with him, the 43-year-old actor is little Mikey from “The Goonies” or the plucky star of “Rudy.” And with his portrayal of Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, he became an international celebrity. Astin, who resides in Calabasas, Calif., with his wife and children, is one of the stars of the feature film, “Moms’ Night Out,” which opens on May 9. Fans may follow Astin on Twitter.

Q. What do you recommend that people do during their vacations?

A. That they put their cellphone in the hotel safe and wear sunscreen.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. The Yukon.

Q. What were the first trips you took as a child?

A. One of the earliest trips that I can barely remember was to New York from Los Angeles. My mom took my brother and me to Ixtapa, Mexico. She decided that she wanted to change hotels from the Club Med in Ixtapa to a resort in Los Hadas, so we drove through a monsoon over crab-infested streets. There were like 10 billion crabs! I remember we were driving and there was a cliff on the other side and cars behind us, so we drove over the crabs. It was really sad. But, we got to Las Hadas and it was the first place I ever saw a pool bar.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?

A. Look up. It might sound like a simple thing to say, but don’t have your face in a map or your phone or your stuff. I think most people get to wherever they think they need to get to and then they look up. Driving between the airport and train station, look up and see what’s around you.

Q. Where was a fun place to shoot a film?

A. We shot “50 First Dates” in Hawaii. We were in Oahu and stayed at the Kahala Mandarin Hotel. They had a little lagoon with dolphins in it, which was fine with us.

Q. Aside from location shooting, do you incorporate your travels into your work?

A. Yes! I have this political (radio) show (“Vox Populi”) and wherever I go there seems to be something relevant to the idea of the government. The other day I was in St. Louis and I went up to the (Gateway) Arch and did a little piece. And then I was in D.C. and got a shot of the Capitol Building behind me. Wherever I go, I can’t help but incorporate some of the local scenery or the people.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Disney. I have children and we live in Los Angeles. Enough said.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Florence.

Q. If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?

A. There have been so many. My mom took us on a trip to Alaska when we were kids. That was pretty spectacular. We took helicopters to the top of glaciers and flew on a seaplane and did some salmon fishing. Awesome.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. Los Angeles, my home, is a city I love. D.C., Chicago, Toronto, London.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?

A. In a weird way, Mexico City kind of reminded me of L.A. Obviously there’s a significant difference, but it’s sprawling, spread out and there’s lots of different stuff going on.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. St. Petersburg, Russia.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. I like the Four Seasons brunch in Philadelphia.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?

A. In New York, there are three dozen kinds of what I would call upscale, exotic pizzas.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. I try to make sure I know which gate to go to. I never prepare for trips. My point is that I usually know nothing, and that is both thrilling and stupid.

Q. What is your worst vacation memory?

A. When my wife and I first got together, we decided to travel across Europe. For the first leg of our trip, we got Eurorail passes. What we didn’t know was that you can get on any train, but you might not have a place to sit down because you need to reserve seats. So we spent 18 hours sitting on our luggage and in smoking cars.

Finally, at one point in Luxemburg, we walked into a car with a sleeper coachette and we pulled the shade down and just prayed that no one would say, “Hey, you’re in our spot.” We fell asleep and then we felt the train car move back and forth a little bit, and then a guy throws open the door and starts barking at us in whatever language they speak in Luxemburg while we looked at him stupidly. He then asked in maybe Russian, then Spanish, then French. And then finally he looked at us and said, “American? Your train’s down there.” So we pick up our bags and run and we realized that the car we were on had been uncoupled while we were sleeping and was on an inactive track. It makes for a good memory.

© 2014 JAE-HA KIM

Comments (1)

  1. Natasha N says:

    Been a big fan of his since Rudy..and I have a great Rudy story to tell you someday!

Join the Discussion

Psssst! Your E-mail address will not be published.

Name *

E-mail *