Women's Weekly
Sean Astin (Sam)

The Evening Post
August 2, 2000

Hobbit Life Fast, Fattening -- Actor
Garry Maddox

Giant Hobbit feet are comfy to wear -- but difficult if you have to run up and down rocky shale on mountain tops, one of The Lord Of The Rings stars has revealed.

American actor Sean Astin, who plays the Hobbit Frodo's sidekick Sam, discussed Hobbit feet, putting on weight for his role and his family's stay in Wellington, in an interview posted on an American website yesterday.

Astin, 29, son of actors Patty Duke and John Astin, said he had to do a lot of running and tramping wearing Hobbit feet. "They're form-fitting, they're comfortable, they're durable. But at the same time they're cumbersome. It's a challenge running up and down uneven terrain or on the rocky shale on the tops of these mountains we get helicoptered to," he said.

Astin said he had to put on weight to play Sam. "(Director) Peter (Jackson) is forever suggesting I have more food. "A little more shepherd's pie for Mr Astin, please. Another dessert for Sean." . . . I can't wait to get back to LA (Los Angeles) and break into Jane Fonda workouts."

Jackson was described as a very hands-on director. "He literally grabs the camera, throws it on his shoulder and lays down in the dirt or jumps on to a stand. He's forever as dirty as anybody else on the set," Astin said.

The actors were also encouraged to direct their body doubles to make sure their posture and body language and movement were the same.

Astin said he and his family were spending a long time in New Zealand and enjoying it.

"My daughter is in school here in New Zealand, so that's great . . . I'm glad my daughter's starting to sound like a Kiwi."

* Several of The Lord Of The Rings stars attended the opening of the play Blowing It at Bats Theatre yesterday. The stars, including Wood, British actors Sir Ian McKellen and Bernard Hill, were invited by the play's director and co-writer Stephen Sinclair.

Sinclair is a scriptwriter on The Lord Of The Rings.