#STORY11 :: Sean Astin

The actor Sean Astin will always be “Mikey” the leader of a band of adventurous kids who found pirate treasure in the enormously successful 1980s popular classic, The Goonies.  He will forever be remembered for portraying the brave and loyal Samwise Gamgee in the groundbreaking and universally acclaimed The Lord of the Ringstrilogy.  Yet, the film for which he is singularly identified, tells the story of the American working class dreamer, Rudy.  It is his indomitable will that makes Rudy great, and Sean Astin’s portrayal has been lauded not only by critics, but also countless teachers, coaches, athletes, and others for capturing peoples imaginations, encouraging them to Work Hard and Dream Big.

 

 

  • ⁃ Sean
    • You always want to feel like you’re doing something that matters.
  • JR
    • Every person in this room is responsible for telling a story
    • What is it like to be responsible to be in a film that is far larger than you?
  • Sean
    • I wasn’t so fixated on how the outside world was going to take it.
    • There were hundreds of people working on this film. Everyone was an expert at what they did.
    • It was constant motion and activity. Everywhere there were just world-class artists whose work won’t necessarily be known by the world. But what we were working on was really special and bigger than ourselves.
  • JR
    • One of the things I’ve learned from Sean is to take seriously what I’m doing.
  • Sean
    • My new film Number the Stars.
    • It is a story about 3 million Lutherans helping their family and friends and neighbors in Europe, and be proud to know that they did something.
    • This story is a Newberry Award Winning book.
    • It is our passion project.
    • We’ve been wondering what we’re going to do.
    • We went looking specifically at Newberry Award Winners.
    • We found Number the Stars. It is very empowering. It is scary but it is meant for children.
    • It is about the nature of bravery, and how even when there is danger you know the right thing to do, and you just have to do it.
  • JR
    • We talked this morning about how you are approaching this film. You knew you wanted to create something like this, in a certain way. Why would you step back and take a risk to create this thing?
  • Sean
    • We’re raising 100% of the equity of the film before we do anything. This requires a leap of faith. My commitment to doing it this way was thinking of is the creative process.
    • The journey requires all the discipline and sensitivity of an artist.
    • I’m willing to fail and do it this way rather than compromise my integrity. It isn’t a compromise just for me, but everyone who is touched by it.
  • JR
    • Is it possible to create something lasting and meaningful for the world without risk?
  • Sean
    • Someone has probably done it.
    • But not usually.
    • There is risk.
    • When you invest your time and money doing something you want people to appreciate what you’re doing.
    • There is a risk that what you want to happen, doesn’t happen.
    • I see people who do some amazing piece of art. What is the risk? Well this piece of art has to be transported by plane. It could break. The piece of art itself is vulnerable.
  • JR
    • You were moved a while ago about human trafficking.
    • The art creating moving people to an end.
    • It is our intention to provoke young people to feel a sense of confidence in doing the right thing for others.
    • We want to create an experience that will empower people to be social activists.
    • Artists thrive when they feel like they can make a difference.
    • If you can process ideas and feelings in such a way that moves people then you are contributing to our species.
    • I love that we’re making a fiction that celebrates that spirit inside of every human being and points people to the goodness that is in us.
    • You can have 1,000 volunteers show up, but if you don’t have work for them, then it is pointless.
  • JR
    • When you create meaningfully, you will fail. But what I’ve learned is that you gotta try again.
  • Sean
    • Liability is the biggest impediment to creativity.
  • JR
    • Sean you are consistently trying to push through those liabilities.
    • What is one of your favorite moments from all these movies you’ve done?
  • Sean
    • A little independent film that no one has seen.
    • In the movie the director hires this guy who works in an office, but he decided to audition.
    • This director hires this guy as the main character.
  • JR
    • one quote from a film?
  • Sean
    • “In the great tales, the onse that really matter, are the ones that don’t give up, and keep going.” “There’s some good left in the world and its worth fighting for.”
  • JR
    • you are here to point to that good. Sean is committed to the same kind of good that you are.
  • Sean
    • I love that all of you are here. I love this place. Thank you.

 

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