Monday, March 22, 2010

There and Back Again, by Sean Astin

by Sean Astin (Author) Joe Layden (Author)There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale (Hardcover)I had really expected, when I picked up this book in the sale rack, to find it full of lots of juicy tidbits and insider info about the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, from the man who played Sam Gamgee. Unfortunately, more than half of the book was taken up with Sean just getting to the point in time where he had the opportunity to join the cast. Aside from the Rings trilogy, I've never been a big fan of Astin's. Not that I have anything against him, particularly, I'd just never seen any of the movies he'd starred in, such as The Goonies and Rudy, before I "met" him as Frodo's sidekick.
Sean's personal and internal struggles with his acting career and need to be behind the camera with his own production company really didn't satisfy what I was hoping for from this book. In the latter portion of the book, to be fair, he does spend a lot of time talking about the various personalities in the cast, and his relationships with them, as well as a few anecdotes about how the film was made, how they all survived being thrown together for eighteen months with few breaks in production, and his reaction to the surprising success at the box office of the three films.
He mentions at one point that he probably should have been diagnosed as ADD, and the way the book flits around from one subject to the next seems to prove the assertion. I'm sure Sean is probably a likeable guy and a talented actor, but his writing, even with a ghost, isn't all that great. If you can pick this tome one up for $2.99, like I did, and keep your expectations fairly low, you'll enjoy the journey.

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