×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sean Astin Talks ‘Stranger Things’: ‘Bob Newby Was Tailor-Made for Me’

Sean Astin has been a familiar face to millions for more than 30 years, but his turn as Bob Newby on season two of “Stranger Things” took the “Goonies” and “Rudy” star to a new level of fame with the younger generation. In a show filled with interdimensional monsters and telekinetic preteens, Bob stood out as the everyman who stepped up in the biggest way when it mattered most.

Astin: “I attend a lot of regional Comic-Cons all over the world, and I started hearing about this show within days after it premiered. People would come up to me and tell me I had to see this show because it was ‘The Goonies,’ and it was the ’80s all over again, and how much it reminded them of the movies that were done then.

“I got an email from an agent saying, ‘There’s an audition for you for “Stranger Things” if you’re interested.” I looked at my wife and said, ‘Huh, that’s not a coincidence.’

“The first thing I did was binge the whole first season, which was brilliant, then I read the scenes. They wanted me to audition for the investigative reporter character, the conspiracy theorist character. And I loved that character and my kids helped me work on the scenes. So I did the audition and I really enjoyed it. I thought I did a good job. They called me when I got home and said they really liked it, but there’s another character they want you to come back in for. I thought, ‘OK, this show is a galactic success and they want to be very careful about what they’re doing so the least I can do is go back in and try to show them what they’re looking for.’

“It was very clear prepping Bob Newby that it was tailor-made for me. I remember one of the scenes was talking to Will in the car and trying to encourage him to stand up to the monster in his nightmares.

“Noah [Schnapp] was performing in the hospital bed when Will is sort of possessed by the monster [and] watching his absolute commitment to what he was doing seemed like something you would see in a very mature, adult performer. His just raw emotion really took me back.

“Winona [Ryder] and I knew each other, sort of grew up alongside each other in the industry. Then we did a little movie together like a decade ago. …Whenever we were on set together, there was just this warm, good, positive just enjoyment of being around each other. And I think it comes through on-screen too.

“For the first few episodes I was like, ‘Are you sure you wanna kill off Bob?’ … Because Bob came across so likable, I think they kept him around for a while. And I thanked them for letting him do something heroic. But I thought maybe he’d stop them from getting hit by a bus or something. I didn’t know he’d go totally Sigourney Weaver in ‘Aliens.’ I really enjoyed that drama and suspense in the end of that character’s storyline.

“Your job when you step onto a moving freight train is just not to do anything to derail it. So I was relieved that my inclusion in it was well-received.”

More TV

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: Rabbit in the

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of Feb. 11: 'Masked Singer' Easily Tops Competition

    Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was the highest-rated broadcast show of the week in both Live+Same Day and Live+3. For the week of Feb. 11, the unscripted singing competition series went from a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 to a 3.4, a rise of 42%. In total viewers, the show went from 7.8 million viewers to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content