'Stranger Things' Season 2: Sean Astin On His Role In Sequel, Mentoring Young Cast

Warning: This article may contain Stranger Things Season 2 spoilers. Stranger Things made a huge splash last year by successfully tapping into 80s nostalgia. The Duffer Brothers continued that theme when casting for Stranger Things Season 2, signing Sean Astin — who starred in iconic 80s film The Goonies — to appear alongside 80s mainstay Winona Ryder. Astin appeared at the Motor City Comicon this weekend, and sat down with the Detroit Free Press to spill some details on his Stranger Things Season 2 role, the kind-hearted Bob Newby. “Bob Newby works at Radio Shack,” Astin said. “He’s like a manager at Radio Shack, and he — I don’t know what I can say. They’ve published online that he’s Winona Ryder’s boyfriend.” When asked if his part in 1985’s The Goonies helped land him the gig in Stranger Things Season 2, Astin admitted that it almost kept him from landing the part. “What [the Duffer Brothers] said to me was — and I auditioned for it just like anybody coming off the chute would audition for it — and they said when they were deciding whether or not to offer me the part, they didn’t know if the fact that I was in Goonies would be a distraction. Because, you know, you want to be in the movie, you don’t want to be outside, referring to it. So I was intrigued by the fact that it was a perfect cultural tie-in but that that was not the point.” [Image by Netflix] One of the great things about Stranger Things is its extremely talented young cast, which includes Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Noah Schnapp (Will) and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven). Astin confirmed that Wolfhard, in particular, took the opportunity to seek him out and ask him about his lengthy Hollywood career while they were filming Stranger Things Season 2. “Well, you know, my mom is Patty Duke, and she’s a famous child actor, and so raising me as a child actor, she wanted to kind of right the wrongs she experienced as a kid, ” he said. “And I’m 46 now, so when you’re an older performer, and you interact with a younger performer, it’s sort of your responsibility to share insight if it’s wanted, and to just kind of lead by example. “Finn is smart as a whip, and he’s so sweet, and we had a lot of scenes together, and he wanted to hear stories. He wanted to know about Goonies, he wanted to know about Lord of the Rings, and once we got to know each other a little bit, he wanted to know how I did my career.” Astin also admitted that he’s the latest film actor to discover that working in television is more fulfilling on some levels than working in movies, especially given the quality of work currently being produced in the “Golden Age of Television.” [Image by Netflix] “Television now — and I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, I’m gonna go to a fiery place for saying this — but it’s almost better, from the actor’s perspective, than movies,” he said. “I mean the production value of Game of Thrones or any of those, when I think of Lord of the Rings, that was a landmark achievement of cinema and special effects, [but] Game of Thrones as a TV show is doing just as sophisticated, and even more developed stuff, than we did 15, 17 years ago. And, as an actor, you get to really be a character.” It’s unclear if Astin will appear in future seasons of Stranger Things, but the actor — who also appeared on FX’s The Strain — seems to think television is where it’s at right now, no matter the project. “I hope I get to keep doing it,” he said. Are you looking forward to seeing Sean Astin play Winona Ryder’s boyfriend in Stranger Things Season 2? Stranger Things Season 2 returns to Netflix on Oct. 31. [Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

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