Jan 10, 2016

Sean Astin

Speaking of John Astin, his adopted son Sean, born in 1971, was a reliable teen idol through the 1980s, with iconic roles in The Goonies (1985), White Water Summer (1987), and The War of the Roses (1989). (Meanwhile his brother Mackenzie was starring in The Facts of Life).

But Sean's gay subtexts began in earnest with starring roles in Memphis Belle (1990), a "boys alone" movie about a World War II airforce squadron (with Matthew Modine, Tate Donovan, and D. B. Sweeney).

 In the beefcake-heavy Toy Soldiers (1991), about boys alone in a private school.

In Where the Day Takes You (1992), as homeless drug addict Greg, who is partnered with Little J (Balthazar Getty).

And in Encino Man (1992), about college student Dave (Sean) and his slacker buddy Stony (Paulie Shore) unfreezing a cave man (Brendan Frasier) trapped in the ice.

In the late 1990s, Sean was mostly involved in boy-meets-girl-comedies and heterosexist actioners, but he returned to gay subtexts in a big way in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003): his Sam Gamgee was achingly in love with Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), in spite of the marrying-a-girl conclusion.

Today he is a little beefy, but he can still fill out a Speedo.

Although he is a supporter of gay marriage, Sean's only gay character, in  Stay Cool (2009), was a homophobic stereotype, a swishy hairdresser named Big Girl.