Lord Of The Rings Star Sean Astin Recalls A "Brutal" Direction From Peter Jackson

The Samwise Gamgee actor says Peter Jackson delivered a "Mortal Kombat death blow" to him over one scene in particular.


Lord of the Rings actor Sean Astin has recalled a "brutal" conversation he had with director Peter Jackson while shooting one scene in particular in the fantasy trilogy. Speaking to CinemaBlend, Astin said Jackson delivered a "Mortal Kombat death blow" to him in one scene when he just wasn't getting it right.

This was a particularly impactful and significant moment for him, Astin said, because Jackson is known for being stoic and quiet on set.

"On a day-to-day basis, Peter Jackson is basically like a quiet guy. He sort of lets the work do the talking, and his direction was always very minimal. Mostly his direction would be, 'Let's do it again.’ … But he came up to me at one point and he looked at me and he said, 'I just didn't believe that,'" Astin said. Oh my God, he might as well have--it was like a Mortal Kombat death blow. It was like he ripped my hair off of my body, and my spine came out with. … [But] it was, it was true. It was true that I was not invested, that I was out of it. I was out of the character. I was out of the mood. I was out of... I just wasn't there."

Astin didn't share any specifics on the scene in question, but Cinema Blend suggested it might have been for a scene in The Fellowship of the Ring.

While it might have been difficult to get this criticism from Jackson, the director was right to give it to Astin, the actor said.

"It was brutal. And he didn't mean it to be brutal. He meant it to land. He didn't mean for it to be brutal, but it was a perfect piece of direction," he said. "And he was absolutely right. And it made me be better. It made me focus harder."

The Lord of the Rings is back in the spotlight with a new 4K UHD trilogy that launches on December 1--early reviews are very positive.

In other Lord of the Rings news, HarperCollins is releasing a new Middle-earth book that will, among other things, explain who can grow beards.

Amazon is currently filming a very expensive TV show based on the fantasy series in New Zealand, while there are multiple Lord of the Rings video games in the works, including an MMO and a title featuring Gollum.

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