Sean Astin reveals Peter Jackson’s most 'brutal' piece of 'Lord Of The Rings' direction

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2-min read
Sean Astin and Elijah Wood in Lord Of The Rings (New Line Cinema)
Sean Astin and Elijah Wood in Lord Of The Rings (New Line Cinema)

The Lord Of The Rings cast often talk about the bond that they formed during production on the hugely popular trilogy. This was sealed when they all decided to get matching tattoos to commemorate their time together.

Not every element of filming was so smooth sailing, though. Sean Astin, who portrayed Samwise Gamgee in all three films, recently revealed the most brutal criticism he received from director Peter Jackson, telling Cinemablend he simply said, “I just didn’t believe that,” after a particularly weak piece of acting.

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Astin admits that he was left in shock at this put-down, even comparing it to “a Mortal Kombat death blow.” But while Astin was a little upset by Jackson’s remarks, which he insists weren’t meant to be so brutal, he is the first to admit that his comments were “true.”

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“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."

The cast and crew of "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King," winner for Best Motion Picture, Drama with Peter Jackson in the centre (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
The cast and crew of "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King," winner for Best Motion Picture, Drama with Peter Jackson in the centre (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

As you’d expect, Astin only had kind words to say about Jackson, even calling the above comments “a perfect piece of direction,” as it immediately made him “focus harder.”

This incident was clearly a rarity, as Astin said Jackson was “a man of few words,” who would usually be “performative” if he wanted an actor to perform a scene in a certain way.

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“He can act things out, and he's very eloquent and so forth. But 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.'"