Emily S. Whitten: Sean Astin at The National Press Club
Actor and radio host Sean Astin applied to become a member of The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on October 27 after speaking to a rapt audience of journalists and fans about his career and his political radio show, Vox Populi. Astin, most known to fans as Mikey in The Goonies, the title character in Rudy, and Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, started Vox Populi in 2012. Vox Populi, the “Voice of the ‘Occasionally Interested’ People,” is Astin’s vision of an arena for bi-partisan discussion about what are often hot-button issues in politics and media. As host, Astin, who has been long interested in and active in politics, moderates civilized discussions between guests with a wide variety of viewpoints, including Noam Chomsky; Representative Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Ben Shapiro, author of The People vs. Barack Obama; Cullen Hoback, director of the hit information privacy and collection documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply; and many more.
In speaking about his decision to create Vox Populi, Astin cited his mother actress Patty Duke’s time as a talk show host as one source of inspiration, stating that “a good vocabulary had been implanted in me at a young age, and that, combined with my mom’s ease and comfort dealing with issues of the day and social issues and being a public figure, and then being a union leader – something in the hard-wiring happened where I felt that I had the capacity to be able to think about issues and communicate in a way that was comfortable and easy and open for people, and to facilitate learning and social discourse.”
Astin, a “C-SPAN junkie,” went on to talk about his life-long interest in politics and the interaction of his position as a public figure with his desire to be involved in political discourse. He also discussed his career in the entertainment industry, and his charity work, including running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. on October 26. He answered several audience questions, and then closed by saying, ” I want to be a member of this Club, so…this is my field report from yesterday,” and reading a Facebook post he wrote about his experience running the Marathon. Immediately after the event, Astin enthusiastically submitted his application to join The National Press Club.
To view Sean Astin’s entire appearance at The National Press Club, click here.
And until next time, Servo Lectio!