The Big Issue: This might not be a long answer, but tell us everything you are allowed to about Bob Newby and Stranger Things 2…
Sean Astin: It is not hard to tell you everything. Bob Newby [pictured above] works at Radio Shack. Do you know about Radio Shack? It gained its prominence in the 1980s, and if you needed a soldering iron or any coaxial cable, that is where you went. Bob is a geek and a thoughtful, kind guy. He comes in as a love interest for Winona Ryder’s character, Joyce. That might be all I can say.
Casting you opposite Winona Ryder, who also achieved fame at a young age, is many a film fan’s dream…
We love each other. Winona is just fantastic – I just feel like putting my arms around her and giving her a big hug. Bob feels protective of her in the show, I feel protective of her in life. If you say something bad about Winona in front of me, we’re going to have a row.
What was the Strangest Thing that occurred during filming?
There was a storm that was unlike any I have ever been in. The lightning went on for six or seven hours. It was like being inside one of those electrical balls you put your hand on, where the electric light nodes are attracted to your hands. You know the things? We were filming in the Byers house – when we stepped off the stage, we just sat there in the rain. Even when I got back to the hotel, I sat up all night long watching this spectacular lightning storm.
Films like E.T., The Goonies – they are all films in which the kids are the heroes, going on the quest. Why is that style of storytelling so compelling?
There is a feeling a lot of adults have: “There is only so much you can do.” But kids don’t have that. They see what is right, see what is wrong, and act on it. You do whatever you have to do to help your friends.
I have grown to hesitate before luxuriating in the anger, because I have realised it only breeds more anger
Has the way that young people are looked after in show business changed since you started out?
There will always be abuse and so it must be guarded against vigorously. That said, I’d like to believe that it is a little bit better. The shadows aren’t as big. They are there, and the corners are horrifying. You see lots of examples of children who grow up and end up in really dire circumstances with drugs and alcohol and all kinds of problems. This time is not immune.