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Sean Astin Says Daughters Crave Spotlight

04/15/2009 at 06:00 PM ET

Michael Tullberg/Getty I

While he at first wasn’t entirely comfortable with the notion of his three children pursuing careers in entertainment, Sean Astin admits his stance has softened. Daughter Alexandra, 12, dabbled in community theater before making her big screen debut in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and now Sean says his middle daughter — 6 ½-year-old Elizabeth — has gotten the acting bug as well. He tells Time Out New York Kids,

“Elizabeth just figured out what I do for a living. I was maybe three years older than she is when I figured out what my parents did. Right now she’s on a I-want-to-make-movies kick, which I think is hilarious, and if I can help her I will. We’ll just see how everything goes as they get older.”

The 38-year-old actor and his wife Christine acquired the rights to the Newbery Medal-winning book Number The Stars; While they at first envisioned the project as one which would include the kids, they’ve aged beyond the characters they would have depicted. Nonetheless, Sean says they’re moving forward with their screenplay adaptation. “I figure it’s easier to raise money for family films,” he observes. “Obviously, being a family guy, it sort of fits with my values, my worldview and so forth.” That’s also one of the reasons Sean signed on to the Disney Channel’s new animated series Special Agent Oso, for which he voices the title character — leading to some interesting feedback from his youngest daughter, 3 ½-year-old Isabella.

“I said, ‘That’s Daddy,’ and she looked at the screen then looked back at me like I was as dumb as a box of rocks and said, ‘That’s Oso, not Daddy.’”

When the family is in New York, Sean says they enjoy skating in Central Park and visiting the American Museum of Natural History. He also loves taking the kids to musicals, noting that his mom — famed actress Patty Duke — is currently starring in Wicked, in San Francisco. “We saw it twice in New York, once in London and once in L.A,” he explains. “I think I get ‘good daddy’ points for facilitating all that.” Speaking of Patty, her well documented struggle with bi-polar disorder continues to have an impact on Sean, who notes that the condition is hereditary in nature. “So definitely, I watch myself and I watch my girls,” he says.

“It’s not an exact science, figuring out what’s a personality trait and what may be a chemical imbalance. As parents, we worry about everything — their spiritual, mental and physical growth, their development. We worry every single second.”

Source: Time Out New York Kids

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Kayla on

The kids are beautiful….I still see him as Mikey from Goonies.lol

Shawna on

Who is the 4th child in the picture?

Natasha on

LOL CBB you gotta stop posting that picture! ;) The girl in the purple dress is not one of the Astin girls. :)

I love hearing about Sean and his family, my favorite has always been little Elizabeth.

Jane on

LOL @ the comment about his daughter looking at him like he was dumb! Kids do that so well don’t they?

Nona on

i pretty much just discovered patty duke last night! I woke up at 2am, unable to fall back asleep, so i turned on the tv, and The Patty Duke show was on a new digital broadcast channel I receive. afterwards, i googled her, and saw that sean and mackenzie astin are her kids.

i know she’s really famous, and i’d heard her name before, but i didn’t even know what she looked like.

so, funny that the first post I see on the cbb since then is about sean astin!

Sadie on

I really like his kid’s names.

I remember reading an interview of Sean’s a few years ago where he said that he picked normal names for his kids because he didn’t feel like he was famous enough to pull of names like Bango or Pizza. I always think about that interview every time I see a picture of him with his family.

Leah on

My son LOVES Oso….I think its a fantastic show and a great role-model for kids. Bravo Sean for picking a show to work on that kids can aspire to (even if it is a funny looking bear)

Liz on

the fourth child (in purple) looks like Ryan Newman who plays the young Miley Stewart in Hannah Montana

Kat on

I just did some research and you are right – it IS Ryan Newman. =)

judew on

“Isabella, Princess of Asturias” in English is in German “Elisabeth von Spanien”.

So they have two daughters with first names that in Spanish history represent one same person.

judew on

What I wanted to write is that “Isabella” is actually one of the many diminutives of the name of “Elizabeth”.

It doesn’t matter I guess, but I wouldn’t have given those names to two of my daughters.

P on

Number the Stars is such a wonderful book…i read it growing up as a child and loved it! and i still think of sean astin as mikey from the goonies too!! his daughters are precious!!

MammaDucky on

Cute family. I love the girls’ names. I nearly named my twins Isabella and Elizabeth.

Gina on

I never knew Sean Astin was Patty Duke’s son!! Wow. And i loved the Patty Duke Show on Nick at Nite.

Judith on

That is really neat to see all his kids. Love Patty Duke.

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