John Astin, who played Gomez in the original Addams family TV show, has revealed he auditioned for the role of Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the rings film franchise.
Astin, who is now 92, said he “tested out for Gandalf a few times,” but the role eventually went to British actor Ian McKellen. Also starring in the films was Astin’s adopted son, actor Sean Astin, who played the character of Samwise Gamgee.
“The last test I took they gave me something from the second book and I studied it and came up with a good interpretation, but it wasn’t what Peter was at all [Jackson, director] and Franz [Walsh, screenwriter/producer] wanted,” John Astin explained in a new interview with The AV Club.
“I knew her well enough to say, ‘Hey, let me try to work on it and come back.’ You would have been receptive to it,” he continued. “But I thought about it, and Sean was trying to get in the movie too, and I… well, to tell you the truth, I didn’t want to spend a year and a half on a horse! So I just let it be.”
John Astin had previously appeared in Lord of the rings Director Jackson’s 1996 film The horrors.
Astin also spoke about his role on the iconic goth sitcom The Addams family, in which he starred as Gomez from 1964 to 1966. “It was fun doing the show,” he explained. “Most people ask me about it The Addams family, and it has really dominated my professional life. But we just did two years… and you know, after that it’s been on the air for more than 50 years! I really consider it lucky.”
For the past few decades, Astin has taught acting at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, but announced his retirement in an interview.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/john-astin-gandalf-lord-of-the-rings-b2077019.html Addams Family actor John Astin reveals he auditioned for Gandalf in Lord of the Rings