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Sean Astin Initially Auditioned for a Different ‘Stranger Things’ Part, but Was Too Bob-Like to Ignore

Bob Newby, superhero.

Stranger Things 2 Season 2 Episode 4 Sean Astin Winona Ryder

Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Sean Astin has emerged as the fan favorite of “Stranger Things 2,” but his role as Bob Newby, Superhero was far from assured. The “Rudy” and “Lord of the Rings” star originally auditioned for a different, smaller part — namely Murray Bauman, the conspiracy theorist/reporter whose suspicious turns out to be somewhat correct — but was simply too Bob-like.

“I got a call right away saying they thought it was fantastic, but they actually think you’re more right for another character, Bob,” he tells Variety. “I went back the next day and auditioned again for 10 minutes, and then I got a call saying they loved me for it.” Still, Astin says the show’s producers were somewhat hesitant to cast him for the simple reason that, as one of the stars of “The Goonies,” his presence in an ‘80s-set, nostalgia-laced series might have seemed a little on the nose.

Anyone who recalls the scene in which Bob says he hates scary movies will be amused by Astin’s admission that, when he first became aware of “Stranger Things,” he “thought it looked more like ‘Poltergeist’ or some kind of a thriller, and I don’t like those kinds of movies. I’m just a softie at heart, a scaredy cat.”

Read his full interview — which also touches on how enthusiastically fans have responded to Bob and his own binge-watching habits (or lack thereof) — here.

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