‘Lord of the Rings’ Actor Sean Astin Discusses Christian Faith

By John Dere On August 7, 2013

Sean Astin, best known as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, recently discussed his Christian faith in a Beliefnet interview.

When asked whether or not he is a Presbyterian, Astin explained that he was actually baptized in his wife’s Lutheran church.

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“[I am] Lutheran, technically now, I think…My Christianity takes a long time to unpack but, basically, if you wanted to cut right to the judgment of it all, we were all baptized in my wife’s Lutheran church in Indiana,” Astin said.

In a discussion on Astin’s experiences with Judaism, the Lord of the Rings actor shared that his birth father, who is Jewish, encouraged him to pick a religion for the sake of community.

He is [Jewish], yeah,” the actor said. “[My father] said something interesting at one point when we were leading a somewhat agnostic existence. He just said “Pick something.” We said “What do you mean?” There are a lot of Jewish people in our community.”

“My daughter, when she was 13, she went through the Bat Mitzvah circuit (of her friends) which is an extraordinary thing to behold and I assumed that he meant pick Judaism,” Astin continued. “He said “Judaism, Christianity, Hindu, Muslim,” he goes “you need community. Pick something and stick with it.” So, I think we arrived at a Christian posture.”

When asked about his mother’s faith, the actor affirmed that his mother is Catholic.

“I think today she would probably consider herself a Catholic,” Astin shared.

“She’s had a really kind of tortured relationship (with the Church). I (remember) when my sister died. There’s this group of nuns that lived in a convent nearby. She insisted that they be there. So, you know, when you talk about self identifying versus how people practice versus the culture versus all these kinds of things I think my mom feels very comfortable with her Catholicism.”