NewsWire: Sean Astin Getting Some Oscar Buzz -

Sean Astin's turn as Hobbit Samwise Gamgee in 'Lord of the Rings' has earned him considerable Oscar buzz - January 18, 2004

Hobbits walked among us in New York City last weekend. Maybe "ran" is the more appropriate verb, since it often seemed as if Sean Astin and Elijah Wood of "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" were speeding from one morning talk show to another, surviving hit-and-run paparazzi shots and autograph requests along the way. They appeared onstage at Lincoln Center, commandeered a table at the New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner, where their movie was honored as 2003's best picture. And while all this was going on, the movie was adding to its $767 million worldwide box-office take, a success so blindingly huge that it threatens to obscure everything else in the pop-cultural zeitgeist.

So it's possible to characterize this most recent publicity tour as a victory lap for the final installment of Peter Jackson's triumphantly realized adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy trilogy. Then again, as Andy Serkis, who plays the malevolent, melancholy Gollum, bemusedly observed, it may not be over yet.

"Someone asked me once if there's been a single day when the phrase 'Lord of the Rings' hasn't been mentioned in my presence in the last five years," says Serkis, who plays Gollum in both "Return of the King" and its predecessors, "The Two Towers" and "The Fellowship of the Ring." "And the answer is no, there hasn't been a single day when that phrase doesn't come up. And I suppose now there'll be more of the same this year with openings, the DVDs and the awards."

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