Sean Astin, the actor who played “Mikey Walsh” in “The Goonies,” has called on the movie’s rabid fans to help save the Goonies house from the fans themselves.
“My name is Sean Astin. I played Mikey in ‘The Goonies.’ And I want y’all to respect the dang house,” he said in an interview with The Daily Astorian.
Just as the brave Goonies characters fought to rescue the house from greedy developers, so should the movie’s legion of devotees help save the Astoria house from people who would literally trespass against it.
Above all, fans should respect the privacy of Sandi Preston, the woman who has owned the world-famous house since 2001, he said.
On his Facebook page Friday, Astin weighed in on the ordeal surrounding the Goonies house. Hundreds of movie fans have been approaching the private home almost every day this summer, and Preston has decided to close her property to Goonies visitors, draping it in blue tarp.
Though most fans treat Preston’s home with reverence, a fair share have been downright nasty.
In recent years, the crush of fans has overwhelmed the Uppertown neighborhood where scenes from the film were shot, resulting in theft, littering, vandalism and other unneighborly conduct. Preston has asked the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce and the city to help curb the relentless tide of tourists.
“She needs room to (breathe) from adoring fans and tactless and insensitive trespassers,” Astin wrote.
Asked why he issued his plea to Goonies enthusiasts, Astin said, “I think I was in a position to have an impact on this story. Everybody, of course, understands the importance of courtesy,” he said. “But sometimes we, the public, don’t often behave properly.”
Sometimes leadership is required, he said, to encourage people to “tap into the better part of ourselves.”
Astin, 44, lives in Los Angeles and has starred in other beloved films, including “Rudy” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Attempts by The Daily Astorian to interview Preston have been unsuccessful.
‘Something has to give’
At the time of the interview Friday, Astin’s appeal had already reached a quarter million people. The vast preponderance of comments agree with him, he said. And he hopes that attitude of understanding reaches the people who have so far failed to be respectful.
Preston, he pointed out, has gone so far as to open her home to Goonies fans. “That kind of generosity needs to be reciprocated,” he said.
No longer, however, is the problem limited to fans leaving cigarette butts and beer bottles after loitering about the property. The popularity of the film, Astin said, “has grown so much something has to give.”
Astin said there are probably ways for Preston, the city and possibly Warner Bros. to come together and work out a solution in which everyone wins. Perhaps the Goonies house could one day become a museum or a for-profit venture, he said.
His Facebook message asks Goonies producer Steven Spielberg and director Richard Donner to “help establish an appropriate tourist outpost in concert with the city.”
But, right now, a private resident owns the home, someone who has helped carry the spirit of the movie into the next generation, and who deserves to sleep comfortably and live her life in peace, he said.
“I absolutely love how much the movie has grown in the hearts of people,” Astin said. “I think it’s awesome for people to make a trip to see, not just the house, but the places where we filmed.”
He said he would not want to diminish that feeling for people. And he recognizes how much time, effort and money it takes for Goonies fans be near the site of their cherished childhood movie.
“I recognize all that,” he said. “All I’m saying is that it’s important to be respectful.”