NEW YORK, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Sean Astin says he is pleased with how well fans and critics are receiving the last installment of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
"I would be lying if I said it didn't feel gratifying that people are noticing," the actor told UPI's Karen Butler when asked what he thought of the awards buzz surrounding "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and his performance as loyal hobbit Sam.
"It was, for me, an incredible kind of experience dramatically to have (director) Peter (Jackson) push me so hard and to have created an environment where the expectation for excellence is so high and to really feel like I gave my soul for this movie and for people to note that feels like it wasn't my imagination. That my thinking about the experience is validated in some way. So, that's meaningful," he said.
The film earned four Golden Globe nominations Thursday and was named best picture by the New York Film Critics earlier this week. The National Board of Review also lauded its actors as best ensemble cast.