‘The Goonies’: Sean Astin’s Mikey Breaks Character in 1 Scene

For ’80s kids, one of the most memorable movies that continue to stir feelings of nostalgia is The Goonies. Besides telling a great tale, the classic adventure comedy film launched the careers of multiple big-name actors who’ve grown up to become stars in their own right. Two of those performers are Sean Astin and Josh Brolin.

But one scene stands out for Astin, who broke character momentarily. Let’s take a look back at the film and the hilarious scene. 

What is the premise of ‘The Goonies’?

Josh Brolin and Sean Astin hold up a light to bones in a scene from the 1985 film 'The Goonies.'
Josh Brolin and Sean Astin in the 1985 film ‘The Goonies.’ | Warner Bros./Getty Images

Richard Donner directed The Goonies, released in 1985. He was one of the era’s biggest filmmakers. He’d later direct the Lethal Weapon series and had previously directed the Superman films. 

According to IMDb, The Goonies is about a group of friends longing to go on an adventure. They come across an old treasure map and set off on a quest to discover if the legendary One-Eyed Willy is in fact a real person.

Their adventure takes them through the dastardly Mama Fratelli’s restaurant before they reach the caves where a hidden treasure awaits. The film chronicles their attempts to reach the treasure before the creepy Mama Fratelli and her sons can get it. 

The film has achieved cult classic status. As with many ’80s films, people look back on The Goonies fondly as a marker of their childhood. It taps into every kid’s fantasy of finding hidden treasures. 

What roles did Sean Astin and Josh Brolin play in ‘The Goonies’? 

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The cast of The Goonies included actors who’d go on to play much bigger roles. They include:

  • Joe Pantoliano
  • Corey Feldman
  • Martha Plimpton
  • Robert Davi

The two biggest stars to emerge were Sean Astin and Josh Brolin. In The Goonies, Astin portrays the young Mikey, and Brolin plays his older brother, Brand. The two brothers are part of a larger gang that sets off on the treasure hunt.

The film launched both actors to more successful careers. Astin famously later starred in Rudy and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Brolin received critical acclaim for his role in No Country for Old Men and has become an A-lister headlining numerous big-budget films. 

The scene where Sean Astin breaks character

The Goonies stands out because of its larger-than-life characters. And that’s thanks to the actors behind every role. Sean Astin served as one of the cast’s anchors. But despite his talent and versatility as an actor, he’s still human. There’s one scene where he actually broke character for a moment and made a hilarious yet endearing mistake. 

According to Mental Floss, Astin accidentally called Josh Brolin by his real name in one scene. It occurs “in the scene after Chunk breaks the water cooler in the basement of the abandoned restaurant.” 

Though it might seem unbelievable that a flub like this made it into the film, it surprisingly doesn’t disrupt the scene much. It also speaks to the chemistry the cast had. For Astin and Brolin to be that comfortable around each other proves just how tight-knit they were. That comes through in the final performance. 

This scene’s imperfection is one of the many aspects that come together to make The Goonies a great cinematic work. To have resonated with as many fans as it has, the cast and filmmakers had to be doing something right.