MOVIE NEWS – In a new memoir, actor Sam Neill recalls the marketing of the original Jurassic Park films and how it damaged the morale of the film’s main characters.
Sam Neill says the original marketing of Jurassic Park frustrated the film’s cast. Based on Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel of the same name, the film was adapted for film in 1993 by Steven Spielberg. It is currently the 43rd highest-grossing film of all time.
In his new memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?, Neill recalls how the cast of Jurassic Park felt humiliated by the film’s marketing, as Universal wanted to prove that Spielberg could make a blockbuster without “movie stars”.
Neill said the actors were “annoyed” that the studio said they were not “real stars”. Especially when considering the long and distinguished careers of Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough. Read Neill’s full comments below:
“I was racked by the usual insecurities. Why me? I’m certainly not an action hero. The idea of me going hand to hand with Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger is simply absurd. I’m more of the ordinary guy on screen. If indeed I was supposed to be that sort of action guy, I was already, I think, forty-five years old, and as always had left things about ten or fifteen years too late.
The impostor syndrome would be enhanced later on when we were out and about promoting the movie. The more or less official line from Universal Pictures was that, with ‘Jurassic Park,’ they had set out to prove that they, with Spielberg, could make huge blockbusters without ‘movie stars’. This was true enough, but I think it slightly irked us, the actors, to be reminded from time to time we were not real ‘stars’. It also rather overlooked the well-established and highly respected careers of Laura, Jeff and Dicky.
As it turned out, we know now that Harrison Ford turned down the part, so the ‘no movie star’ plan may be not entirely true. I emphasize the word ‘slightly’, because we were delighted to be working with Steven more than anything. And to be working on something that would be absolutely groundbreaking, as it turned out.”
Although Universal has tried to mischaracterize the importance of the lead actors, Neill, Dern and Goldblum have since become pop culture icons for their work in Jurassic Park.
The trio even reunited for the third Jurassic World film in 2022. Dr Grant and Dr Sattler’s three-decade romance could finally be fulfilled. While Universal may not have considered the Jurassic Park actors stars at the time, there is no doubt that all four have become massive Hollywood stars in the decades since.
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