In 1993 Jurassic Park broke box office records worldwide and
took Sam Neill from marginal Hollywood
player to massive star in the blink of a T -Rex's eye. He's since picked and
chosen what he wants, maintaining a presence both in Hollywood and here at home with films like Children of the Revolution and The Dish. But last year he chose to step
firmly back into eye of the storm when he reprised his role of palaeontologist
Dr Alan Grant in Jurassic Park III.
He explains why to DVD Now.
DVD Now: Are you as
brave in real life as your character, Dr. Alan Grant?
Neill: Not remotely. There were some things we had to do in
the course of making this film that terrified me. At one point they dropped us
from 50 feet into the water and I don't like heights and that was a long way
down. I hated that.
DVD Now: Are you
Neill: No, not really. When you're doing this sort of thing
for a living anyway. My job takes me all over the world, I do all kinds of
different films, so adventure seems to find me. And I don't go out seeking
adventure because there's enough of it already. My idea of a good time is
staying at home reading a book.
DVD Now: A book about
Neill: No, not about dinosaurs.
DVD Now: You played
the same character in the first Jurassic Park. How was it playing the same guy again?
Neill: This is the first time I've done a part twice, I was
never really completely convinced in my own mind as to whether I was absolutely
right in the first film. I always felt that I could've done a little bit
better. So when the opportunity came to play the part again I thought, let's
have a little review of what I did and see if we can make this better. And I'm
more happy with my performance in this one, I think it is more convincing and
sits more easily in the film.
DVD Now: What about
comparing the two movies. How were the experiences different?
Neill: This is much more of an action film than the two
previous films. It was much more of a physical film to make, very physical and
that placed severe demands on actors, certainly on me being the oldest member
of the cast.
DVD Now: Do you think
that because the novelty factor of the dinosaurs has faded, that the film has
to offer more on the adventure and character side?
Neill: I think that's right. It's a different sort of film.
This is much more of a full-blown action film. From the moment the action
starts it's an adrenaline rush from ten minutes in to the end.
DVD Now: Talking
about the physical demands, did you train to get in shape for the film?
Neill: I was pretty fit actually which is a good thing,
because you feel better for it. I vowed to stay fit but at the end I haven't
done one piece of exercise since. So I am as flabby as I ever was. But I'll
turn a new leaf again, one of these days.