Sam Neill Says 20-Year Age Difference with Jurassic Park Costar Laura Dern ‘Never Occurred’ to Him

Sam Neill Says 20-Year Age Difference with Jurassic Park Costar Laura Dern ‘Never Occurred’ to Him

Published May 23, 2022
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Laura Dern is reuniting with Sam Neill on the big screen nearly 30 years after first starring together in Jurassic Park.

The Academy Award winner, 55, told The Sunday Times that the nearly 20-year age difference between herself and Neill, 74, “felt completely appropriate” in the 1993 film, during which she was 23 and he was 42.

“I am 20 years older than Laura!” Neill said. “Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady! It never occurred to me until I opened a magazine and there was an article called ‘Old Geezers and Gals.’ People like Harrison Ford and Sean Connery acting with much younger people. And there I was, on the list. I thought, ‘Come on. It can’t be true.’ “

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“Well, it felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill. And it was only now, when we returned in a moment of cultural awareness about the patriarchy, that I was, like, ‘Wow! We’re not the same age?'” Dern added.

Neill also recounted being confused by director Steven Spielberg’s choice to cast them together.

“Let me talk for Laura, because this is what men do in the patriarchy,” he joked. “Laura was a tender age. I’m guessing … 23? And she was already an exciting actor — she had done David Lynch films. It was no surprise she was asked. But I was completely baffled to be called by Steven. I didn’t get it.”

Along with Jeff Goldblum, they’re reprising their roles as Dr. Ellie Sattler (Dern), Dr. Alan Grant (Neill), and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Goldblum) in 2022’s Jurassic World Dominion.

Goldblum, 69, told PEOPLE that they “totally fell back into step” while filming the sixth installment in the franchise, which is based on the novels by Michael Crichton.

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“We had such a close experience on the first one, and they’re of course two of the greatest actors of our time in the world. And so I loved it,” Goldblum said last month. “We’ve stayed in touch over the years, but that was so exciting.”

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Director Colin Trevorrow previously assured Entertainment Weekly that the trio will be “major characters from start to finish” and will “have equal screen time” to current franchise stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Jurassic World Dominion premieres June 10 in U.S. theaters.