Roaring into cinemas on June 9 in Australia, the final chapter in the Jurassic Park/World saga sees the return of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, alongside Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, once again face man’s greatest predator, the dinosaur, in Jurassic World: Dominion.
Thanks to Universal Pictures, I had the chance to attend a virtual press conference with iconic actor and star of both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World: Dominion, Jeff Goldblum, who is reprising his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm. Jeff spoke about returning to the screen with his original co-stars, how special the role of Dr. Malcolm is to him, and whether or not he would survive in a world of dinosaurs!
What was your first reaction when you found out that you were going to be reunited with Sam and Laura on another Jurassic movie?
Jeff Goldblum: I was so excited; you could have knocked me over with a feather. Is that the expression? [laughs] This franchise, these movies, back in ’93 were so spectacularly enjoyable for me. Working with Steven Spielberg forever creatively changing, and then working with Sam and Laura back then was life changing. Getting to know them, I was a different person because of it. Then getting to work with them again—it was Colin Trevorrow, our wonderful director, who told me during the shooting of a commercial, that we were going to do a third Jurassic World, because he wrote the first one and directed it, wrote the second one. And he said we’re doing the third one with Laura and Sam. I said ‘what, what, what?’ because I was so curious and excited about it. And then, it came to fruition, and then there we were, on set in England at the Pinewood Studios, which is where they shoot the James Bond movies, and I was out of my mind with gratitude and appreciation, I’ll tell you that!
What place in your heart does Dr. Ian Malcolm hold for your personally?
Jeff: Well, like I say, creatively it was a landmark moment. What was that? That was ’93. I had done several movies and plays, but I’m a humble student of acting. My teacher told me it takes 20 years of acting to even call yourself an actor. And you keep finding a way to improve that. But, working with Steven Spielberg, and being alive on this planet at the same time as him, his movies, and his work methods, just spectacular. He is a giant of cinema. Doing that taught me a lot and was very nourishing and life changing. And to work with the cast, like I say, Laura Dern and Sam Neill was amazing. I think professionally, I focus less on my so-called ‘career’, but I found out over the course of time that it was a good thing to have done. It made a big difference. To have people come up to me over the last few decades who have been thrilled to see it and say nice things to me, and have stories from all ages, all over the world, has been life-enhancing.
After all these years of warning the world, how did Ian Malcolm evolve to become the character he is in Dominion?
Jeff: Well, that is a good question! And it’s a good question for me trying to act with this big gap in between what you know about me. Trying to imagine what I have been doing, what I fell and think all sorts of things. Colin Trevorrow helped, he had ideas and we collaborated and talked about it. I think that Ian Malcolm, because he went through those events in ’93 and ’97, where he almost died, and other people died from this encounter with these, huh, giant and fierce animals, it was transformational. He probably feels precious about all of life and feels present in his life. He has prioritised what’s important in his life, he has many children that he cares about now. And he now has a more urgent mission now for himself to contribute to the scientific community and to the community at large and be a better steward on the planet. And with global co-operation, finding how we can live with each other and other species and all the other creatures on Earth.
You started this journey in 1993, and now the story is coming to a close. Do you feel a sense of fulfillment of what this legacy has achieved? Did you find any closure within it?
Jeff: Ah yes. Colin Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael wrote such a lovely script, that I think it wanted to close out the story that began with the park adventure, and continued on throughout all the world. They wanted to conclude it in a way that was satisfying, which I hope it is audiences. But, for me, yes, I found it satisfying, I am well nourished. Somebody said in a line from a movie once: ‘I felt like I’d revealed myself, to myself and felt utterly drenched and purged’.
How long do you think you would survive in a world where dinosaurs were really amongst us?
Jeff: Ah jeez [laughs]. I’m a lucky guy, I don’t know why. Sometimes I’ve crossed the street when I shouldn’t have and been lucky. I’ve never gone near big animals; I’ve never had an experience like that. And sometimes our dog, Woody, a great big standard poodle, well, he’s very powerful. All animals are so athletic, he can run ten times faster than me, but I haven’t had a bad encounter with him. So, maybe there’s something about me that’s lucky, so maybe I would do okay in that world!
Thanks again to Universal Pictures for the chance to chat with the legend, Jeff Goldblum! You can see Jurassic World: Dominion, only in Australian cinemas June 9.
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