Spielberg Takeover: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern’s Jurassic Park Memories

Jurassic Park

by Ben Travis |
Published on

Hold onto your butts: it’s 25 years since Steven Spielberg brought dinosaurs back from extinction and beamed them onto the big screen in one of his all-time great blockbusters. Jurassic Park was a special effects game-changer that fused the director’s propensity for warmth, wonder, spectacle, and thrills in one unforgettable ground-shaking package.

With Spielberg taking over the new issue of Empire, the landmark anniversary marked the perfect excuse to call up the film’s iconic trio of non-scaly stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and of course, Jeff Goldblum. The actors spoke to Empire about their memories of shooting the film in Hawaii – a friendship-cementing experience that took in practical animatronics, lo-fi sound effects (Spielberg used to roar on set in lieu of the finished dino noises), and the small matter of surviving a hurricane.

Empire - April 2018 issue

“We became friends very quickly and there was a lot of goofing around,” Neill recalls in the issue. “We would stage mock-fights as we came through the foyer [in our Kauai hotel] – we’d get Goldblum down on the floor with his broken leg and kick it. And he would scream and the tourists would recoil in horror at these grotesque mimes.”

Goldblum remembers the impact of Hurricane Iniki, which led to the cast and crew being helicoptered to safety and holing up to avoid the storm. “It was quite an event: powerful and bone-shaking,” he said. “Kathleen Kennedy and a lot of people from our company were heroic and ran to the airport, past impassable roads, and got helicopters back for people on the island and for us. The rest of us gathered in the hotel and watched it go by. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it. I know I won’t.”

Jurassic Park

Elsewhere in the article, there’s Dern talking about the raptor she keeps in her house, Neill’s foiled attempt to skip the Jurassic Park Ride line at Universal Studios, and Goldblum on why the Triceratops is his favourite dinosaur. Read the full interviews in Empire’s Spielberg Takeover special — really spectacular, spared no expense — on shelves now.

Empire - Spielberg Takeover Subscribers Cover

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