Decades later, Jurassic Park stars Laura Dern and Sam Neill are looking at the film in a new light. The actors, who starred as romantic interests in the 1993 dinosaur action film, have come to terms with the fact that their 20-year age gap might be inappropriate.
The actors starred as Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant in the groundbreaking Steven Spielberg film. In the film, the two fall in love. Laura Dern was 23 when the movie started shooting; Sam Neill is 20 years older than her, meaning he was in his early 40s at the time. Soon the actors will be reprising their roles in Jurassic World: Dominion, directed by Colin Trevorrow, out June 9.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, the actors opened up about their significant age gap, including how they felt about it at the time (fine), and how they feel about it now (not so fine).
“I am 20 years older than Laura! Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady,” Neill said. “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.’”
Dern came to the realization a little more gradually, crediting the change in culture (and in Hollywood as a result) for making her more aware of the absurd age gap that she once considered normal.
“Well, it felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill,” Dern said. “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?’”
That age difference not withstanding, the actors were still excited to return to the Jurassic franchise together. “I can say that it was incredible to be back together,” Dern said. “It was an amazing thing to join my original cast members and go down memory lane, from that experience in the beginning of a franchise through the whole course of these films together with all the key cast members who have been working on these movies, as well as [director] Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg, who is like family to me,” she said.