Jeff Goldblum: Running for your life is always memorable
Life finds a way… a phrase made famous by mathematician Ian Malcolm almost three decades ago in Jurassic Park.
And the quote also reflects how Jeff Goldblum feels about playing Malcolm one more time for Jurassic World Dominion, now showing in cinemas.
“Life sure finds a way,” said the US actor to The New Paper via Zoom.
“I did not expect that after almost 30 years, I’d be doing another Jurassic movie with Laura Dern and Sam Neill… I didn’t believe it. I’m very lucky to be doing it. I love the movies.”
Goldblum’s excitement and anticipation for the release of this sixth Jurassic installment were evident during our 10-minute conversation.
The 69-year-old was chatty and charming as he shared about revisiting dinosaurs and playing the fan-favourite and face-of-a-thousand memes, Malcolm.
Goldblum was also thrilled when he noticed I had Jurassic World Dominion’s key art as my Zoom background.
For someone who has given us many stellar performances throughout his 48-year film career, Goldblum still appears to be in awe of the movies.
While he had a small return as Malcolm in 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Goldblum said he first found out about a Jurassic reunion a few years back when he was filming a dinosaur commercial with Dominion director Colin Trevorrow.
Trevorrow revived the Jurassic franchise in 2015 with Jurassic World, which starred Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
“Colin told me he’s writing the third movie for the Jurassic World series and that there is something for me, Laura and Sam,” Goldblum said.
“Then he said he can’t tell me about it… that’s the first time I heard about it.”
It’s almost three decades since director Steven Spielberg resurrected dinosaurs with Jurassic Park.
The 1993 blockbuster, based on characters created by author Michael Crichton, not only made palaeontology cool (for a while, at least) but also became one of the most beloved movie franchises, raking in billions of dollars along the way.
Jurassic World Dominion picks up four years after the events in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) where dinosaurs now live and hunt alongside humans all over the world.
This sixth – and final installment – puts two Jurassic generations together, and the feeling was “surreal”, said Goldblum.
Neill is back as palaeontologist Dr Alan Grant, while Dern reprises paleobotanist Dr Ellie Sattler.
There were feelings of “deja vu and nostalgia” on the first day on set.
“I remember the first day of the shoot… they packed Laura, Sam and myself into this Jeep where we were driving away from this dinosaur.
“The Jeep gets into some trouble and rolls over; we were thrown and rolled around again and again… it was very memorable and nostalgic,” Goldblum said, laughing.
Goldblum listed Dern’s screaming as one of his all-time favourite moments in the Jurassic Park movies.
He said, laughing: “Running for your life from all the dinosaurs is always memorable.”
The cast was encouraged to improvise as Trevorrow said no one would know the characters as well as the actors themselves, said Goldblum.
“Colin was very open to ideas. Because of Covid-19, we had to rehearse in this hotel on weekends for next week’s scene. Sometimes our ideas wound up in the movie one way or another.”
Back in 1993, Goldblum arguably made mathematicians cool, clad in a black open-neck shirt and a leather jacket.
Thirty years on, Goldblum had sartorial opinions on Malcolm's look for Jurassic World Dominion.
“I have some strong ideas about my clothing,” said Goldblum, adding that he even chose the watch Malcolm sports in the film.
“I also had Ian’s eyeglasses made… the costume people were very nice about it and were very collaborative.”
The highlight of the movie is, of course, the dinosaurs.
Goldblum said they are so eye-popping and "real" that his wife, Emilie, is hesitant to let their sons, aged five and six, watch the movie.
“I watched it a few weeks ago and the action sequences are pretty intense,” he shared.
“It’s entertaining and scary.” .
With the interview at an end, he left with a final flourish – singing the Jurassic Park theme song.
“In Jurassic Park, scary in the dark, I’m so scared that I’ll be eaten…”