‘Jurassic Park’ stars Laura Dern and Sam Neill talk 20-year-age gap romance

‘Jurassic Park’ stars Laura Dern and Sam Neill talk 20-year-age gap romance

Laura Dern and Sam Neill didn’t think much of their characters falling in love on screen in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 sci-fi hit “Jurassic Park.”

However, almost 30 years later, the pair realized that their 20-year-age difference — she was 23 to his 42 — probably wasn’t the best idea.

Dern, 55, and Neill, 74, discussed their characters’ romance in “Jurassic Park” with the Sunday Times, noting their feelings have changed over the years.

“I am 20 years older than Laura! Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady,” the “Tudors” star said.

Dern and Neill are both reprising their roles as paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler and paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant in the upcoming “Jurassic World Dominion.”

The New Zealand native then revealed the moment he knew that the relationship wasn’t “completely appropriate.”

Dern was only 23 when she filmed the dinosaur action-adventure in the early ’90s and was 26 when the film was finally released in theaters. Neill was in his 40s during the film shoot.

From left to right, Richard Attenborough, Martin Ferrero, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern look up in a scene from the film 'Jurassic Park', 1993. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)
Richard Attenborough, Martin Ferrero, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern in “Jurassic Park.”
Getty Images

“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,” Neill continued. “And there I was, on the list. I thought, ‘Come on. It can’t be true.’”

The “Marriage Story” star agreed with Neill’s comments, noting: “Well, it felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill.”

The Oscar-winner added, “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?’”

From left to right, actors Sam Neill and Laura Dern pose with American director Steven Spielberg in a publicity still for the film 'Jurassic Park', 1993. (Photo by Murray Close/Getty Images)
Sam Neill and Laura Dern with “Jurassic Park” director Steven Spielberg in 1993.
Getty Images

Dern also wanted to make sure that the latest sequel would draw less focus to character’s age and more to female representation on the silver screen.

She stated that Ellie should be put in the same box as Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley from the “Alien” films. Both characters changed how audiences perceive female Hollywood action heroes.

“It’s really moving,” she said. “A lot of women in tech and science point to a similarity between Ellie’s heroism and women in their field.”

Jeff Goldblum is also coming back to “Jurassic World” as Dr. Ian Malcom. He portrayed the bare-chested mathematician of chaos theory in original film. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are also joining the ensemble film, reprising their roles from the two prior “Jurassic World” movies.

“Jurassic World Dominion” hits theaters on June 10.

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