Actor Sam Neill reminisced about his experiences while filming the 1993 blockbuster film “Jurassic Park,” revealing in his new memoir, “Did I Ever Tell You This?’, that the cast “came very close” to death during shooting.
The near-death experience came as Hurricane Iniki, the most powerful hurricane to ever strike Hawaii in recorded history, came barreling towards the island of Kauai where they were filming.
“One morning we were told to stay back at the hotel and expect a hurricane later in the day. I was down on the beach with Laura Dern, who asked me: ‘Sam, do you think we might die today?’ As these massive black clouds approached over the Pacific I found I had to tell her that in all honesty the answer was yes, I thought we might,” Neill stated in his memoir, according to People.
“It turned out we came very close,” he added.
Launch day ! Here’s the trailer. And while I’m here – many heartfelt thanks for all the warmth and support and lovely messages I’ve had from everywhere – I cannot tell you how much this means . #DidIEverTellYouThis? https://t.co/qVnBVGWm0S pic.twitter.com/O85VRnAtTe
— Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) March 20, 2023
Neill went on to explain how all of the cast and crew were “herded” into a ballroom of the hotel just a few hours before the powerful, category 4 storm hit. After three or fours hours of powerful winds and rain, the entire island was “absolutely wrecked” leaving their hotel surrounded by wreckage. That wreckage, however, is what Neill credits for saving their lives.
“I’m pretty sure that is why we were spared a large tidal surge through our ballroom, which was just a couple of meters above sea level, a surge that would have probably drowned us all,” he stated, according to People.
Neill was happy to be a part of the popular franchise, noting that it blessed him with two life-long friends in Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. While the movies were successful, Neill recalled he personally did not see a “seismic shift” in his own career after his starring role, adding that Universal Studios made a point of boasting it could make “huge blockbusters without ‘movie stars.'”
“This was true enough, but I think it slightly irked us, the actors, to be reminded from time to time we were not real ‘stars,'” Neill explained, according to People.
“I didn’t become Mr. Action Hero or anything, though there is a weird action-man figurine from 1992 in which a muscular version of me wears peculiar underpants,” he admitted further, the outlet reported.
Neill, however, heaped praise on Chris Pratt’s role in the franchise with the “Jurassic World” films, calling him “absolutely fantastic as a hero.” (RELATED: ‘The Saddest Person I Ever Met’: Huge Star Opens Up About Robin Williams)
“I never did that on the Jurassic films. On the contrary, I thought I was playing an ordinary guy who finds himself in a heap of trouble and muddles his way to survival,” Neill stated.
Neill, who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, launched his memoir “Did I Ever Tell You This?” on March 20.