With the release of the final Jurassic instalment, Jurassic World Dominion, Jeff Goldblum reminisces on his Jurassic journey
In this interview with Hollywood star Jeff Goldblum we hear more about fatherhood, his relationship with fashion, and reprising his famous character, Ian Malcolm.
Now approaching 70, the eccentric Jeff Goldblum has played numerous characters throughout his fifty-year career. Having started out on Broadway in Two Gentlemen of Verona at 19, Goldblum has transcended the impact of the average actor. Never failing to bring his unique and quirky delivery to every one of his roles, in cinema and on stage.
Other than performing in iconic films such as Independence Day, or Marvel’s Thor Ragnarok, Goldblum plays piano with his band, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. He spontaneously thought of the name when asked what to call the band on a jazz festival programme one year. The inspiration coming from the name of an old family friend, Mildred Snitzer.
Goldblum describes playing piano as a meditation and a discipline, which he is passing on to his two young sons. He and wife Emily encourage the boys to play every day. “It’s up to the parents, both Emily and I to kind of facilitate both their practice, they practice every day. And I think they’re doing okay.”
“I’m discovering new parts of it and seeing it in a new way through their eyes”
As well as passing on his pianist hobby, fatherhood has impacted Goldblum’s way of looking at the world. He speaks of his wild and lush back garden, that he has previously likened to that of Jurassic Park.
“I adore nature. And that backyard is a kind of physical relief and a spiritual tonic to me, for real. I love and especially now with Emily and our two boys, what we do back there, I’m discovering new parts of it and seeing it in a new way through their eyes. It’s being used more and differently and more adventurously, as you can imagine”
Not only is he an acting legend, but a fashion icon too.
Other then embodying quirky roles, or playing jazz at Glastonbury, Goldblum can be found walking the Prada runway.
The 69-year-old brought the recent Milan’s men’s’ fashion week to a close. Adorning clothes from Prada’s upcoming autumn collection, a collaboration with Belgian Designer Raf Simons. Goldblum described the clothes as “interesting and artful and creative” and said his time on the runway “was very thrilling.”
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Goldblum grew up going against the grain in his fashion sense, taking inspiration from Sammy Davis Jr in the 60s. He then uncovered using fashion in collaboration with acting. Using clothes in his early acting to dress to make him feel a certain way and embody a new character.
So I got interested in clothes as a creative outlet, a possibility, a creative vehicle.
“If you found the right shoes that made you walk in a certain way or made you feel a certain way or a colour that meant something to you, it could be a portal into a character discovery. So I got interested in clothes as a creative outlet, a possibility, a creative vehicle.”
But he uses fashion in more than just acting
Now, Goldblum works closely with stylist Andrew Vottero to plan his outfits for press tours, meeting up at Goldblum’s home to try on outfits, take photos and go shopping together. The two plan in advance researching tour venues to ensure Goldblum always has the right fit.
“I have this fella Andrew Vottero… we have been the last several years, have developed an approach and a system. And we got together at my house a couple of times, and he did some, you know, rang Prada and they lent us some stuff to try out. Yeah, he gets in touch so we know what kind of place, what kind of venue it seems like its going to be. We try things on, he takes some pictures… And then I wear those things. And I take a big heavy suitcase.”
So, how was it going back to the ‘Jurassic’ universe after 30 years?
In the newest, and final instalment of the ‘Jurassic World’ series, Jurassic World Dominion, Goldblum is back as the irreverent mathematician Ian Malcolm, along with his co-stars from the original series, Laura Dern and Sam Neill, as Ellie Sattler and Alan Grant.
Going back to the series and working with Dern and Neill again was “like a high school reunion or something like that. It was great. I adore them both. And seeing them again was fantastic” says Goldblum. The three of them spent time sharing in the nostalgia and singing together on set in between shoots.
Goldblum shared his joy of working with the talented actors again “Laura Dern and Sam Neill are particularly, as you know, as everybody knows, two of our greatest screen artists, much-awarded and highly-esteemed, and they’re fantastic people.”
Although working with Dern and Neill was familiar to Goldblum, there were some differences between shooting Jurassic World Dominion and the original Jurassic Park. Namely the evolution of technology.
At the time of filming Jurassic Park “The technology was just being born, luckily for us and right when they wanted to do that movie, they were up and running before Dennis Muran from ILM said ‘Look what we’ve got here. I think we have a new way to do this.’ So with this [Jurassic World Dominion], the evolution of the technology has gone further” Goldblum shares.
Shooting the film reminded him of the first day on Jurassic Park
“…blinking eyes and breathing torso, but hidden, you couldn’t see them. So what you really saw was this triceratops that looked alive.”
Director Colin Trevorrow followed Steven Speildberg’s strategy of incorporating animatronics during some of the filming for a more authentic performance. This prompted Goldblum to reminisce on seeing the animatronics for the first time during the Jurassic Park filming.
“And then we come into this clearing later in the day, I think, and saw that first triceratops… that was one of those Oscar-winning Stan Winston creations that were being operated by several people blinking eyes and breathing torso, but hidden, you couldn’t see them. So what you really saw was this triceratops that looked alive.”
Confident and relaxed Goldblum no longer feels a traditional sense of nervousness. However, he reflects on still feeling an ‘alertness’ during the filming of Jurassic World Dominion. Aware of the responsibility to create something satisfying for an audience invested in the story.
“I was alert, I wouldn’t say it’s an adjacent, it’s a sister of nervousness – alert. Which is sort of like the first time working with Steven Spielberg – ‘Can I do this?’ That’s a different kind of alertness but similar… but the same kind of ‘Gee, I hope this works.”
Ultimately, the ‘Jurassic’ series has changed Goldblum’s life
The friendships Goldblum made with Dern and Neill through Jurassic Park, changed his life. He also takes with him the experience of working with the other actors, and Steven Spielberg.
“Our friendships, the people I work with most of all, like they say in that play ‘Wicked’, you know – you make a change to my heart, you made an imprint on my heart, and that will be there forever.” He says “That’s something I’ll take forever, the people I worked with and the experience of working with Steven Spielberg and Richard Attenborough and Bob Peck and everybody else – Laura and Sam, sorry for getting choked up. Sorry, that’s the main thing.”
Along with friendships, Goldblum takes some of the ideas and concepts from the movie with him, like Chaos Theory. The scientific theory that his character Ian Malcolm specialises in, and which Goldblum read about in preparation for his performance.
“The ideas in this movie are something that I find nutritious and worth ruminating on and trying to live up to.”
Goldblum feels his thinking is similar to that of his character, Ian Malcolm. “Me and Malcolm love science and scientific, pure achievement. But the use and misuse of it through ignorance and profit motive and selfish interest is, I’ll fight as long as there’s breath in my body.”
With such a popular and iconic series coming to an end, much like Goldblum, Dern, and Neill, fans of the Jurassic universe will be sure to enjoy the nostalgia of the original cast members. Seeing them reuniting on screen in this striking adventure-conclusion to the famous series.
At cinemas across the UK. To see more about Jurassic World Dominion, visit the official Jurassic World page.