Laura Dern and Sam Neill Discuss 'Jurassic Park' 20-Year Age Gap Romance Decades Later

Laura Dern and Sam Neill reflected on their 'Jurassic Park' characters being romantically linked in the original film despite a 20-year age gap.

Laura Dern and actor Sam Neill attend event together.

Laura Dern and actor Sam Neill attend 23rd Annual American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Laura Dern and actor Sam Neill attend event together.

Laura Dern and Sam Neill will reprise their roles in Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth and final installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. Along with their return comes the inevitable re-examination of their characters being romantically linked despite a 20-year age difference in the first film. 

“I am 20 years older than Laura! Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady,” Neill told the Sunday Times of 1993’s saga-spawning Steven Spielberg staple. “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.’”

According to IndieWire, Neill was 43 years old when Jurassic Park was being filmed and Dern was 23 when production started.   

Dern backed Neill’s claim that it was considered “completely appropriate” at the time for an older leading actor to be paired with a much younger actress. “Well, it felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill,” she 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?”

Dominion director Colin Trevorrow spoke with IGN about the return of Dern, Neill, and Jeff Goldblum and how the trio will play a “huge part” in the upcoming capper to the World trilogy Trevorrow kicked off in 2015.

“Ellie [Sattler] and [Alan] Grant and [Ian] Malcolm are on this full adventure, they’re a huge part of it, and equal partners to Owen and Claire and Maisie and our new characters we’ve brought in,” Trevorrow said. “The challenge of a movie like that is to give every character their due, to honor everybody. That’s part of what this prologue is about; I felt that if we didn’t have this in the story, that the T-rex wasn’t being honored. She’s a character too.” 

Jurassic World: Dominion will be in theaters on June 10.

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