Jeff Goldblum talks about “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” 25 years later
A key part of “Jurassic World Dominion” is Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm reuniting with the original “Jurassic Park” crew (Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and BD Wong), as the quartet share the screen for the first time since 1993.
But that plot point isn’t the only “Jurassic” milestone for 2022. Attention should also be paid to the 25th anniversary of the dinosaur franchise’s second film, 1997’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”
Malcolm de Goldblum took the helm of this film, which debuted on May 23, 1997 and saw the sci-fi action move from the original park on Isla Nublar to Isla Sorna (otherwise known as Site B) where resurrected dinosaurs roam freely.
After a young girl is attacked on the island, Jurassic Park founder John Hammond (late Richard Attenborough) recruits a team, led by Malcolm, to study and document the animals in their natural habitat in the hopes of… encourage the government to adopt a policy of non-interference. Of course, things go awry almost immediately when the search party runs into a second crew on a mission to capture some of the dinosaurs to fill a planned new park in San Diego.
“The Lost World,” a carnage-filled ride that ultimately culminates in a wild chase through the streets of SoCal town as Malcolm and his girlfriend, behavioral paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) aim to reunite the T -rex with his kidnapped child and bring the two dinosaurs out of the mainland.
The sequel to “Jurassic Park” received mixed reviews upon release – after all, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with a film widely considered a modern masterpiece. Regardless, “The Lost World” became one of the highest-grossing films of 1997 (which also saw the release of “Titanic” and “Men in Black”). And time has changed our minds about “The Lost World” and its sequel, 2001’s “Jurassic Park III,” with critics re-examining both films and many fans embracing them.
Asked about the sequel’s legacy during the press conference for “Jurassic World Dominion,” Goldblum launched into an anecdote about the film’s capture on television hours earlier.
“Funny you ask — I was on the treadmill in our little upstairs gym this morning, really early before taking the kids to school,” Goldblum said. Variety, explaining that his sons, who will soon be seven and five years old, like to train alongside the actor and his wife Emilie. “‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ happened to be on.”
Kids have already seen both ‘Jurassic Park’ and its sequel, with parents planning to make ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ youngsters’ first trip to the theater to see any movie, Goldblum noted, “But it happened and they were immediately mesmerized.”
On the red carpet at the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project neighborhood party and special screening of “Jurassic World Dominion” on Saturday, Jeff and Emilie Goldblum announced that they planned to show the film to their sons the following day.
“We are on the eve. I keep talking to them about it, I said over breakfast today, ‘So remember what we’re doing tomorrow,’” Jeff Goldblum shared, while Emilie added, “ We like to talk about everything. Plan and prepare them and keep talking about it and digging into any feelings they might have.
During these conversations, their youngest son shared that he might need a bit of a break from the action. “He is very in tune with his feelings; he’s not afraid to say ‘I’m afraid’,” explains Emilie.
The solution, dad would take him out of the theater for a little walk if he was too scared. “He said, ‘That could be a long walk,'” Jeff Goldblum recalled, as Emilie asked, “How cute is that?
Goldblum also revealed that his son’s favorite sequence in “The Lost World” comes when he, Moore and Vince Vaughn (who plays photojournalist and documentarian Nick Van Owen) tend to an injured baby T-rex in their trailer. and the dinosaur’s parents end up pushing the vehicle over the cliff, leaving Richard Schiff (as field equipment expert Eddie Carr) to rescue them, before he himself is eaten. “They kept asking, ‘How did you do that? ‘” Goldblum said.
Like his children, Goldblum also has a special place in his heart for the franchise’s second chapter. In the interview below, the actor explains why he loves “The Lost World” and what he was passionate about watching Malcolm do in “Jurassic World Dominion.”
Well, Jeff, we just got a taste of “Fallen Kingdom,” but we’ve got more Dr. Malcolm this time around. What were you excited about having the chance to explore with him in this one that you hadn’t been able to do yet?
Well, I was thrilled to be with Colin Trevorrow again. He and I had worked a day on set for something kind of related to that, but had been talking about that scene I did in the last movie for hours. Then he and [co-screenwriter] Emily Carmichael came up with a script that got me to do some interesting stuff, and the great Sam Neill and the great Laura Dern.
But I liked the idea of being now in the middle of a mission which then leads me to contact my collaborators and old friends. We have never seen [Malcolm] so determined to fight the good fight against greed and stupidity, especially in the misuse of scientific resources and achievements. It’s a real battle royale and, again, a test of survival. But we are ready to do it.
You talked about how Colin and Emily are so collaborative – they said you, Sam and Laura really know these characters better than anyone. What do you know about Dr. Malcolm that no one else does? Something you wanted to make sure people learned?
They’re so nice to say that — Colin told us too and he told everyone. He likes actors. Once you’ve kind of had a chance to test yourself and play from within, you might know something about them.
I felt passionate and even protective of what this journey and the many elements that might appear like it might be, especially as we begin to learn what it does. But Colin was a good masterful guide – a tasteful and trustworthy person to help me try to look good and do justice to Michael Crichton’s original design.
Let’s talk about reuniting with Sam and Laura. Seeing all three of you together made Steven Spielberg a little emotional and it also made Colin a little emotional. What was the moment, either during filming or watching the finished film, that was meaningful for you?
It made me emotional too. I was wildly anticipating our meeting on set, I couldn’t believe we were going to do this. I continued to work on my own and then we were there, in England, all huddled in this hotel living together like a family and we bonded more closely than ever.
But when I first saw them, they stood like a delightful little surprise on that balcony as I stopped with Emilie and the kids. They gave me some sort of royal greeting and then we all hugged and started yackety smackety about 30 years ago.
Then several times [while filming] we got together and said, ‘Let’s help each other with this and see if we can do the most interesting thing we can. We were all excited for the opportunity, but whenever we had the chance, we came back to each other.
This film also coincides with the 25th anniversary of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”. How do you characterize the legacy of this film? What does this film represent for you?
I love that movie. Julianne Moore is fantastic there and I liked the way I go there to save her. But Vanessa Lee Chester, who plays my daughter [Kelly Curtis], is fantastic. She recently, in the last few years, showed up unexpectedly at one of our jazz concerts and I was very happy to see her. She saves my life, of course, with her gymnastic ability.
Richard Schiff and Vince Vaughn and Pete Postlethwaite were in it. I had seen him on stage in London doing that play “Little Voice” with Jane Horrocks, and he was one of our great actors. (Postlethwaite died in 2011.) And it’s the second directed by Steven Spielberg; he couldn’t have been sweeter and nicer and inspiring and educational to work with.
A lot of people thought Kelly might appear in this movie after DeWanda Wise was cast, but she’s playing a totally different character. [Kayla, a pilot who gets embroiled in the dinosaur adventure]. I’m curious, where are all of Dr. Malcolm’s children? How can we get a spinoff starring them and find out what he did?
I do not know. [Laughs.] I allude to it in the first scene [of “Jurassic World Dominion”]when I talk to Sam and Laura, I say, “Oh, yes, I have five children who I adore more than life itself.”
I think I’m a good father, and I’m very involved in their lives, and with them, and with their mothers. But you find me for those few days, embedded and deeply immersed in this risky operation, so they’re not there right now, but I’d like them to be, even if they’re not in danger. I have to do my stuff with the dinosaurs and keep them as safe as possible.
“Jurassic World Dominion” is now playing in theaters. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.