Sam Neill has been speaking to GQ magazine about watching the first Jurassic Park movie around the world, to a range of different reactions – in the US, where they hooted and hollered, in the UK where he of course sat next to Princess Diana (as one does), and finally in Japan – where it was met with stony silence.
Neill says that he hasn’t watched the 1993 classic since it was first released, and didn’t even re-watch it before reprising his role as Dr. Alan Grant in the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion. “I must’ve watched it half a dozen times when we went around the world premiering it, and I did enjoy sitting in the theatre, and monitoring how people were reacting to it. That was very different wherever we were. In America, people really make noise. They just whoop and holler at everything.”
The reaction was somewhat different elsewhere, however; “In Japan there was stony silence all the way through: they didn’t laugh at any jokes, they didn’t scream at any of the frights. They were just a completely stone still audience.”
Neill continued; “And we looked at each other when the lights came up, we said, “Well, that’s not going to work here. I don’t think they like it at all”. They filed out of the theatre, and everyone was quiet. Then when we got on the street, we were mobbed. They actually loved it.”
In the UK, Neill had a special experience; “When we went to London, I was sitting beside Princess Diana, and she was jumping out of her skin. That was fun. I’d seen it three or four times by then. So it was really half an eye on the screen, and half an eye on her, looking at how she was reacting, and sometimes she would have her hands in front of her eyes. I mean, she really loved it. My son — who at that stage was about ten years old — she was much more interested in talking to him (than me). They had a long chat. And they agreed on everything.”
If you’re excited for Jurassic World: Dominion, check out our guide to the best adventure movies.