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Sam Neill suggested this iconic Jurassic Park moment

The moment when Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler first see a dinosaur in Jurassic Park is iconic, and it was Sam Neill who suggested how Grant should react

Jurassic Park

While adults are generally grouchy about the Jurassic World trilogy, kids still love dinosaurs – making the new trilogy a multi-billion dollar success. The original Jurassic Park is always going to be a film that conjures nostalgia and has a beloved place in the hearts of millions who grew up with it. One of many iconic scenes, that can still invoke chills, is the moment that Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler first see a real-life dinosaur.

Every beat of that scene is perfect – Grant taking off his hat and sunglasses, to Grant turning Sattler’s head towards the brachiosaurus, to Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm saying; “he did it, the crazy son-of-a-bitch did it,” and the blood-sucking lawyer saying; “we’re gonna make a fortune with this place.”

When Richard Attenborough’s John Hammond mentions that he has a T-Rex, Grant begins staggering around as if he’s going to faint. Hammond finally gets to say; “Welcome to Jurassic Park” while John Williams’ score reaches a crescendo. And it turns out that Alan Grant almost fainting was Sam Neill’s idea.

Neill was asked by The Hollywood Reporter if he recalls any particular note or direction that Spielberg gave during this scene and Neill replied; “Not particularly. I think he pretty much left it to us – such as Alan Grant taking his glasses off. He told me to screw Laura’s head around so that she could concentrate on what was going on, but the reactions he pretty much left to us.”

“I suggested something, which is an illustration of how I was never an action hero. (Laughs.) I said to Steven, ‘Look, after a lifetime of imagining dinosaurs, to actually see a dinosaur, Alan Grant just might flat out faint.’ And Steven said, ‘Yeah, OK.’ So that’s why you see me stagger around and I have to sit down and put my head between my legs. I thought, ‘That’s actually a human reaction,’ so I’m glad he was open to that.”

The Hollywood Reporter then breaks the sad news to Neill that the same brachiosaurus from this scene would go on to be left on the dock while the island is consumed by a volcano in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. “Well, that is heartbreaking. Such a sweet creature. Was that when they were escaping the volcano and it’s screaming across the water? What a heartbreaking scene.”

Find out where the Jurassic Park cast are now.