Laura Dern and Sam Neill question Jurassic Park romance's 20-year age gap

·2 min read
Laura Dern and Sam Neill question Jurassic Park romance's 20-year age gap

Jurassic World Dominion reunites the original stars of 1993's Jurassic Park, including Laura Dern and Sam Neill, reprising their roles as Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant, respectively. In the near-30 years that have passed since the OG JP, both stars see their cinematic romance a bit differently.

Jurassic World Dominion
Jurassic World Dominion

Universal Pictures Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and Laura Dern return in 'Jurassic World Dominion'

"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, recalling the moment he realized that maybe this wasn't "completely appropriate" after all.

"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," Neill continued. "And there I was, on the list. I thought, 'Come on. It can't be true.'"

Dern was 23 when she started filming Jurassic Park, and she, too, thought the age difference with her leading man was "completely appropriate."

"Well, it felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill," Dern 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?'"

Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park

Murray Close/Universal

Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg expanded Dr. Sattler's role from the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton, putting her in a relationship with Dr. Grant to add tension and because he felt she didn't have enough attention in the book.

Now, 20 years since she last played the good doctor, Dern is happy to be back in dino land.

"I can say that it was incredible to be back together," Dern told PEOPLE last year. "It was an amazing thing to join my original cast members and go down memory lane, from that experience in the beginning of a franchise through the whole course of these films together with all the key cast members who have been working on these movies, as well as [director] Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg, who is like family to me."

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