When people think about the first Jurassic Park film, they probably don’t think about the central romance. That’s probably because there barely is one. The paleontologists played by Sam Neill and Larua Dern are supposed to be in a relationship, though the moments of affection between the two are few if any. It might not even occur to people to realize that their love is not exactly age appropriate. Indeed, not even the actors themselves realized something was off till others pointed it out to them.
In a new profile about the forthcoming third Jurassic World in The Sunday Times, the two actors — who return to the franchise for the first time since Jurassic Park III (aside from that one quickie reunion) — Neill and Dern reflected on the fact that, at the time of filming, he was 43 and she was 23. But the 20-year age gap, Neill said, just seemed in step with the times.
“At the time [it] was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady,” Neill said. “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’.”
Dern herself said that at the time it felt “completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill.” That said, looking back, from a time when there’s more scrutiny on age gaps amongst romantic partners, it does seem a bit strange. “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?’”
Nevertheless, nearly three decades later, the two characters seem to be still together, with Dern teasing that this new film is “very romantic.”
Jurassic World Dominion hits theaters on June 9.
(Via The Sunday Times)