If you’ve ever had the distinct pleasure of seeing Jeff Goldblum play jazz — when not filming, the actor has a weekly residency at Rockwell in Los Angeles — you know the entertainment extends beyond the musical tunes. In between songs with his Mildred Snitcher Orchestra, the energetic actor floats around the venue floor, works the crowd, and often drills them with movie trivia.
The New Mexico set of Independence Day: Resurgence sounds like it very much resembled a Jeff Goldblum jam session. “On set, he would choose a song, and then we would all have to harmonize a song,” Maika Monroe (It Follows) told Yahoo Movies shortly after new footage for the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day premiered at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. “Or he’d bring a play, and he’d pass out parts. And that’s how we would pass the time in between set-ups.”
Monroe (who plays Patricia Whitmore, daughter to Bill Pullman’s ex-president) and castmate Jessie Usher (Dylan Hiller, the son of Will Smith’s fighter pilot, who has reportedly perished in between films) said the song ran the gamut of classics, from Frank Sinatra to Patsy Cline.
“He loves music, and I think with him it’s like a calming effect,” said Vivica A. Fox, who returns as Jasmine. “Sometimes we join in and sing with him, and sometimes he’s just serenading us on his own.”
The actors said Goldblum would also challenge his costars to “The Movie Game,” a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-esque trivia contest where you must link one actor to another through film collaborations. “He’s so into it, and he’s so good at it,” said Usher, to which Monroe added, “He just starts pretty much playing with himself.” Usher: “And we end up just watching it all, like, ‘How is he doing this?’” As Fox put it, “He’s just a wealth of knowledge”
In the film, Goldblum reprises his role of heroic hacker David Levison, who famously defeated Part I’s alien invaders with a computer virus transmitted via his MacBook. “I’m a chatterbox. In a movie like this, where you’re shooting out of sequence, and it’s so big, and there are so many ingredients to the dish. … Each day is an experiment for me, and I’m mercurial. And semi-bipolar.”
Hard to say yet if any of Goldblum’s Resurgence Orchestra made it into the actual movie, but the film does promise much of the same astronomically scaled destruction that made the first installment the highest grossing movie of '96.
At least his costars were entertained. “It’s just like Rockwell,” said Monroe, who has twice been to Golblum’s weekly jazz jams. “But bigger scale. Different scenery. But otherwise exactly the same.”
Independence Day: Resurgence opens June 24. Watch the trailer: