Laura Dern Reflects on ‘Jurassic Park’ Age Gap with Sam Neill

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Photo credit: Universal Pictures
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

Jurassic World: Dominion is bringing back Sam Neill and Laura Dern from the original films for a big dinosaur-sized blowout to the newest trilogy, which has led to a lot of reminiscing.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Neill and Dern noted the 21-year age difference between them–they were 44 and 23 when making the first film, respectively–and how older men starring as romantic leads opposite much younger women was accepted rather than questioned back in the 1990s.

For her part, Dern appreciates how things have changed, but admitted that she personally didn't feel uncomfortable at the time, stating: "It felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill.

"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?'"

"I am 20 years older than Laura!" Neill added. "Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady. 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.'"

Photo credit: Universal Pictures
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

The practice is something that's frowned upon nowadays, although it still happens in modern films and TV shows, with Maggie Gyllenhaal previously being told that she was too old at 37 to play the love interest of a 55-year old man.

"It was astonishing to me," she said at the time. "It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh."

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