Sam Neill says the 'Jurassic Park" cast 'came very close' to dying when a Category 4 hurricane struck
In his memoir "Did I Ever Tell You This?" Sam Neill recalled how the "Jurassic Park" cast nearly died.
A Category 4 hurricane nearly struck Kauai while the cast was filming.
"It turned out we came very close," Neill wrote.
While "Jurassic Park" offers a harrowing onscreen adventure for viewers, shooting the film was no less dangerous.
According to Sam Neill's new memoir "Did I Ever Tell You This?", the "Jurassic Park" cast had a close call during production in September 1992.
"We almost died in the first few weeks where we were filming on Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago," Neill wrote. "One morning we were told to stay back at the hotel and expect a hurricane later in the day. I was down on the beach with Laura Dern, who asked me: 'Sam, do you think we might die today?' As these massive black clouds approached over the Pacific I found I had to tell her that in all honesty the answer was yes, I thought we might."
"It turned out we came very close," he added.
The actor also recalled how the cast and crew tried to stay safe during the hurricane.
"They herded us into a ballroom, all the cast and crew, a few hours before Hurricane Iniki hit us," Neill continued. "Iniki was a Category 4 hurricane and it absolutely wrecked the island, including all our sets. Six people died, and it caused more than $3 billion worth of damage."
Hurricane Iniki ultimately destroyed more than 1,400 homes, according to KITV4, with damage still evident roughly 30 years later.
"I think that within three or four hours it had moved on, leaving us surrounded by the wreckage of our huge resort hotel," Neill also wrote. "I'm pretty sure that is why we were spared a large tidal surge through our ballroom, which was just a couple of meters above sea level, a surge that would have probably drowned us all."
Despite their near brush with death, Neil, Dern, and Jeff Goldblum went on to become "lifelong friends." He also praised Chris Pratt, who joined the franchise in 2015's "Jurassic World," as an "absolutely fantastic" action hero.
"He's really thought about what it means to be an action hero," Neill wrote. "It's a real job. I never did that on the 'Jurassic' films. On the contrary, I thought I was playing an ordinary guy who finds himself in a heap of trouble and muddles his way to survival."
While Neill returned for two sequels, starring in the blockbuster films didn't have a negative impact on his decades-long career. In the years since "Jurassic Park," the actor appeared in notable movies like "The Piano," "Event Horizon," "Wimbledon," and "Thor: Ragnarok."
"It was great to be in such a success, and I owe so much to Spielberg and everyone involved, but I don't think the 'Jurassic' series made any seismic shift in my career," the actor wrote. "I didn't become Mr Action Hero or anything, though there is a weird action-man figurine from 1992 in which a muscular version of me wears peculiar underpants."
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