Putting together an illustrious career, Sam Neill is one of the actors who is a household name as he has been giving hit after hit since the 1970s. The actor is not limited to only one genre of films but has worked in almost every genre that one can think of. From comedies to drama pieces to science fiction and even horror films, he has made a massive impact in every genre that has earned him awards and nominations for Golden Globes and Emmy awards.
Sam Neill has worked in a series of films such as My Brilliant Career, Skin, Until The End of The World, Rams, and many more films. But, he is most renowned for his portrayal of Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park film series. However, fans would have never seen him play the role because he almost played the role of James Bond.
Sam Neill’s Disastrous James Bond Audition Landed Him in Jurassic Park Franchise
Irrespective of how many films, Sam Neill has played in his immensely successful career, he would forever be known as Dr. Alan Grant, the paleontologist in the Jurassic Park movie series. In the 1980s, Neill was so popular as an actor that he was selected to be one of the top actors to play the role of 007. During an interview with Fox News, Sam Neill recalls how disastrous and embarrassing it was, when he went for the audition of the role. But he is more relieved, and calls that day of the audition to be “probably the worst day of my life.”
“I’m breaking out in a flop sweat. I’d just arrived in England, I had a new agent who said ‘Darling, I think you’re perfect for James Bond’. I said ‘I don’t really want to be James Bond, I don’t see myself as James Bond — I’d hate to be stuck in that [franchise].’”
The actor added that the audition went from bad to worse when he was asked to take off his shirt because the casting director wanted to run lines for a love scene. However, Neill was extremely conscious about his body, and since he lacked muscles, he refrained from taking off his shirt.
“They said, ‘Can you take your shirt off for this scene? It’s a bed scene.’ I’m not a gym guy … I’m a weedy guy! I’m not the Daniel Craig muscly guy. I did not take my shirt off.”
Needless to say, he could not bag the role of Special Agent 007, which turned out to be great news because had he bagged the role, he would be stuck in the same franchise for years. Moreover, fans would have seen someone else play the role of Dr. Alan Grant, as he would not have had the schedule to star in the Jurassic Park franchise.
Sam Neill Blames Steven Spielberg For His Bizzare Accent
The Jurassic Park franchise is an immensely popular and one of the most watched movie series around the world but one could not help but notice Dr Alan Grant’s absurd accent. The character is supposed to be an American in the film, but those who have watched the movie would learn that he spoke in a New Zealand accent. The Possession actor shared that his wobbly is all thanks to the director of the film, Steven Spielberg.
During an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, Sam Neill shared that he was working on his American accent but Spielberg told him to work with his normal accent.
“He came up to me halfway through the day and he said, ‘Hey, Sam, you know the accent we were talking about?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve been working on it for four weeks.…’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it, just use your own voice,’” Neill said. “I said, ‘That’s great, Steven, thank you so much.’”
The actor continued that after their conversation, Steven Spielberg had a change of heart, and asked the actor to have neither an American accent nor a New Zealand accent but “somewhere in between.” As a result, it was his nightmare, and some people showed hate for his absurd accent in the film.
“And then four days later, he came up to me and said, ‘You know that voice you’re using now?’ I said, ‘Yeah, my voice?’ He said, ‘Somewhere in between.’”
“It’s an actor’s nightmare!” Neill added. “So that’s why I get a lot of flak to this day: Sam Neill’s American accent in ‘Jurassic Park’ was a load of T. rex poo.”
While his role as Dr. Alan Grant did not bring a seismic change to his career, his portrayal of the character in the film series is immensely loved by the audience, and the series is extremely popular surging past $1 billion worldwide and is widely considered as one of the greatest films of all time.
Jurassic Park 1 can be rented on AppleTV.
Source: Fox News