The Jurassic Park star, Sam Neill, who first brought alive the beauty and horror of living among dinosaurs, and battled against all odds to survive that fateful island, successfully escaping from the certain jaws of death – has gone through something quite similar last summer, sans the raptors. And without the knowledge of whether he had more time to live or these were his final days, the 75-year-old actor began to reminisce and record events from the long and eventful span of his life and career, combining it all with the unifying undertone of mortality, in the soon-to-be-published memoir: Did I Ever Tell You This?
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Sam Neill Narrates a Tale That Begins With a Shock
As it turns out, Sam Neill is an “enormously good raconteur,” claims The Guardian’s Lucy Clark. In an interview with the publication, Sam Neill opens up – for the first time since his diagnosis, about going toe-to-toe with his impending mortality, and the process of writing a memoir which he begins in a classy way only possible of a “raconteur”:
“The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying. I may have to speed this up.”
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Sam Neill’s last movie to premiere, Jurassic World Dominion, was the epic saga finale of the same franchise which first catapulted him, alongside co-stars Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern to global fame: Jurassic Park (1993). His latest project, the upcoming film, The Portable Door starring Christoph Waltz and directed by Jeffrey Walker will premiere on 23 March 2023 and marks the first film since his cancer diagnosis.
In His Memoir, Sam Neill Finds a New Purpose to Life
During the promotional event of Jurassic World Dominion in March 2022, Sam Neill was first diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma or blood cancer. The months since found his body being subjected to rigorous chemotherapy which then failed to work (the cancer was already stage-three). Trying new drugs was the eventual next step in the battle for survival. And this then became the moment that witnessed the birth of a memoir.
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And even though the actor admits, “I never had any intention to write a book,” the everyday entries of events, memories from his childhood years in Ireland, his exceptional and durable career, and all the stories that those film sets held began to give him a newfound enthusiasm to wake up the next morning with something worth writing about –
“… as I went on and kept writing, I realised it was actually sort of giving me a reason to live and I would go to bed thinking, ‘I’ll write about that tomorrow… that will entertain me.’ And so it was a lifesaver really, because I couldn’t have gone through [chemotherapy] with nothing to do.”
The new chemotherapy drug that was being administered afterward eventually began taking effect and the actor has now undergone complete remission, although he will have to continue taking it for the rest of his life.
Source: Did I Ever Tell You This? [via The Guardian]