No one would say that Sam Neill Just turned 72. Close and friendly, British-New Zealand actor, known worldwide for his paleontologist Alan Grant character in
(1993), today “proudly” collects the Honorary Grand Prize of the Sitges festival for his contribution to the fantasy and horror genre with films such as
(1981), one of his first and impressive works in the cinema that returns to project the contest as a tribute.
His return to the Jurassic universe in
ic world 3
He has generated excitement and reunites him with two actors from the original film, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. What can you tell about the film?
I am delighted to be part of this project and to make it possible it was necessary for the three of us to be together in it. The script is not finished yet and the producers kill me if I say something about the plot, so I can only comment that it will be a new story.
As a child, did I dream of being an actor?
No, I saw it as impossible. I didn't like sports and I loved going to the movies. In my family there had never been any artist, only my brother ever performed at school, so when I opted for the interpretation it was a surprise for my parents and a great concern, because for my father it was not a real job. I was right. That is why I love acting. For me it has always been like a game, not a job in which you have to sign.
What should a character have to decide to get into his skin?
That is complex and can delve inside. I'm not interested in being seen only as a good or bad guy.
Now that biopics are so fashionable, who would like to be interpreted in the cinema?
Tilda Swinton It's perfect, you can play anyone (laughs).
What is the most important lesson you have acquired in more than forty years of career?
The fact of not thinking of myself as an actor, but of someone who acts, which are two very different concepts. People who are dedicated to the entertainment world are very prone to suffer from depression and anxiety because very bad times can happen when the phone does not ring. Most of the time one is told "no" in the castings and if you take the rejection to heart it can become a big problem.
Is that why you have maintained the distances with Hollywood?
Especially for my own mental health and my inner peace. There are only people who move through the business of the show, the results at the box office, something that bores me absolutely. I don't care if someone is famous or not. I worry about making movies and I enjoy shooting in Los Angeles, but I don't want to live in an environment that gives importance to banal things.
Martin Scorsese has caused a stir by saying that Marvel movies are not movies. You made a cameo in Thor: Ragnarok What do you think about it?
Well, it is a subjective and respectable opinion. There are films that entertain and others that are deeper. I prefer those who give me a good story, a message with which I can connect, although nothing happens if there is an audience that only wants to entertain themselves with superhero movies.
He lives on a farm with vineyards and surrounded by animals to which he has given famous names
Yes, I enjoy calling them as my friends so that nobody eats them. Kate Winslet, Angelica Houston, Taika Waititi, Imogen Poots, … Unfortunately, the chicken Meryl Streep died, also the sheep Susan Sarandon. It always saddens me to leave the farm when I have to shoot, but when I spend a lot of time on it I think I should be making a movie.
You have dual nationality, British and New Zealand. Are you worried about Brexit?
It is a disaster. One of the great achievements of the 20th century was the creation of the European Union, an institution with its imperfections, like all. That the United Kingdom decides to abandon it is a sign of a growing nationalist xenophobic wave in Europe. It saddens me to see how British society destroys itself. And it is a tragedy not only for British citizens, but for Europeans and the world in general. Nationalisms are a curse.
He is also very involved in the fight against climate change
It is up to each of us to do everything possible in this task. We have to think about reducing the use of plastic, CO2 emissions … It is a proven fact that we are moving quickly towards a precipice and there is no turning back. I have children and grandchildren and I'm worried about their future, that of our planet and that of human beings as a species. People say: "Children shouldn't worry about that," but it is their future and when I see young people demonstrating on the streets I think "good." Politicians should be ashamed for not hearing their requests.
Is there any role you would love to do and you still haven't been able to?
No, it sounds as if I regret something in my career and it is not so. I have been very fortunate to embody all kinds of characters. And that is a privilege.