Sam Neill Still Gets Criticized for Wobbly ‘Jurassic Park’ Accent: ‘An Actor’s Nightmare!’

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Sam Neill recently told Vanity Fair that’s he gotten a lot of flak over the years for his wobbly accent in “Jurassic Park,” in which he plays paleontologist Alan Grant with an accent that sounds American at times and then slightly New Zealand at other times. Neill blamed the mix-up on none other than “Jurassic Park” director Steven Spielberg. Neill spent a month prepping for the shoot by perfecting an American accent, which Spielberg told him to throw out on one of the first days on set.

“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.’ 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.’”

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“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.”

Neill’s “Jurassic Park” co-star Laura Dern joined him for the Vanity Fair interview and added, “You give the fans everything they want. A little bit of you, a little bit American.”

After skipping Spielberg’s 1997 sequel “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” Neill returned to the franchise for the 2001 Joe Johnston-directed entry “Jurassic Park III.” Both Neill and Dern are joining original co-star Jeff Goldblum in the upcoming “Jurassic World Dominion,” marking their first reunion in the franchise since Spielberg’s 1993 original.

“I think no one really understood what we were up to,” Dern said of making the first movie. “Just Steven Spielberg was making a movie, and it might have something to do with dinosaurs. I remember when we received our first script of ‘Jurassic Park,’ it was on red paper. Do you remember that? You couldn’t copy it. So old school.”

“Jurassic World Dominion” opens in theaters June 10 from Universal Pictures.

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