Sam Neill has been able to return home for Christmas after ten months abroad because of the covid and the filming of the latest installment of Jurassic world. His home is a farm with sheep, goats, pigs and chickens in Central Otago, on the South Island of New Zealand, which is surrounded by the four vineyards where the actor has produced his own Pinot Noir for more than 30 years. “They are two completely different worlds, but I have managed to combine them in a way that gives me great pleasure and satisfaction,” explains the actor in a documentary for the Australian network ABC. When his family moved from Northern Ireland to New Zealand when he was only seven years old, Otago became his paradise: “This was the land of my dreams, where we spent our holidays when I was a boy. I love this land more than any other place in the world. “
Neill has spent 15 days of mandatory quarantine in a hotel in Auckland, where he has made his confinement more bearable with his almost daily interventions on social networks. His almost half a million followers on Twitter enjoy the day-to-day life on the farm, especially since he has named his animals after his best friends in Hollywood: Jeff Goldblum the sheep, Helena Bonham Carter the cow, the lambs Susan Sarandon and Anjelica Huston, or the hen Meryl Streep. In a country that prides itself on having more sheep than people, Sam Neill perfectly embodies the New Zealand sense of humor: to take the iron out of the most serious matters, it is best to laugh at yourself.
The 73-year-old actor decided to stop commenting on politics on social media when COVID forced the world to confine itself in March 2020. “We would do well with a little less people screaming in this world,” he told the British newspaper The Guardian. Then he began posting videos of himself playing songs on the ukulele, painting pictures, giving cooking lessons or reading poetry – activities for which he says he has no talent. “I don’t mind making a fool of myself if it helps people.”
The publications that have most delighted the public have been the videos he has shot with his co-stars in Jurassic World: Dominion, like the jazz jam sessions with Jeff Goldblum that have been seen by over a million and a half people. The film was completed in November in the UK after a year of delays, interruptions and increased security measures. In an interview with Radio New Zealand, Neill shared the obstacles of a project that sometimes seemed impossible to finish. “I think I have been tested for covid about 55 times. The inside of my nose has been made the most resistant. “
Jurassic World: Dominion reunites the original cast of the first Jurassic park (In addition to Goldblum, actress Laura Dern also returns) with the stars of the last editions, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. It was in 1993 that the birth of the most profitable dinosaur saga in movie history catapulted Sam Neill to Hollywood star status, the same year it was released. The piano, one of his most recognized interpretive works. Almost 30 years later and with more than 130 projects behind him, his reputation continues to go through the roof. In addition to the success that is predicted for Jurassic World: Dominion, Neill is also enjoying the strong box office results for his latest film, Rams, which at the moment has only been released in Australia and New Zealand.
Rams is a remake from an Icelandic film (El Valle de los Rams in Spain), which tells the story of two estranged farmer brothers. In the film, the character played by Sam Neill talks to his sheep, the same as he sometimes does in his videos about the farm.
Although he has prioritized humor over politics on his social accounts, the actor does not mince words when it comes to sharing his views on traditional media. He took advantage of his return to New Zealand to regret that his fellow citizens had rejected the referendum to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. And he openly declares himself a voter of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “The world has been ruled for too long by boring white men of a certain age,” he said in an interview to New Statesman in 2018, long before Ardern became one of the world’s most admired leaders for her impeccable management in the fight against COVID.