Sam Neill is doing “very well” following treatment for stage 3 blood cancer. In fact, he’s not just on the mend, he’s already back to work.
A rep for the Jurassic Park star tells ET, the 75-year-old actor “is very well and back at work starring opposite Annette Bening in the upcoming limited series Apples Never Fall.” The rep added, “Thank you for your good wishes. Sam has no further comment beyond what’s written in his book.”
According to The Guardian, Neill reveals in his upcoming memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?, that he experienced swollen glands while promoting Jurassic World Dominion back in March 2022. The outlet reported he was ultimately diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. He would go on to receive chemotherapy, which later started to fail, forcing Neill to take a new chemotherapy drug he’ll have to take monthly for the rest of his life. He’s now cancer-free.
“I can’t pretend that the last year hasn’t had its dark moments,” he told The Guardian. “But those dark moments throw the light into sharp relief, you know, and have made me grateful for every day and immensely grateful for all my friends. Just pleased to be alive.”
Back in October 2021, Invasion co-creator Simon Kinberg spoke to ET and explained the inspiration behind the sprawling Apple TV+ series (starring Neill, Golshifteh Farahani, Shamier Anderson and many others) and how the premiere paid homage to Jurassic Park.
Sheriff Tyson, played by Neill, is called to investigate a potential criminal situation at a local farm when he unknowingly happens upon the first signs of the aliens on Earth. As he climbs up the silo, the camera suddenly pulls in on his face as he reacts to seeing something peculiar in the cornfield.
That moment, Kinberg confirmed, is a reference to Neill’s most popular role as Dr. Grant in Jurassic Park, when his character rips off his sunglasses the moment he first sees dinosaurs in person. “That definitely was a conscious homage,” he says, noting that he’s a huge fan of the actor. “What I love about him is that he’s a character actor at heart, and that he is a chameleon. He can play all these different kinds of roles.”
“He is also restrained as an actor. I really love that he’s a very nuanced, detailed type of character — even in the Jurassic movies – there’s sort of a restraint and texture to the way he performs,” Kinberg continued.
Laura Dern opened up to ET in June 2022 what it was like to reunite with Neill when she reprised her role as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic World: Dominion.
“This is amazing,” Dern said at the time of getting to spend time with her former co-stars, recalling that “one of my favorite memories of the whole experience was the first day that Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum and I had a scene together.”
“We got into a Jeep and as we got in position, we looked out and the crew was surrounding the Jeep and were teary-eyed because they were seeing these characters that they had loved from the first film come back together,” she continued. “I think the franchise has meant a lot to people growing up, and I think [director] Colin Trevorrow wanted to bring the nostalgia of the first film back as well.”
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