It feels like Laura Dern has been around forever, which is meant as a compliment based on the actress’ body of work. Born into a Hollywood family via parents Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, she made her screen debut in 1973, and has since gone on to win an Academy Award, a BAFTA, a Primetime Emmy, and five Golden Globes. In turn, that makes it very easy to forget that she was only 26 when Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park released in the summer of 1993.
Meanwhile, co-star and onscreen love interest Sam Neill was a whole two decades older, with the actor 45 when he made his first appearance as Alan Grant. Nobody really said anything about the age difference at the time, and that includes the pair themselves, but Dern brought it up as being inappropriate during an interview with The Sunday Times.
“Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady! It never occurred to me until I opened a magazine and there was an article called ‘Old geezers and gals… Well, it felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill. And it was only now, when we returned in a moment of cultural awareness about the patriarchy, that I was, like, ‘Wow! We’re not the same age?’ […] Our age gap in Jurassic Park was completely inappropriate.”
Most fans probably aren’t even aware the gap between Dern and Neill is as much as 20 years, but it didn’t stop them from being able to slip back into their crackling chemistry in Jurassic World Dominion, at least if the trailers are any indication.