Laura Dern, Sam Neill reflect on 'Jurassic Park' romance's age gap: 'Appropriate' at the time

·2 min read

"Jurassic Park" stars Laura Dern and Sam Neill's 20-year age gap in the 1993 blockbuster never raised eyebrows to them until recently.

The pair, who are gearing up to reprise their roles as palaeobotanist Ellie Sattler and palaeontologist Alan Grant in "Jurassic World Dominion," reflected on Steven Spielberg's decision to cast them opposite each other as love interests in the original film.

Dern was in her 20s and Neill in his 40s at the time.

"I am 20 years older than Laura! Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady," Neill, 74, told The (London) Sunday Times. Dern is now 55.

Laura Dern and Sam Neill had a 20-year age gap while filming
Laura Dern and Sam Neill had a 20-year age gap while filming

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He added: "It never occurred to me until I opened a magazine and there was an article called 'Old geezers and gals.' People like Harrison Ford and Sean Connery acting with much younger people. And there I was, on the list. I thought, 'Come on. It can’t be true.' "

Ford starred in "Six Days, Seven Nights" in 1998 opposite Anne Heche when he was 55 and she was 29. Connery was 39 years older that Catherine Zeta Jones in the 1999 movie "Entrapment."

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Dern also discussed being 20 years junior to Neill.

At the time, she said, she thought it was "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?' " Dern said.

"Jurassic World Dominion" arrives June 9.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Jurassic Park': Laura Dern, Sam Neill talk 20-year age gap casting