March 5, 1995|
Jeff slays 'emBy LOUIS B. HOBSON
HOLLYWOOD -- Jeff Goldblum isn't likely to forget the '90s.
Entering the decade, Goldblum's personal and professional life looked a bit bleak.
His three-year marriage to Geena Davis had self-destructed and his movies were doing little better at the box-office.
"I know it would be helpful if one of my movies did very well at the box office but that's never been one of my main concerns," explained Goldblum in 1992 when he was promoting yet another box-office dud, Deep Cover.
A few months later, Goldblum received a call from Steven Spielberg that would change everything.
Spielberg wanted Goldblum to star in his dinosaur movie Jurassic Park.
The movie became the biggest box-office champ of all time and Goldblum's leading lady Laura Dern became his off-screen lady love. Goldblum, 43, hit the jackpot and his winning streak continued.
Last summer he starred in Independence Day, the year's biggest movie, and he's back this Friday with The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park.
Industry analysts are already predicting The Lost World will be this summer's box-office champ and will easily break $250 million US in North America alone.
Jurassic Park made $325 million US in North America and went on to earn an unprecedented $916 million US worldwide.
So how exactly has being in three of the biggest money-makers of the decade impacted on Goldblum's finances?
"It's my agent's job to deal with those matters. I just sign the contracts when they're drawn up," says Goldblum. "The success of these three movies has certainly made my life less stressful and I'm having great fun slaying aliens and dinosaurs."
Though Dern and Goldblum still own several homes together, they rarely spend much time in each other's company. Dern has been rumored to be having an affair with Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton, who she met while shooting the Ellen episode in which the comedienne and her character came out of the closet.
"I have a real taste for discretion in my private life. I don't even want to acknowledge such inquiries."
Goldblum says he watched the Ellen episode in which Dern played Ellen's lover.
He says it was "funny, spectacular and beautiful. I was genuinely touched by the show. I respect and adore Laura and we're still great friends."
He says Dern visited him on the set of The Lost World last fall.
"Laura would have loved to be in the sequel but her character was too smart to come back to an island of dinosaurs. Steven Spielberg is one clever man. He knew my character was about the only one who could be manipulated into repeating such a horrifying adventure."
Goldblum says he had even more fun making The Lost World than he did filming Jurassic Park.
"There was far more action in it for me. In Jurassic Park, my character got sidelined by an injury so I missed out on a lot of the physical stuff.
"This time, I get to do it all. I get to be wet and muddy. I get to outrun the raptors this time."
Goldblum feels The Lost World is "more sophisticated, more real, more imaginative and more intense than Jurassic Park.
"There's far more carnage this time. Kids are going to go nuts. As we learned from Jurassic Park, kids love the scary stuff."
Goldblum recalls that the atmosphere on The Lost World set was exciting and exhilarating.
"The actors were willing to do anything Steven and the special-effects people asked of us because we were aware of the incredible anticipation around the world for this sequel."
For Goldblum that meant hanging by a harness for eight hours a day for several weeks to film a scene in which he and co-stars Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn are dangling over a precipice.
Then there were the giant T-Rexes.
"Our first day on the set, we had a safety meeting in which (the dinosaurs' creator) Stan Winston told us that whenever the T-Rexes were on set we had to turn off our lap-top computers and our cell phones.
"Our little machines had the capability of altering the commands programmed into the T-rex computers."
Goldblum saw just how dangerous his robotic co-stars could be. In the scene when the parent dinosaurs are attacking the mobile laboratory where the three scientists are hiding, one of the robot's teeth came too close to the lab and actually bit into it.
"After that, it wasn't too difficult to simulate terror whenever they were around."
Goldblum hasn't signed for his next movie but he says if Spielberg wants to send him back for a third go with the dinosaurs, his bags are packed.