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Thursday, June 5, 1997

The odd world of Jeff Goldblum

Independence Day and Lost World star has his own, uh, view of things

Toronto Sun

 HOLLYWOOD -- Ask Jeff Goldblum the time, and he'll tell you how to get to Switzerland.
 Tell Goldblum that he's vague enough to run for political office, and he grins sheepishly.
 "Oh," he responds, "I, uh, don't think I'm, y'know, so different than your average, y'know, average."
 Having said that, I say, "Excuse me?"
 Having heard that, Goldblum says, "Excuse me?"
 Excuses aside, it is obvious that committing to a definitive train of thought -- or completing a thought without joking about it -- has never been one the 44-year-old actor's strengths.
 Performing in blockbusters apparently is.
 He's the recognizable human face in such major movie sci-fi smashes as Jurassic Park, Independence Day and the recently released The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
 He's also been honored and acclaimed for a string of acting performances that range from his brief "I forgot my mantra" line in Annie Hall, to his unforgettably annoying writer in The Big Chill.
 Still, it's his association with the trio of box office extravaganzas that gives Goldblum a career opportunity only a few actors enjoy -- the right to choose his next role.
 Unfortunately, his personal life is not so solid. Two marriages later -- including his split with Geena Davis -- and lots more relationships, he's still searching after breaking up with girlfriend Laura Dern months ago.
 So, he's more or less regretful but available.
 "Um, oh, I wouldn't, I think, put it that way," Goldblum says. "I suppose we could say I'm not traditionally spoken for. But seriously, I'm trying to be as discreet as I can."
 So far, so good for Goldbum in the descreet department, which also means he refuses to say whom he's dating presently. "Oh, yeah, uh, let's say I'm enjoying a whole range of choices."
 That includes playing jazz piano at local clubs, teaching acting at Playhouse West, working out with weights, doing yoga, and generally cultivating the wise, witty and weird 6-foot-4 unit that is Jeff Goldblum.
 "Trust in nature and life will find a way," he says.
 You could also say, "In sequels, we trust."
 "Yes, of course," he nods, picking up on the vague reference to a secretive but planned second Independence Day epic. "ID-2. Yes, there have been little whispers in my ear, and if they can come up with a story, uh, y'know, a worthwhile story, well then, wouldn't that be nice for everybody."
 And while we're on the subject.
 Yeah," he says, showing off his anticipatory power again. "Well, I believe, I'm not sure, but I believe there is something in the Jurassic Park agreement with a second and a third reference in there."
 How does that make Goldblum feel?
 "I certainly feel my gratitude," he says. "Acting, teaching acting -- the sky is the limit. I'm trying to get better at it.
 "Not to mention life, which continues to be a challenge," he adds, "and which I continue to try and get better at."
 That object of his desire -- obscurity -- is something that he apparently does without trying, at all.

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