Sam Neill, star of jurassic park, The piano and Peaky blinders, is one of the best-known screen faces of the past 30 years. Yet the actor finds the idea of celebrity ridiculous and spends much of his time laughing at celebrity culture, he told Observer.
“I take great care to avoid anything to do with it and then no one bothers me if I go out for a sandwich or something,” he said.
Neill, a New Zealander, spoke about Australia’s joy at mocking the hustle and bustle around VIPs and the wider advertising industry before the release of the popular British TV series DVD tomorrow Flack.
“I never considered myself a celebrity, and I don’t feel like I’ve been massively famous here on my side of the world. The only thing that really blocked me was the huge gathering of Comic-Con fans for jurassic park. People have become ballistic. There is a large concentration of a certain type of people. Very nice people, but only one type. ”
The actor and his last team of Jurassic co-stars were to begin filming in England on Jurassic World III this month until the pandemic breaks out, but he said there was still hope that some work could resume in July.
“I should go to Pinewood at 6 am. All the sets are there, waiting, “said Neill, adding that Britain holds a big place in his heart and that he aspires to eat again in London after seeing a stage performance in the West End.
“I miss the company of friends and the conviviality around a table in a restaurant, sharing good wine together. I can’t wait to get back to it. We hope people haven’t gotten used to it. “
Neill has taken on unexpected importance in recent months with a series of quirky solo ukulele performances he downloaded from his home in known but unlikely tunes, such as the Bruno Mars hit Uptown Funk and Radiohead’s Creep.
“I have always found social media very involved, so I recently removed the mickey from myself on Twitter and Instagram. It’s an incredible diversion, “he said.
“Commenting on social media has always been an attraction to me, but with the lockdown, I decided not to be political anymore. We could do with a little less shouting in the world. At first, it was just a distraction for me, and then I realized that people were very scared. Some people are under a lot of pressure now, or are afraid and alone. It’s a very unusual set of circumstances, so I felt that anything anyone could do to make it easier was worth a try.
Neill, a wine lover, also organized online wine tasting and cooking sessions. “Rather than seeing it as imprisonment, it is good that people can see it as an opportunity to reconnect and take something new.” Or play the ukulele. I know other actors, like Patrick Stewart, have read Shakespeare, but if I want to sing badly, I will. “
Performers, he suspects, are better prepared for a lonely life at home than many: “I have spoken to two or three friends and I agree that we have been repeating this for decades ; living alone in hotel rooms in secluded locations during filming, often away from the people we love. “
In the second series of Flack, located in London, Neill, 72, plays the cunning “sleeping partner” of a public relations and reputation management company, and he clearly enjoys the chance to mock the deception that generates much of the perception and interest of public figures.
“The claws are really outside in this show,” said Neill. “This is a real world that could soon change its face if there were some sort of reset after the pandemic crisis. It now seems that this behavior is even more narrow. “
The drama series, which airs on Acorn, also stars Sophie Okonedo as an ex-wife and unites Neill with American actress Anna Paquin, recently seen in Martin Scorsese. Irish, who plays the unscrupulous executive at the center of the story. When Paquin was nine, she appeared alongside Neill in the much-loved film by Jane Campion The piano in 1993, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.