Jurassic Park's Sam Neill Provides Clarity On His Health After Cancer Diagnosis Makes Headlines

Sam Neill smirking in the middle of a Utah dig site in Jurassic World Dominion.
(Image credit: Universal)

Sam Neill has greatly endeared himself to the public, thanks in large part to his memorable roles in movies like Jurassic Park, The Piano and (underappreciated classic) Event Horizon. So it wasn’t surprising that many had visceral reactions when Neill’s blood cancer diagnosis was revealed this past week. Of course, the revelation also made the rounds within the news cycle, with the New Zealand actor practically going viral. Well, Neill himself took notice of all the buzz surrounding him and his news. And with that, he’s speaking out again in order to provide some clarity on the status of his health. 

It was on Friday that an excerpt from the 75-year-old actor’s upcoming memoir – Did I Ever Tell You This? – was released and revealed that he’d been treated for stage-three blood cancer. As Sam Neill explained in an interview, the book essentially came together after he began writing about snippets of his life amid his medical treatments. After the portion of the text went viral, Neill took to Instagram to drop a very candid video. The caption of the post is a transcription of the clip and, in it, the actor admitted to finding it somewhat “tiresome” that his diagnosis is overshadowing the book itself. And as he also points out, he’s doing well in regard to his health:

And my news seems to be all over the news at the moment, and it’s sort of ‘Cancer! Cancer! Cancer!’ Which is slightly tiresome because as you see, I am alive and well and I have been in remission for eight months, which feels really good. And I’m alive and kicking and I’m going to work. I’m very happy to be going back to work.

I think I speak for just about everyone when I say we’re glad that the Hunt for Red October alum is still “alive and kicking.” One can also understand his feelings on the matter and why he would be compelled to set the record straight. He surely appreciates the well wishes, but he probably doesn’t want fans overreacting for nothing. Later in the clip, he reiterated the sequence of events that led him to start writing in the first place: 

So here I am, and I just wish the headline wasn’t ‘that thing’ so much, because the main thing is that I have written this book, it’s called ‘Did I Ever Tell You This?’. And it does mention cancer because that’s the sort of context in which I wrote it . But I didn’t really mean to write a book, I needed something to do while I was undergoing treatment, and I am used to going to work and I suddenly couldn’t go to work.

It’d be a crying shame – for both us and Sam Neill himself – if he weren’t able to work. So it’s wonderful to hear that he’s doing well and is still able to do what he enjoys. So as he says, let’s “not worry too much” about his health and appreciate the fact that he’s in good health. Check out his video in its entirety down below:

The actor is indeed staying booked and busy these days and is coming off of a major 2022. He excitedly appeared in Jurassic World Dominion, in which he reprised his famous role as Dr. Alan Grant. The threequel also reunited him with fellow franchise veterans Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. Additionally, the leading man also reteamed with director Taika Waititi for Thor: Love and Thunder, as he once again played the Odin impersonator in the MCU, which seemingly confuses him. And this year, he’ll be seen in the thriller film The Portable Door and alongside Annette Benning in Peacock’s Apples Never Fall, which was referenced in the video above.

Sam Neill clearly isn’t dwelling on his health and is simply aiming to do what any actor wants to do – work. While the cancer information will probably remain on many people’s minds, let’s hope that most just sit back and enjoy the work that Neill has on the way.

You can pick up Did I Ever Tell You This? when it releases on March 21, and check out The Portable Door when it arrives on April 7 as part of the schedule of 2023 new movie releases.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.