Nicolas Cage is an actor who has been known to take a variety of roles over the years. He doesn't always seem to be too picky, although there are clearly some projects he has been more passionate about than others, and when he likes a project, we tend to know about it. Apparently, others are not immune to his enthusiasm, either. Recently, Laura Dern revealed that it was actually Nic Cage who convinced her to take the role in Jurassic Park, a movie that is beloved by many. Here's what she said:
I said, 'Well,' Steven Spielberg offered me a movie.' And he said, 'What. Movie.' I started to describe it, and he says, 'Wait. You get to do a movie where dinosaurs are your costars?! How do I get on that movie? Who can I pay to be part of that movie? Those are the co-stars I've always wanted!'
If you know much about Laura Dern's career, you may already have an inkling that in the early nineties the actress was coming off of projects like Rambling Rose, a movie mostly set in the Great Depression that earned Laura Dern an Oscar nomination. Following Rambling Rose, she said she was getting a lot of scripts for "traditionally independent films." Then, she got the offer for Jurassic Park.
As she noted to EW, she thought Nicolas Cage's comments made total sense and even used them in context when saying yes to Steven Spielberg. The best part of this story is that you can almost hear Nic Cage's enthusiasm when espousing that Dern could and should get to do a movie where dinosaurs were her co-stars. If his comments were even half as over-the-top as Laura Dern repeating the story years later, it's no wonder she said yes.
Of course, Laura Dern's Jurassic Park character Ellie Sadler is unlike a lot of female heroines. She's capable and smart and a good worker in the field. There are plenty of movies that feature women capable on the business end of things or feature women kicking ass in superhero costumes, but what's most fun about Ellie Sattler is that she seems like a regular person who is sharp and able to get herself out of one tough situation. So there really is appeal to that role beyond just getting to work with dinosaurs, well and Steven Spielberg. Again though, the dinosaurs are a great sell.
Who knows what Jurassic Park would have been like without Laura Dern in the role? Luckily, we don't have to imagine it, thanks to Nic Cage.