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There are few film franchises quite as iconic as Jurassic Park. Everything from the theme song to its dialogue have become pop culture icons, including the always delightful Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum Dr. Ian Malcolm in the first two films, and is currently slated to return for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Perhaps no shot of Ian Malcolm is quite as iconic as when the group is recovering after the first T-Rex attack. Injured and bloody, we see Jeff Goldblum in his shirtless glory, as the character has inexplicably unbutton his shirt. It's become a meme and even a funko pop doll, and now the actor himself has spoken about his choice to show his chest in Jurassic Park.
I can't even remember much, but we were shooting the whole sequence with the great Richard Attenborough, he was fretting about, 'Oh things have gone wrong!' Laura Dern was already out and about following PVC piping or some kind of junk, to get to the, turn the juice back on. She was trying to turn the juice back on! I had heroically saved the kids by distracting the T-Rex after eating the lawyer on the toilet. He bumped me, and my leg is in some sort of condition. I guess it's Costa Rica, isn't that where we're supposed to be? I guess it's hot. Where were we? We were probably on Universal's [lot] shooting in one of these things. Mr. Steven Spielberg, I dunno if he said, 'Jeff, unbutton your,' I dunno if it was him, I forget. Or whether it was me.
It looks like Jeff Goldblum's thought process about showing some skin mostly came from Jurassic Park's setting. Because the park is on an island off of Costa Rica, Goldblum assumed Ian might be overheated, and therefore might need to air his shirt out. After saving the two kids from The X-Rex, he kind of deserves it.
Jeff Goldblum's comments to IGN show how much of an after thought going shirtless was. The actor was simply making choices for his character that felt were organic, which includes his bare chest. He couldn't have known he'd become a meme years later, and would be asked to somehow recall a specific day on the Jurassic Park set.
During his same conversation with IGN, Jeff Goldblum maintained that he wasn't trying to add anything sexy to Jurassic Park by unbuttoning. Too late, Jeff. Too late.
I think there was some natural sweat going on. I think I was suffering manfully, and that's the story. I don't think there was anything about me, there was nothing sexy going on there, and there still might not be!
While Jeff Goldblum might not think himself as a sex symbol, that shot from Jurassic Park will always be the pinnacle of his natural charm. That, and his bonkers performance from Thor: Ragnarok.