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Sometimes, there are moments where even our closest friends and coworkers may not recognize us. Maybe it’s a trick of the light, a slight change in our voices, or in the case of Bohemian Rhapsody’s Joseph Mazzello, a wig and a British accent; but all of those things can lead to potential confusion with even our most cherished colleagues. Just ask Steven Spielberg, as he apparently didn’t recognize his Jurassic Park star in his role as Queen’s bassist John Deacon, according to the actor himself.
On hand for last night’s Jurassic Park livestream commentary on IGN, Mazzello talked about how Spielberg is one of the people he still keeps in contact regularly from his early acting career. And in talking about their strong connection as friends, he told this story of deception via his acting prowess in Bohemian Rhapsody.
Steven is the person I probably keep in touch with the most. This past year we’ve been exchanging a bunch of letters. Like literally still handwritten letters, which is amazing. Just talking about whatever: our careers, and [how] he saw [Bohemian Rhapsody], and he apparently didn’t recognize me, because I had the wig on and had a British accent. He leaned over to his guest, and was like, ‘Who is that? Who is that actor?’
Imagine having to be the person that told Steven Spielberg that Bohemian Rhapsody’s John Deacon was also Tim Murphy from Jurassic Park. Though, to be fair, the wig work combined with the accent was probably enough of a double whammy to fool most audiences. So it's definitely understandable that Spielberg would take this moment it in stride with an, “Of course!” style epiphany, it’s still a pretty amusing story. Especially in light of the details that Joseph Mazzello gave about how he bonded with the legendary director, during their time with the dinosaurs.
As a child actor/aspiring director, Mazzello’s ability to land Jurassic Park as a massive acting gig proved to be a bit of an education for the young talent. Not only did this lead to a wonderful experience under Steven Spielberg’s directing hand, but it also led to Joseph Mazzello getting excused from some of his on-set lessons for what the director would call “field trips."
Those trips would show Joseph Mazzello the inner workings of Jurassic Park’s production, and further cultivate the friendship that he and Spielberg still share to this day. It also yielded some pretty awesome keepsakes that the actor showed off during last night’s livestream, such as a personally signed set photo from Steven Spielberg, and a Raptor model. But somehow, that Bohemian Rhapsody movie had enough magic in it to fool one of our greatest blockbuster directors into thinking he was watching a stranger on the big screen.
If you’re still talking to someone from 27 years in your past, like, say, Laura Dern, it’s safe to say you’re still pretty friendly. But to still be exchanging handwritten letters with that person, like Joseph Mazzello and Steven Spielberg have done, to me that bumps things up to the bracket of friendship. Indeed, the relationship between these two colleagues is strong, even if it can temporarily be thrown off by a wig and an accent.