While we're all going to have to wait until 2022 to see it, fans are excited that the core cast of the original Jurassic Park film will be back in the next franchise entry, Jurassic World: Dominion. This will make the third time that Sam Neill will play the role of Dr. Alan Grant and, according to the actor himself, perhaps the second time that he actually knew what he was doing in the role.
It turns out that while filming the entire first Jurassic Park movie, Sam Neill felt that he didn't really have a good handle on Dr. Alan Grant. Something about the character simply did not come to him naturally. Neill told Collider that it was only when making his film Jurassic Park III (the third overall) that he really felt like he understood the character well enough. The actor feels there's some special skills necessary to play action heroes and he doesn't really have them. Neill explained,
For me, by the the time I got to #3, probably a bit late in the day, I’d sort of worked out how to play that character, which I hadn’t really quite gotten around to in the first one. I was still trying to work out, how do you play that guy in the hat? Something that comes completely naturally to someone like Harrison Ford. Not naturally to me. And something that Chris Pratt, fantastic guy, has given a lot of thought to and really worked out how to do it. And you have to think how to do that. It’s a special skill. You’re not just playing a character. You need a whole skillset. You need a whole armory to play an action hero and I wish I had known what those skills were when we did the first one, but there we are!
Of course, what's funny about this revelation from Sam Neill is that I doubt most people had any idea that the actor felt like he was having trouble playing the character. Audiences love Alan Grant, and Neill in the role. Obviously that's part of the reason they wanted to see him come back. Dr. Alan Grant isn't quite Indiana Jones, but then he's not really supposed to be.
Maybe the fact that Alan Grant is supposed to be a fairly reluctant action hero helped mask the fact that Neill himself was less than confident about the role. After having done it once before, however, the actor apparently felt much better about playing Dr. Grant in Jurassic Park III. And that was decades before Dominion became a reality.
It's unclear quite how Sam Neill felt reprising the role for Jurassic World: Dominion. On the one hand, he had now played the role twice before, but then again, it has been 20 years since Jurassic Park III and one assumes that both Sam Neill and Dr. Alan Grant have changed in that time. So maybe finding the new Dr. Grant was equally difficult? We'll find out when we finally see the new film June 10th, 2022.