‘Jurassic Park’: Jeff Goldblum Had a Strange Way of Learning the Script

The Jurassic Park movie franchise is hotter than ever, with another Jurassic World sequel set to hit theaters within the next few years. One of the series’ most popular performers is Jeff Goldblum, who starred in the original and who has made several appearances since.

Goldblum has been in many other roles as well, making him quite an experienced actor. There was a unique way Goldblum rehearsed his lines on the set of Jurassic Park shared by one of his costars. Here’s the story of Goldblum’s role in the franchise as well as how he got ready to play his part. 

Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm in a scene from the film 'Jurassic Park', 1993.
Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm in a scene from the film ‘Jurassic Park’, 1993. | Murray Close/Getty Images

The premise of ‘Jurassic Park’

Jurassic Park was truly revolutionary for its time. It combined the spectacle of dinosaurs as they’ve never before been depicted on the big screen. Director Steven Spielberg used state-of-the-art computer graphics to make the dinosaurs appear 100% real. 

The premise of the film centers on a wealthy man named John Hammond who discovers a way to harness the ancient DNA of dinosaurs after it’s been preserved by a mosquito trapped in amber. He builds an entire island theme park with real-life dinosaurs as the main attraction. Hammond calls a number of experts in multiple scientific fields to his island to give their blessing to the park. 

RELATED: ‘Jurassic Park’ Had 2 Alternate Endings That Were Scrapped

Things go haywire, and the dinosaurs eventually get loose in the park. Hammond’s young grandchildren are lost, and it’s up to Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to bring them back to safety. The film showcases multiple dinosaurs including velociraptors, brontosauruses, and a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

Jurassic Park is famous for its special effects, but also for the way Spielberg builds tension in many of the scenes. A scene in which the velociraptors stalk the young children in a kitchen is quite legendary for being full of suspense. The film was a critical and commercial success, spawning its own franchise of sequels. Two direct sequels followed, with a reboot series starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard launching this past decade. 

Who did Jeff Goldblum play in ‘Jurassic Park?’

In Jurassic Park, Goldblum portrays Ian Malcolm.

Malcolm is one of the scientific experts Hammond brings to the island to consult him on whether to open the park or not. According to JurassicWorld.com, Malcolm is both a mathematician and a chaos theorist. Malcolm is not one of the film’s main characters, but he is an important one.

When Grant and Sattler confer with Hammond, it is Malcolm who expresses doubt at the decision to build and open the park. When told that the dinosaurs can’t reproduce, he delivers the famous line of “Life finds a way.” He’s later proven right on just about everything, as the park is a disaster.  He’d serve as the main character of the sequel Jurassic Park: The Lost World

Malcolm later returned in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, yet again cautioning at the danger of tampering with Mother Nature. 

The strange way Jeff Goldblum learned the ‘Jurassic Park’ script

Goldblum is certainly a popular actor, and he’s certainly an acclaimed one. He’s starred in multiple films throughout the years. But if you’ve ever wondered how he was able to get so adept at acting, you may be interested to hear about his process on this particular shoot.

According to Mental Floss, Goldblum prepared for the role in an odd way. Ariana Richards, the actor who portrayed one of Hammond’s grandchildren, told Interview magazine that Goldblum read his lines out loud onset: 

“I was struck by the fact that he wasn’t studying it like most people I’d been around that were actors, who’d study quietly [and] kind of unobtrusively…He was speed-reading them out loud!”

Goldblum would practice his lines in between scenes, letting everyone on set in on his creative process.