Sam Neill never wanted to become an actor.
The ‘Jurassic Park’ star has had an impressive 50-year career on the big screen but he never intended to become an actor, as he initially thought acting was a form of therapy.
Speaking on the ‘WTF with Marc Maron’ podcast, he quipped: “I have no ambitions as an actor – never have. Every time I get a job, I’m completely astonished. Who are these fools that want to employ me? Harrison Ford’s turned them down. Everybody’s turned them down. I’m number 27 on the list.”
The 73-year-old actor first began acting to help him to overcome his stutter as he found his confidence on the stage.
He explained: “I didn’t really mean to. I never imagined I’d get into acting as a career. I knew I loved acting and I started school in it and it was therapeutic.
“I underscore that as I really don’t like drama as therapy, but it was therapeutic for me as I had a really bad stammer as a child. I stuttered very badly and I hardly spoke for 14 years until I gradually got some confidence as an adolescent.
“I realised on stage I could speak clearly and that gave me the courage to talk to people and talk to adults.”
Sam eventually found his way into the movie business by appearing in some of his friend’s short films.
He said: “I would moonlight in one or two of my friend’s little films. A guy called Roger Donaldson spotted me in one of those films and cast me in the lead in the first colour feature film ever made in New Zealand.
“Someone saw me in that film and asked me to come to Australia and act in a film called ‘My Brilliant Career’ opposite Judy Davis. For the first time in my life, people said, ‘You’re actually quite good.’ Then I started making a good living as an actor and that took me to England and points beyond.”