Jeff Goldblum: I believe I am a humble student
Back in the day when 'Independence Day' (1996) released, it opened up a world of explosions, destruction, never-seen-before visuals and epic on-screen battles to save planet earth, making it all look stylish. Two decades later, the sequel to the blockbuster — 'Independence Day: Resurgence' — is set to hit screens this month end. If the trailers are anything to go by, the film promises to a grand visual experience and a welcome callback to the '90s nostalgia. While it is left to be seen if the cult classic will hit the nerve just the way it did 20 years ago, one of the exciting aspects of the movie is the return of the two original cast members: Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum.
Jeff Goldblum. Pic/Getty Images
Now 63, there is nothing typical about Goldblum, who seamlessly dances around from one topic to another, his infectious energy firmly intact. He spoke to hitlist about the much-awaited sequel, what he thought of the new Jurassic World movie and of course, aliens. Excerpts:
Q. Let's start with the obvious — how does it feel to be back?
A. It's fantastic. I feel lucky to be in this movie. I was proud of the first one and thrilled that people enjoyed it as much as they seemed to. I love what we have done with this one too and happy to be working with Roland Emmerich; he's a spectacular director and a wonderful man to hang out and collaborate with. Some of the older cast members are also back and that's wonderful. Liam Hemsworth is a new addition; he is a great actor and an amazing guy.
Q. Speaking of new cast members, did you give them any advice before they came on board?
A. No, they didn't need any advice from me. I was just trying to do a good job myself and figure out how to serve the project as well as I could. In fact, I always believe that I am a humble student and always learning. Liam, particularly, is a cool and extremely talented guy.
Q. Filmmaking per se has undergone drastic changes in the last 20 years. How different was shooting for this 'Independence Day' as opposed to the previous one?
A. It wasn't all that wildly dissimilar. It's trying to make believe in a good way, but it was a much bigger production and the set work was massive and very impressive. There were also a lot more special effects shots and they had more complete ways of showing us what to anticipate and what we were looking at or pretending to look at, so that was much more evolved and sophisticated.
Q. The sci-fi genre is being wildly explored these days. What do you think is fresh or new about Resurgence in a way that it gives it an edge over its contemporaries?
A. Well, I don't like to compare. I don't think anybody is in competition, but I do think that our movie is special most principally because of Emmerich. He's a unique director with a real passionate flair for this kind of storytelling and has a genuine feeling from his soul about the people on earth and the family that we are, our connection with each other and our fragile existence and this idea of unification. And it would be a wonderful thing to happen without an alien invasion. So, yeah, his direction makes it special.
Q. In a movie like this, which speaks about unification and integration, is it important to say something of social relevance given the times we are living in?
A. Wow, well, I don't know if it's important but I like it. I am excited because I am a little bit in love with being here with the entire family of countries and people living on this planet and because I play all these parts. I keep studying about scientists and their methods of finding out about things and trying to contribute to our well-being. It is a fun, popcorn movie, but I love the idea that all of the people despite their physical and religious difference come together and that makes it relevant. Our challenges don't entail alien invasions, but we need to figure out how to resolve conflict without violence and that can happen with us all being on the same page. That is what the film speaks of; I love that about the movie.
Q. You became a father again last year… on Independence Day!
A. Yes! Charlie was indeed born on Independence Day. The due date was July 4 and it happened on that date and they gave me a week off from shooting; he's doing great!
Q. You also teach acting. What's the one lesson you teach your students from your own life and experiences?
A. Work very, very hard and love what you do, every day. That's the best advice I ever got too: 'Fill your days doing what you love'. It's like the people I used to play the piano with; they never wanted or thought about becoming popular or hugely successful or wealthy, but for the sheer love of what they do, they do it everyday.
Q. What did you think of the latest Jurassic movie?
A. I think it's wonderful, and I was thrilled how well they made it. Well, I was fully satisfied with the two that I did with Mr (Steven) Spielberg, so it's all good. And you know, I have always liked dinosaurs.