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It’s hard to think about Jurassic Park without Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm. The chaos theorist was at the center of the first two films in the franchise but then sat out Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World.
Well, the black-leather-jacket aficionado is back, albeit briefly, for Fallen Kingdom. Malcolm has one pivotal scene where he testifies in front of Congress about whether the dinosaurs should be rescued from the island. “I saw him as kind of Al Gore,” says writer Colin Trevorrow. “He’s got a beard now, and he’s like, ‘I told all of you this was going to be a disaster, and sure enough it is.’ ”
EW talked to Goldblum about returning to this classic role, butt tattoos, and the chances of him running with dinos in Jurassic World 3.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Who approached you to come back?
JEFF GOLDBLUM: My agent called me one day and said, “We got a call from the producers of the movie. Who knows whose idea it was and they’ve written a part for you!” That’s what happened! How about that? I was thrilled. I had been a fan of [director] J.A. Bayona’s. I saw The Orphanage the first week it came out in theaters.
Did you see Jurassic World?
Yeah. Deeelightful! Oh, come on. Fantastic! I love Chris [Pratt] and Bryce [Dallas Howard]. Colin Trevorrow is an important artist and grand thinker and great person. He just directed me in that Jeep commercial during the Super Bowl. Prior to my appearance in London to shoot, I called him on the phone and we talked about my little scene. Writerly master that he is, I enjoyed talking to him about how we could make it great.
Where is Ian at this point in Fallen Kingdom?
Well, you don’t know what I’ve been doing. But I bet, with the experience I’ve had and a near-death trauma, I think I’ve been deepened and more compassionate and even more a lover of the Earth and our species. I’m sure I’ve been researching chaos theory and I’m close to my daughter and all that.
Anyways, they bring me in front of Congress. They want to know if I have an opinion of the volcano and if we should let the dinosaurs go. I’m like Owen (Pratt) and Claire (Howard) and a deep lover of all living things but you’ve heard me on the subject of the misguided reanimation. As long as a volcano, my best advice as difficult as it is, is that we should let evolution course correct. We have the power to destroy our selves and we need to wise up.
What was it like to come back and play Ian?
Delightful. I have such a fond memory of working with Steven Spielberg and the casts of the two movies. People seem to get a kick out of my character here and there and I didn’t want to let anyone down. I was thrilled getting another chance at it. My best advice is to keep everyone away and let the volcano do its stuff. But as we know there are other agendas afoot. These people who want to misuse our accomplishments for profit or for cheap entertainment or for militaristic power? Shame on them. We must resist.
How was J.A. as a director?
Fantastic. I’d seen all of his movies. After talking to Colin about the speech and my scene and I got there, J.A. was passionate! He was on fire and in an infectious way. He’s also free and playful and confident. He knows how to paint on a big canvas. He’s passionate and engaged in world issues and these issues of science and political grotesquery and ignorance and wanted to make sure my little segment resonated in the most articulate, pithy way.
How do these movies rank in your very lengthy resume?
I love them. People come up to me and they have tattoos of my character on their arm and their buttocks. They make shower curtains out of my character and paintings out of my character. There’s Funko dolls of me as my character.
There’s going to be a Jurassic World 3. Would you come back again?
Yesssssss. Yessssss. I hope it would be something where I could contribute something worthwhile. But I can’t get enough of this character! [Laughs]
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom explodes into theaters on June 22.