Sam Neill recalls near-death experience on set of ‘Jurassic Park’

“It turned out we came very close…"

Sam Neill has recalled the time he, his fellow cast members and the crew of Jurassic Park almost died on set.

The actor starred in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, alongside Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern.

In his recently released memoir Did I ever Tell You This?, Neill reflected on their near-death experience while shooting the film in Hawaii.


“We almost died in the first few weeks where we were filming on Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago,” he wrote (via People Magazine).

He continued: “One morning we were told to stay back at the hotel and expect a hurricane later in the day. I was down on the beach with Laura Dern, who asked me: ‘Sam, do you think we might die today?’

“As these massive black clouds approached over the Pacific I found I had to tell her that in all honesty the answer was, ‘Yes, I thought we might.”

Jurassic Park Laura Dern Sam Neill
Laura Dern and Sam Neill in ‘Jurassic Park’ CREDIT: Alamy

On September 5, 1992, Hurricane Iniki struck Hawaii during the Jurassic Park shoot. One of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the island in recorded history, it killed six people and destroyed or damaged more than 14,000 homes.

Neill added in his memoir: “It turned out we came very close… They herded us into a ballroom, all the cast and crew, a few hours before Hurricane Iniki hit us.


“Iniki was a Category 4 hurricane and it absolutely wrecked the island, including all our sets. Six people died, and it caused more than $3bn (£2.4bn) worth of damage.”

He added that the cast and crew found themselves “surrounded by wreckage of our huge resort hotel” within three to four hours of the storm hitting.

Elsewhere in his memoir, Neill revealed that he is receiving treatment for stage three blood cancer, but it is now in remission.

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