The stars of Jurassic Park face constant danger on screen, but according to Sam Neill in his new memoir Did I Ever Tell You This?, they had a near-death experience filming the first Jurassic Park movie in Hawaii in September 1992.
We almost died in the first few weeks when we were filming on Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago,” Neill, 75, wrote. “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.”
“It turned out we came very close,” he added.
The New Zealander recalled how the cast and crew tried to stay safe during the hurricane, named Iniki.
“They herded us into a ballroom, all the cast and crew, a few hours before Hurricane Iniki hit us,” he wrote. “Iniki was a Category 4 hurricane and it absolutely wrecked the island, including all our sets. Six people died, and it caused more than $3 billion worth of damage.”
According to the Red Cross via CNN, the storm also damaged or destroyed 14,350 homes on Kauai.
“I think that within three or four hours it had moved on, leaving us surrounded by the wreckage of our huge resort hotel,” Neill recalled in the book. “I’m pretty sure that is why we were spared a large tidal surge through our ballroom, which was just a couple of meters above sea level, a surge that would have probably drowned us all.”
After a few days, Neill and the Jurassic team flew back to Los Angeles to continue filming in a studio before heading back to Hawaii to do some more scenes on the Big Island.
Neill admitted he had a bit of imposter syndrome while working on that first Jurassic movie. (People)