Through whatever combination of his actual personality and his training as a thespian, Jeff Goldblum has managed to cultivate a perfectly articulated and gesticulated form of weirdness that is compelling, hypnotic, and, at times, erotic. He is a deeply strange man whose every word and every movement is delivered with exacting precision in a cadence that is unmistakably his – a rhythm that seems to be the product of hesitance or unpreparedness but presents, as a whole, as something completely beautiful. In short: the dude fuckin’ rules.
While he has allowed himself to further settle comfortably into his incredible weirdness over the course of time, 1993’s Jurassic Park was the first proper taste a lot of us had of this immaculately unique creature. The captivating pauses in his speech, the weird shapes he made with his hands while talking, the very unlikely laugh he did in the helicopter to Isla Nublar, and, most importantly, the bare eroticism of an injured and tastefully hirsute Dr Ian Malcolm lying prone with his shirt open.
It’s difficult to imagine that this scene could be in any way improved and, yet, somehow it has been. At a panel celebrating the 25th anniversary of the film, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (if you haven’t seen Kong: Skull Island, watch it immediately) asked Goldblum what he recalled about shooting that incredible scene.
Goldblum’s recollection? Not only was it unscripted, it was Goldblum’s idea. As the assistant director who was also on stage confirmed, it was Goldblum’s idea to unbutton his shirt and “everyone just went with it“.
This revelation is somehow both completely unsurprising and yet also spectacularly, wonderfully delightful. Did a scene intended to convey the danger of their predicament need a sweaty, sexually charged chaos mathematician lying back and doing heavy breathing? Absolutely not, but the movie is all the richer for it.