Jurassic Park star Sam Neill is getting candid about his thoughts on death amid a battle with stage 3 blood cancer.
Neill, 76, said he’s “not remotely afraid” of death in an interview with the Australian Story, which was published on Sunday, October 15. The actor previously revealed in March that he had been diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, defined as a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects blood cells which are also known as T cells.
After switching treatment to a rare anti-cancer drug that worked, Neill has now been in remission for 12 months. The New Zealand native has to take the medicine every two weeks indefinitely in order to remain healthy, he said, noting that the few days after the treatments are “very grim and depressing.”
His doctors have warned him that one day the drug will eventually stop working. “I’m prepared for that,” he said.
Neill’s hematologist Dr. Orly Lavee explained that “we may need to think about a third line option” when that day comes. “That’s a difficult thing to carry around, day in, day out, waiting for that to happen,” she told the outlet
This is not the first time that Neill has opened up about his thoughts on death.
“I’m not afraid to die, but it would annoy me,” Neill said in an interview with The Guardian in March 2022. “Because I’d really like another decade or two, you know? We’ve built all these lovely terraces, we’ve got these olive trees and cypresses. I want to be around to see it all mature. And I’ve got my lovely little grandchildren. I want to see them get big. But as for the dying? I couldn’t care less.”
While Neill may not be fearing death, there is one thing that the three-time Golden Globe winner said he is scared of — retirement. “[That] fills me with horror,” he quipped to Australian Story on Sunday.
Neill was filming an adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s Apples Never Fall, in which he stars as Stan Delaney, before the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes began earlier this summer. He’s also set to reprise his role in season two of The Twelve.
The two-time Emmy-nominated actor began his acting career in the 1970s. He’s best known for playing Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park franchise but has also starred in Merlin and One Against the Wind, among others.