A memoir released next week from actor Sam Neill contains a plot revelation from the “Jurassic Park” star.
“The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying. I may have to speed this up,” he wrote in the first chapter of “Did I Ever Tell You This?” as his way of leading into the subject of a stage-three blood cancer diagnosis last year, according to the Guardian.
“I can’t pretend that the last year hasn’t had its dark moments,” the 75-year-old New Zealand native said in an interview with the Guardian.
“But those dark moments throw the light into sharp relief, you know, and have made me grateful for every day and immensely grateful for all my friends. Just pleased to be alive,” he said.
He said the book was a by-product of the disease.
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Diagnosed in March 2022, he said, “I found myself with nothing to do. And I’m used to working. I love working. I love going to work. I love being with people every day and enjoying human company and friendship and all these things. And suddenly I was deprived of that. And I thought, what am I going to do?” he said.
“I never had any intention to write a book. But as I went on and kept writing, I realized it was actually sort of giving me a reason to live and I would go to bed thinking, I’ll write about that tomorrow … that will entertain me. And so it was a lifesaver really, because I couldn’t have gone through that with nothing to do, you know,” he said.
He said his book is about life, not cancer.
“I can’t stand them. I am never going to read another bloody cancer book in my life,” he said.
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In the interview, Neill offered his thoughts on dying.
“I’m not afraid to die, but it would annoy me. 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, and 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,” he said
“But as for the dying? I couldn’t care less,” he said.
He said his sickness led to introspection, as he saw who he became during chemotherapy that has left him cancer-free for now.
“I would look in the mirror and see a completely different person, not a hair on my head, no eyelashes, the beard had fallen off on a pillow somewhere in hospital. I was unrecognizable,” he said.
“I would look at this alien … Really? Is that you? So that begs the question, who are you? And so I had to think about that,” he said.
As he thinks of death, he said, he thinks of “dissolving and dispersing into the cosmos.”
“I don’t mind that idea at all,” he said.
Neill will star in the upcoming limited series “Apples Never Fall” that will appear on the Peacock streaming service, according to TVInsider.
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