Jurassic Park Casting Director Recalls Jim Carrey’s Audition for Jeff Goldblum’s Role
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the beloved film Jurassic Park, casting director Janet Hirshenson has shared some insider secrets about the casting process. Fans of the franchise often praise the original cast, with many still considering them among the best characters in the series. Last year’s Jurassic World Dominion delighted fans with the return of legacy characters from the first film, such as Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm, who was also the main character in the first sequel, The Lost World.
It’s difficult to imagine anyone else playing the role of Malcolm after 30 years, especially with Goldblum reprising the character in recent years. However, Hirshenson recently revealed in an interview with SyFy Wire that Jim Carrey had auditioned for the role. Although Carrey gave a good audition, Goldblum’s interpretation of the character impressed Hirshenson so much that he was ultimately cast.
“We auditioned Jim Carrey for Malcolm, and then Goldblum came in and, of course, blew me away. He’s Goldblum, nobody’s like him. I think Steven [Spielberg] pretty quickly also [knew] that was the one,” Hirshenson recalls. “[But Jim Carrey] auditioned for a very long time. He was really into it. I think he really wanted the role. He was good, it was a totally different way to go. I remember he came in very enthusiastically.”
Hirshenson also shared that Carrey’s approach to the role would have been more comedic, in line with his signature style. Goldblum’s dry, Jeff Goldblum-y take on the character was ultimately the direction they went in.
While Carrey didn’t make the cut, he’s not the only actor who auditioned for the film. Hirshenson reveals that she auditioned a wide range of actors, including some who wouldn’t normally have come in just to see the casting director. Despite the competition, the end result was a cast that has endured over the years and remains beloved by fans.
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Jurassic Park, fans have been revisiting the film, which is currently available for streaming on Peacock.
Three decades later, Jurassic Park casting director Janet Hirshenson is sharing some secrets from behind the scenes of the iconic film. When it came to the casting, fans would say that things couldn’t have been any better, as the original characters are still among the most popular of the franchise. That’s why there was great excitement from fans over the returns of legacy characters from that film in last year’s Jurassic World Dominionsuch as Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm. As one of the standouts of the first movie, Malcolm had also previously returned as the main character in the first sequel, The Lost World.
It may be difficult to imagine another actor playing Malcolm in the Jurassic Park franchise, especially after 30 years with a recent reprisal of the role from Goldblum, but if he hadn’t auditioned, the part might have gone to Jim Carrey. That’s what Hirshenson says in the new interview with SyFy Wirerecalling how Carrey had auditioned for the Ian Malcolm role. While Carrey did a good job with his audition, the issue for him was that Goldblum blew Hirshenson away with his take on the character, sealing the deal for his casting.
“We auditioned Jim Carrey for Malcolm and then Goldblum came in and, of course, blew me away. He’s Goldblum, nobody’s like him. I think Steven [Spielberg] pretty quickly also [knew] that was the one,” Hirshenson recalls. “[But Jim Carrey] auditioned for a very long time. He was really into it. I think he really wanted the role. He was good, it was a totally different way to go. I remember he came in very enthusiastically.”
On what was different about Carrey’s interpretation of Malcolm, the casting director added, “[It was] the Jim Carrey approach. So yeah, it would have been a little more comedic. Jeff was comedic in his dry, Jeff Goldblum-y sort of way, anyway, but yeah, it becomes a different way to go. But by that time, I think we were pretty much geared into Jeff Goldblum.”
The Jurassic Park Cast Is Perfect, Fans Would Say
Carrey is one that stands out from the audition process who didn’t make the cut, perhaps because he’d go on to become a mega star in Hollywood without a role in Jurassic Park. Hirshenson doesn’t remember specifically any other actors who came in to read for roles, only recalling shoe she tapes a lot of different hopefuls. The end result would ultimately be a cast that has garnered widespread praise and continued popularity.
“I auditioned a lot of people,” Hirshenson says. “Sort of a wide range and a lot of actors that normally wouldn’t come in for just the casting director. Usually, they go right to the director. But being what it was, people came in and just went on tape.”
Jurassic Park officially turned 30 years old on Sunday, and fans have been celebrating the occasion. Currently, the film can be found streaming on Peacock.