What can you tell me about actor Sam Neill, the handsome star of Jurassic Park? What are some of his other movies?
—Maryann Wilson, Dunmore, Pa.
These days, Neill, 64, can be found on the small screen as the star of Fox’s Alcatraz series—and when he gets a hiatus from filming, he heads home to New Zealand, where he owns the Two Paddocks vineyard in Central Otago, New Zealand.
“The winery is my other big thing,” says the actor, whose birth name is Nigel, but which he changed to Sam while in grade school. “The wine is fantastic, and everybody is happy on the vineyards.”
Neill’s credit list is long. Some of his most current films include The Hunter, The Dragon Pearl, Daybreakers, Under the Mountain and Skin, but he is best known for Omen III: The Final Conflict, The Hunt for Red October, The Piano and the miniseries Merlin and TV series The Tudors.
There are rumors of yet another Jurassic Park movie, but Neill, who has appeared in two of the films, says, “nobody is telling me what’s out there.” He likes the way his life is working right now: He filmed Alcatraz for six months, and the other six, he got to make wine.
Of his Hauser character—an enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent who has been awaiting the return of the missing Alcatraz inmates for 50 years—he says, “Hauser does bad stuff, but he does what’s necessary. He is by no means a guy with an entirely white hat. He has a lot of scars.”