Sam Neill is a national treasure. Actually, Sam Neill is an international treasure. You’d think he could do no wrong but a lot of people have given him stick for his strange Jurassic Park accent over the decades.

Well everyone can lay off the actor now because it turns out that pesky Steven Spielberg is to blame. In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Neill revealed the origins of his New Zealand-American hybrid accent in the iconic 90s film.

After spending a month preparing by perfecting an American accent, Spielberg threw a massive spanner in the works on one of the first days of shooting.

“He came up to me halfway through the day and he said, ‘Hey, Sam, you know the accent we were talking about?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve been working on it for four weeks.…’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it, just use your own voice,'” Neill recalled. ”

I said, ‘That’s great, Steven, thank you so much.’ And then four days later, he came up to me and said, ‘You know that voice you’re using now?’ I said, ‘Yeah, my voice?’ He said, ‘Somewhere in between.’

Directors just always have to be in control, don’t they? “It’s an actor’s nightmare!” Neill added. “So that’s why I get a lot of flak to this day: Sam Neill’s American accent in Jurassic Park was a load of T. rex poo.”

Also present for the Vanity Fair interview was Neill’s Jurassic Park co-star Laura Dern, who offered a crumb of comfort to the actor. “You give the fans everything they want. A little bit of you, a little bit American,” she said.

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The pair were promoting the latest Jurassic Park instalment, Jurassic World Dominion, set to hit cinemas on June 10th. It will be Neill and Dern’s first reunion in the franchise since the 1993 original.

For more on this topic, follow the Film & TV Observer.

Check out a clip of Sam Neill in Jurassic Park:

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