Some actors, like Daniel Day-Lewis and Gary Oldman, prefer to disappear into their roles, to so fully inhabit a character that audiences don’t even realize it’s them on screen. Others, however, are just too damn weird to do that. Someone like, say, Crispin Glover, is just too Crispin Glover to ever make us forget that he’s Crispin Glover. The same goes, one could argue, for Jeff Goldblum, the Jurassic Park and Thor: Ragnarok star who, these days, at least, is embraced as much for his personal peculiarities as he is his abilities.
Not that he minds. In a wonderful new interview with Vulture’s David Marchese, Goldblum discusses his innate Goldblum-ness, investigating the length to which he indulges it while also pondering his persona’s impact on his latter-day acting. He reveals, after all, that Ragnarok director Taika Waititi explicitly wanted “Jeff Goldblum in makeup in that role,” and his playful turn in Drew Pearce’s recent Hotel Artemis, to a degree, undercuts his character’s supposed history of cruelty. But, while he admits he’d love to play a role “with hair extensions and an eye patch and a funny accent,” he’s more than comfortable playing “Jeff Goldblum.”
“People write Jeff Goldblum-y parts and they want me to do them and that’s fine,” he says. “I think I can even do a better version of it.”
“I think what’s happened is that I’ve found my voice in a newer, more fun way. Things like Thor: Ragnarok and Portlandia, both of which had large elements of improvisation, were delicious experiences for me creatively. And they’re similar to what I’ve been doing with the press — whether it’s commenting on people’s tattoos or reading tweets about myself. I feel like it’s all creatively true. So yeah, the version of me that exists in social media is quite congruent with my approach toward authenticity.”
Speaking of social media, he also reveals here that reads your Instagram comments. He also earnestly says “golly,” digs into his childhood, and, when asked whether or not he ever got high with his mother, responds, “Not really.” The italics are key there.
There’s also this little exchange, which should make any starry-eyed journalist extremely jealous of Marchese.
Goldblum: You’re a good teacher. The little I know you, I’d like to take your college course and be otherwise turned on to you.
Marchese: Stop it.
Goldblum: I’m sure I could learn much from you.
Marchese: I doubt that.
Goldblum: Oh, no. There’s much I can learn.
Really, just close your eyes and imagine Goldblum saying this to you in his Goldblum way.
Read the rest of the interview here.