Travel to the ends of the Earth (Topic)

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Travel to the ends of the Earth

Image Sam Neal is not only a talented actor, screenwriter, director and editor, but also a real man of the world. He was born in the town of Omah in Northern Ireland, grew up in the distant and beautiful New Zealand, lived and worked in exotic Australia, and gained worldwide fame in Hollywood. Among real connoisseurs of cinema, Sam Neal is a cult actor who easily took on the role in the scandalous "Piano" by Jane Campion and was not afraid to star in the film "Into the Mouth of Madness" by John Carpenter. At the same time, for ordinary viewers, the Nile remains part of the immortal "Jurassic Park" and the touching "Bicentennial Man".

The future actor was born into the family of an officer, a graduate of the Royal Military Academy and a hero of the Second World War. Neil Sr. owned a small alcohol company and traded in a number of New Zealand cities, and after a few years, taking his wife and children, he decided to finally move to the islands. So, back in 1954, Sam Neil ended up in New Zealand, where he entered an English boarding school. Here he began to take the first small steps towards great art.


First appearing in the school theater, Sam began to participate in small semi-amateur productions. As a student at Canterbury University, he did not give up his hobby. However, participating in classical English plays, he did not think about a serious career on stage. "A man with great ambitions" (this is what his classmates called him) was not going to get hung up on his acting potential.

After graduation, Sam found himself at a crossroads: should he follow in his father's footsteps, or perhaps become a writer? For a long time he could not understand what he wanted to do, but fate showed the right direction. Very soon, the aspiring actor got a job at the New Zealand Players Theater, where he managed to try himself as an editor and then a screenwriter. For a whole year, Sam Neal toured with the Players Drama Quartet. At the end of the tour, he got a job at the National Film Association in Wellington, where he actively participated in the filming of documentaries (most often about nature and architecture) and starred in a low-budget arthouse.

Nevertheless, his first works in New Zealand cinema did not bring fame, million-dollar contracts or critical acclaim. The acting career also did not work out very well: in 1975, Neil got a small role in the film "Landslide", and after her there was a series of similarly insignificant roles in unknown films. This was a watershed moment. It seemed that Sam was about to break down and abandon his "big ambitions" forever, leaving the cinema on the shelf along with other forgotten hobbies. One can only guess what kept him afloat in the end. Some believe that it was love: an affair with actress Lisa Harrow did not give Sam the opportunity to leave the set. One way or another, in the late 70s, Neil firmly entrenched in New Zealand cinema, and then completely moved to the nearest mainland, where he got a role in the film "My Brilliant Career"

At that time, his close friend was the famous British actor James Mason, who advised young Neil to try his hand at Hollywood. The opportunity was not long in coming: in the early 80s, Sam was called to the cult horror "Omen", then another role followed - in the horror film "Obsessed". From an unknown New Zealand actor, Sam Neal has suddenly turned into a promising Hollywood star. He quickly consolidated his position with the successful Enigma and Ivanhoe. In 1983, Sam starred in the drama series Rayleigh: The Spy King, for which he later received a Golden Globe nomination.

Two years later, Neil was seriously trying on the image of James Bond, but in the end the role went to Timothy Dalton. In addition, he twice gave way to Alan Rickman: in the films "Die Hard" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." He was invited to audition for Indiana Jones, but he refused. “I never talk about roles I couldn't play! I think this is unethical, ”he told reporters. Nevertheless, Neil helped the directors more than once, taking the place of the retired actor on the set, not in the least tormented by the thought that he was not the first candidate for the role. “You see, - he says with a smile, -I'm a very useful actor: I come to the audition with no baggage behind my back. And this is extremely convenient. When I appear on the screen, the viewer does not know what to expect from me. I can be a good guy

As a result, the star roles themselves found the New Zealand actor. 15 years after his triumphant departure to the United States, Sam Neil returned to his homeland again - to shoot in the film "The Piano". Then he was invited to Confessions of the Invisible Man and Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg. The role of Alan Grant gave Neal an army of fans and made him famous all over the world.

At the beginning of the 2000s, the format of the actor's roles began to gradually change. Neil appeared in front of the audience in the images of mostly minor characters, yielding the main positions to younger colleagues. Increasingly, Sam Neal can be found on TV shows. So, in "Peaky Blinders" he got the role of police inspector Chester Campbell, who stands in the way of the main character Thomas Shelby. Campbell wants to cleanse the city of crime, in addition, he has personal scores with Thomas. Over time, the relationship of characters from the usual confrontation "policeman - criminal" grew into something more. Neal managed to brilliantly convey the image of a fallen lawyer who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and exceed his authority. With the same success, he embodied the image of Thomas Wolsey in the TV series "The Tudors". His controversial character was able to attract the sympathy of the audience, despite the fact

In 2016, the actor began working together with Taika Waititi, a New Zealand director with a great soul and an amazing sense of humor. Taika invited Sam to play in the comedy "Hunt for Savages", and then invited him to the triquel "Thor", thus making him part of the MCU.

Neil himself is not very fond of talking about his commercial work, but with great love he recalls more personal roles. For example, he can talk at length about the filming of "The Horse Whisperer" by Robert Redford, based on the novel by Nicholas Evans. “I was on vacation in New Zealand, - says Neil -And suddenly they call me. Sam? It's Bob Redford! '' You can't imagine how shocked I was! I didn’t even know that my friends called him Bob, I didn’t know that he would also become Bob for me”.

Neil reluctantly talks about himself: “Journalists always like to arrange a psychoanalysis session, and I believe that my personal life does not concern them. Many actors deliberately come up with some kind of stories ... I don't like to make up stupid things to seem like an interesting person”.


Fortunately, we managed to learn something about him. Sam Neil once confessed that he loves The Beach Boys and macaroni and cheese. He also watches The Simpsons a lot. The best New Zealand film is considered "Heavenly Creatures" by Peter Jackson. "The Piano" comes in second only because it is the first film that "made him cry." At his leisure, Neil paints with watercolors and rides.

And now for the most unexpected: Neil is a winemaker! In his spare time from work, he literally plows the land. This completely unique person satisfies two human requests at once, formed in ancient times - he gives us bread and circuses. Sam Neil owns vineyards near Queenstown where Pinot Noir is produced under the Two Paddocks brand, as well as Pinot Noir under the Picnic brand. It's not hard to guess that the royalties for any role of a New Zealand actor will exceed the annual profit from agricultural production. But it's not about money at all. Sam Neal doesn't just follow a family tradition, he really enjoys his own craft. Don't forget that he grew up far from the Hollywood Hills. And even at the peak of popularity, it continues to be an atypical celebrity.

From the height of his past years, Sam Neal looks at his life easily and simply: “I am incredibly lucky - I have a wonderful family, a wonderful job. And yet I do not feel the strong pressure of fame. I don't have to drag the film on my shoulders. I am the master of my life”.

The Topic of Article: Travel to the ends of the Earth.
Author: Jake Pinkman