He’s best known for his lead role in the acclaimed blockbuster Jurassic Park. And now, Sam Neill has ditched the dinosaurs for a jabot and peruke in his latest project, The Twelve.

The 74-year-old actor, who plays barrister Brett Colby in the new Foxtel series, recently revealed to Who magazine that he didn’t actually finish reading the script before signing on.

‘I read up to about episode six,’ he admitted. Sam explained that he found the storyline ‘really compelling’ and was ‘interested to know what happens next.’ ‘That’s always a very critical thing when you’re reading a project. If you want to know what happens next, then that’s telling you something,’ he told the publication.

‘I thought, “I don’t want to know what happens in the end,” because you don’t in life, and I thought it much more interesting to just play it as someone who just doesn’t know what the story is.

‘So, I was just as surprised at how things turn out as the audience will be when they see the show.’ Sam appears alongside a star studded cast, sharing the screen with Brendan Cowell (Game of Thrones), Pallavi Sharda (Lion), Marta Dusseldorp (Wentworth) and Kate Mulvany (Lambs of God).

They are also joined by Brooke Satchwell (Neighbours) Nic Cassim (Mr Inbetween), Daniel Mitchell (The Moody), Gennie Nevinson (Muriel’s Wedding), Toby Blome (Privileged), Warren Lee (Eight) and Susan Kennedy (All Saints). 

The drama series premieres on Fox Showcase on June 21 and is based on the 2019 Belgian series De Twaalf. The Twelve tells the story of 12 jurors who, while dealing with their own personal struggles, must decide the case of a woman accused of killing a child. 

Last week, a 2004 interview resurfaced of the Northern Ireland-born star revealing that he was forced to change his name when he was younger. The actor’s moniker was actually Nigel John Dermott Neill.

‘My best friend at school was also called Nigel, which was confusing,’ he explained during an interview on Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope. ‘So I called him Bill and he called me Sam.’ He also admitted his birth name made him a target for bullies.

‘You know, if you’re called Nigel and if there are any Nigels out there, they know of what I speak you’re just an absolute prime target for being picked on,’ Sam said.


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