Jeff Goldblum

March 20, 2014

Hi, this is Jeff Goldblum, Go ahead, I'm all ears. Ask me anything.

Hi, this is Jeff Goldblum. I'm here with Victoria from reddit.

You can call me Jeff. I'm an actor, musician, teacher, and I have a couple of movies out in theaters right now. Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel and another movie called Le Weekend. Both those movies get ten Goldblums out of a possible ten Goldblums in my humble opinion.

You know, besides those, you might have seen me in any number of things, you know, a couple of the Jurassic Park movies, Independence Day, The Fly, TV and stage stuff. Currently here and there on Portlandia. Just finished a movie with Johnny Depp and Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow called Mortdecai. Came back from a stint on the stage at Lincoln Center.

Ask me anything, I'm an open-faced sandwich.

I'm sad that I have to stop. Thank you so much for having me. And submitting your questions. And being receptive. And please ask me back!

If you weren't in the entertainment industry, what would you do for a career?

Ahhhh. Well, as I said already in my earlier remarks, I play jazz once a week these days. I play piano with a jazz group, a bunch of great musicians, at a place called Rockwell in the Los Feliz area. So if anyone finds themselves around here, you're cordially invited to come to Rockwell. We had a great time last night, it's Wednesdays, so call them up. And the answer to the question is that I have so much fun doing that is that if I weren't acting, I certainly have a good time doing that every day. I love music and then teaching. I like to teach. I like the classroom.

Hi Jeff, welcome to reddit. I think I speak for everyone here (who, let's face it, are all males in their mid to late 20s) that the Jurassic Park films made the 90s childhood something magical, in no small part thanks to your brilliant portrayal of Dr. Ian Malcolm.

Recently the director of the upcoming Jurassic Park sequel tweeted that there is a shirtless cardboard cutout of you in the production office. How do you feel about the fact that all through the production of that film, your unique breed of intelligent 90s sexiness will be imbuing the crew?

This is the first I've heard about that at all.

Happy to help out however I can.

What is the best advice ever given to you?


Gee. The best advice ever given…to me… Let's see. Oh boy. This is a good one. The best advice ever given to me is fill your days with what you love doing. Also, you know, contribute as substantially as you can to the community, and, uh, something the opposite of what the opposite of what the character does in Wolf of Wall Street. Do something worthwhile and substantial, not with any sales technique or baloney on top of it, and give as much as you can. The opposite of the Wolf of Wall street, but I don't know how to put that into a pithy piece of advice. And also, put down your device, whatever it is, when you cross the street. Stop, look, and listen. Both equally important.

Hello Jeff, first off... huge fan! I guess the one question I have is....
What was your, for lack of a better term, "inspiration" to laugh like you did in Jurassic Park on the helicopter?
Link for the lazy, but let's be real... We all know what it sounds like. I mean, people are obsessed with it and even made song remixes of it. Just curious...

Edit: Thanks for gold! Just always been curious maybe something on set triggered it or what. Turns out, that laugh was pent up awesome.

I know, I've heard them. It tickles me.

It just happened spontaneously in the moment.

My roommate Tim wants to know what was the strangest/weirdest thing about working on The Fly?
Also, you as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park is by far one of the best things in the world. Did you ad-lib the little growls & snarls?

The strangest or weirdest thing? Strange or weird, not wonderful, not all the passion that we had for it, not David Cronenberg who was wonderful, I guess I could divert to answering some other question, but to answer more specifically…well, you know, in a scene that they cut out of the movie, I had to, you know, I was in almost full Fly transformation (incarnation? Is that the word I want to use? costume) and I had to slide down this angled wall over and over again by being covered all over my body with KY Jelly. That's kind of weird and strange.

Well, I don't know, I'm not thinking of all of them, I think I muttered or uttered a couple of things that were not in the script.

Where the hell do you buy your bowties? I've looked high and far for that one you wore on Conan. No luck!

Brooks Brothers. They are reversible.

How was your experience working on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension? It's such a fun film.

WONDERFUL. Mmm, let's see, ooh. The whole cast was a gas to work with and hang out with. Peter Weller and I formed a musical collaboration afterwards, and a life-long friendship. And the director, D.W. Richter, was terrific.

Mr. Goldblum,

I've heard you can wiggle your ears one at a time. How much of your success as an actor do you attribute to this talent?

All of it, hahaha.

Mr. Goldblum Would you ever do another Jurassic park film And how fun was it doing the Jurassic park movies by the way huge fan of your films and looking forward to seeing the grand Budapest hotel and learning the secret of the society of crossed keys

Possibly? I had a great time on the two that I did.

Hi Jeff,

I've always wanted to know, is it pronounced Gold-bloom or Gold-bluhm?


Hahaha. However you want would be fine. I myself say bloom to rhyme with Zoom.

Would it be weird if I hung this above my fireplace?

I think it would be very nice, and a great honor.

What film did you enjoy working on the most?

Oh my golly, oh my golly. Oh my golly. That's going to sound self-promotional, but it's true, the two that are out right now. The Grand Budapest Hotel and Le Weekend are as good a time as I've ever had.

Hey Mr. Goldblum, I'm a huge fan.

Very excited to see The Grand Budapest Hotel. Do you enjoy working on projects more like this film, or big action movies like Jurassic Park or Independence Day?

Oh boy, I'd hate to choose. Movies like Jurassic Park or Independence Day were particular movies, where Spielberg and Emmerich worked like independent filmmakers. Spielberg is definitely an auteur. And then those other movies, Wes is very handcrafted, and I do love that.

You know, I make sure that I have a good time on any movie. I make sure that I have a good time on any movie. It's, uh, an uncommon privilege.

Whenever I watch one of your interviews on TV or online, you're always really eccentric. You're definitely unique in the regard that you don't behave similar to any other celebrity I've seen. Do people in the industry frown upon that or are they mostly accepting of your personality?

Maybe it's just me, but generally, I feel people's warmth very strongly.

Hello Jeff! What is your position on the legalization of marijuana? For some reason I have always thought sharing a doobie with you would induce a great conversation.

You can mark me down for being in the more progressive vein. But as for myself, I enjoy the art of conversation after a good night's sleep.

Mr. Goldblum,

When I consider your work, I can think of no moment I find funnier than the following, from the Life Aquatic:

"What's your dog's name?"



"Be still, Cody."

How do you approach an acting job when it requires you to be so mean?

Hahaha! Yeah, that moment was meant for comedy of a dark or grayish kind. And so mostly I remember Wes and I laughing about it as we were doing it.

Hello, Mr. Goldblum. Andrew here, I would like to know if you've remembered your mantra this evening. If so, can you tell us what it is?

I never forgot it. And it's a secret.

What directors would you like to work with that you haven't worked with yet?

Oh boy oh boy. Mmmm. Plenty. For starters, let's say Paul Thomas Anderson, and the Coen brothers.

Are you aware that someone slowed down your apple ads so it sounded like you were drunk?If so did you approve?

Yes. I'm aware. And yes, I approve heartily. Beige.

Hi Jeff, thanks for joining us on Reddit! Due to your propensity for playing scientists, my friends and I have taken to exclusively referring to you as "Dr. Jeff Goldblum." So, you're welcome for the honorary doctorate.

I love your work, even when you're not portraying an eccentric man of science. This of course includes your work with Tim & Eric! How'd you get together with those guys?

Oooh. Thank you. I enjoy them no end, I did a couple of episodes of their TV show, I think through Bob Odenkirk originally.

Hi Jeff, big fan of the Grand Budapest Hotel over here. What was it like working with such an esteemed cast and director? Is Wes Anderson as weird in real life as I imagine him to be?

Working on that movie and with that cast was one of the big thrills of my life. And I don't find Wes what I would call weird at all. He's unique, super-special, a genius, and out of this world.

The Big Chill is one of my favorite movies. Can you talk about your experiences on the set? Thanks, Jeff!

Totally delightful. Another, uh, semester of communal passionate collaborative intimate story making.

You're one of my favorite actors of all time! What was it like being covered in all that hair in Earth Girls Are Easy?

Blue hair says I!

Hot. I mean, sweaty. But, um, provocative.

What does Conan O'Brien smell like? I get the feeling that you intimately know this answer off the top of your head.

Hahaha. Uh, a field of wildflowers. And that's just his head.

Thank you for stopping by, Mr. Goldblum (and Victoria for setting this up),
Not a question. Just thought you should know that every time my husband and I play 20 questions on a long car ride the answer is Jeff Goldblum. I think he’s obsessed with you.

Totally understandable.

What's your favorite kind of sandwich?


Oh my gosh.

I love sandwiches.

When I was a kid, every day I had a bacon lettuce tomato sandwich. Then at some point I switched to tuna fish sandwiches. Then turkey and swiss with russian dressing. Now I try to stay in the healthier vein, but I love every moment of my sandwich life.

Which other actor do people get you confused with the most?

Bowser from Sha Na Na.

Jeff! How's your day?


Hi Mr Goldblum,

My girlfriend is a big fan of yours (so much so that I once dressed as you for a Jurassic Park themed halloween costume) If you could just say "Hi Elyse" or in some other way acknowledge her existence, I'm sure it would earn me a bunch of brownie points with her. Thanks!

Hi Elyse.

Can you tell us any stories about Cody, the three-legged dog from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou?

He was treated grandly, pampered, but I'm always vigilant about animals in show business. They haven't asked for it, and, uh, I'm passionate that they be treated well.

Does life really, uh, find a way?


Hey Jeff, thanks for doing this AMA! As with most commenting, you were a huge part of my childhood, so thank you for doing all that you've done.

My questions: What advice would Jeff Goldblum of today give a Jeff Goldblum who was just starting out?

How do you think the medium of acting has changed, if at all, over the course of your career?

Anything you wish you could've done that haven't yet been able to?

And lastly, if it's not too much to ask, what's a story that you enjoy telling?

Take care and thanks again!

Edit: forgot a sentence

Ooooh, that's a good idea. Hmmm.


Gee, that's interesting. Oh boy, that's interesting.

Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

It's a good question, like Back to the Future, you would spend a good session trying to go over many things. It's not as if I regret a lot of things, I would say whatever you're doing, it's perfect, I wouldn't want to tamper with it, you can't change anything about the past. No advice, I wouldn't want to tamper with the past.

Or the funny answer would be "Don't eat shrimp that's been left out for more than several hours."

Oh gosh, golly, I don't know that it has changed. Good actors have always been trying to do the same thing, which is pretend good.

Hi Jeff, where do you like to go for holidays ?

Oooh, the truth is, there's no place I don't like to go to. It's not as if I like to get away. Wherever I am is fine and dandy. But mostly I like to stay put, in my own backyard.

I'm a huge fan! Thanks For your work What's your favorite joke?

My favorite joke, let's see… Oh boy oh boy, let's see. My own idiocy.

What is your favorite dinosaur?

I have you pegged for a stegosaurus man.

I'm no expert but since childhood I've had a fondness for the triceratops, because I read a kid's book about a kid who finds an egg in his backyard, and it's a triceratops, and he rides it. Remember that book? That's the one! And then they take him to Washington. Boy, you're into dinosaurs, you really know them.

What is your favorite book of all time?

Ooooh. That's a good question!

I sure like The Great Gatsby. I sure like Catcher in the Rye. I like 100 Years of Solitude. I like American Pastoral. And I like the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

Jeff, there are people who think you are not sexy. How can I convince them they are wrong?

Don't try, to each his own. It's very personal.

Mr. Goldblum, if you could splice your DNA with another organism, what would you choose and what would be your name?

Hahahaha. Let's see. Off the top of my head, I'd splice myself with a dolphin, and my name would be Surf Goldblum.

Does you play any video games? If so, what's your favorite game?

I do not. I've never really played video games.

Mr. Goldblum, are you really watching me go to the bathroom?

Yes I am. So be careful how you behave.

Jeff, who was your favorite teacher and why? Elementary, high school, etc.

Oh boy, I've loved many teachers. The great Sandford Misner was an acting teacher, but so was William Esper, an acting teacher, and Mordecai Lawner. Peggy Feury was another great acting teacher. And I've had great singing teachers, and dance teachers, and piano teachers. Joseph Fitzpatrick was an art teacher. Let's leave it at that.

Oh boy, I've loved many teachers. The great Sandford Misner was an acting teacher, but so was William Esper, an acting teacher, and Mordecai Lawner. Peggy Feury was another great acting teacher. And I've had great singing teachers, and dance teachers, and piano teachers. Joseph Fitzpatrick was an art teacher. Let's leave it at that.

And Edith Skinner who taught speech.

Jeff, how was your experience working on The Life Aquatic? That's always been one of my more favorite of your movies.

Oh, it was a dream come true. Like a plunge into a deep ocean adventure.

Mr Goldblum, what's your favourite food? What's your least favourite?

My favorite food, oh boy, I love all food so much! I'm not picky. And I'm easily entertained and thrilled, but I sure love cold cereal and pizza. And, uh, pasta. But right now I'm making salads and smoothies that thrill me with ecstasy. My least favorite food, hmmmmmmmmm. My least favorite food is some gristly fatty meat.

Hello, Mr. Goldblum! Any plans on returning to The League?

I had a great time on the League! Nick Kroll my son is hilarious. Anytime they want me back, anytime they ask me back.

You're usually in great shape in your movies. What's your routine to get the blood flowing?

Mmmm, I like a little cardio and some weight training, and these days I like to take 10,000 steps a day.

Did you know the Goldblume (golden Flower) is an edible chrysanth?

I had no idea! So am I! An edible kind of flower.

Jeff!!! I adore you. Who is your favorite jazz musician?

Ooooh, I have plenty. Thelonius Monk comes to mind. But our group, I like the guys I play with, I have a particular affection and studentship with them. Zane Musa on sax, Kenny Elliott on drums, Tim Emmons on the bass, and various guitar masters, including Anthony Wilson and John Storie.

Hello Mr. Goldblum,

were you aware of the rumours of your alleged death?

Glad to see you're doing well btw, don't sweat it.

Thank you. Yes, I was. And Stephen Colbert and I turned it into a funny routine on one show.

Can you tell us something about yourself that we may find surprising?

Hahaha. Surprising. Hmmmm.

I've never had a cavity or a filling.

See? You're surprised.

Hello Mr. Goldblum!

Please tell us a behind the scenes story from The Grand Budapest Hotel!

Let's see, let's see, there are many, behind the scenes…

Oooh. The whole cast stayed in one hotel, and took over, exclusively, this one hotel in Gurlitz, Germany, and every night Wes Anderson brought a chef that he knew to the hotel and would make us a beautiful dinner. The table lit by candles, and a candelabra.

What was your favorite part about appearing as a guest on Top Gear?

Oh! My favorite part? Just learning to race that car around that track! I'd never taken a car, you know, full throttle around a track that was built for it like that and gone at those speeds. So just learning how to do that, and racing around was pretty thrilling.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An actor, from very early on. I got the idea when I was little, I don't know how, but I did.

Sir Goldblum, you seem to have an enlightened manner to you; a good vibe of sorts, in television interviews. Do you have a philosophy or method to your non-madness you could share?

Well, hmmm. Let's see, I aspire to perspective, let's call it. Not always succeeding.

Did you get to keep the cowboy outfit from Buckaroo Banzai?

I took home as I remember the shirt, the red shirt, and the boots. Not the wooly chaps or the ten gallon hat. But I no longer have them, I donated them.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Jeff Goldblum conducted on Reddit on 2014-03-20. The Reddit AMA can be found here.