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SYFY WIRE Laura Dern

Laura Dern shares the 'Jurassic World Dominion' moment that made Steven Spielberg tear up

Actress Laura Dern returns as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic World: Dominion and reveals the moment that made the cast, crew and even Spielberg tear up.

By Tara Bennett
(from left) A Giganotosaurus, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in Jurassic World Dominion.

Audiences have't seen Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) as part of the action in a Jurassic Park franchise movie since way back in 2001 when she popped up in cameo for Jurassic Park III. Most, even the actress herself, expected that to be the end of her character's arc. But writer/director Colin Trevorrow wanted to join up the main players in both trilogies for Jurassic World Dominion, so he made personal pleas asking Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum to return once more. With a story that felt worthwhile and executive producer Steven Spielberg's added encouragement, the dream was made real.


While the whole cast and crew had to live and work within a bubble during production of the movie due to the COVID pandemic, actress Laura Dern tells SYFY WIRE it was still something special for all three of actors to step on set together as their original characters.

"The first day that I walked on to set, Sam Neil was standing there and turned and he had the [Alan Grant] hat on," she recalls. "I walked over to him and then I turned, and here comes Ian Malcolm, Jeff Goldblum, in a black leather jacket. And then, the three of us crawled into a Jeep together for our first scene together."

Looking out from behind the glass of the cramped car, Dern remembers, "The crew had gathered to get ready for the first shot and many were teary-eyed.

"Colin took a photo and I texted it to Steven. And Steven also admitted it made him a bit weepy to just see the three of these characters back together," Dern continues. "That was really moving to me. I will never forget that moment." 

She adds that it was also a moment that allowed them to feel the full impact of these characters over three decades. "We were treasuring our friendship and the years we've known each other in those first moments together. But we're also wearing the costumes that we've seen people wear for the last 30 years for Halloween! And here we are, again. All of it was really, really special. Colin seemed very moved. And I was so grateful to him to have given us all that opportunity."

And it was a special moment for young Isabella Sermon, who plays Maisie Lockwood, as well. Sermon cites that scene as one of her favorite scenes in the movie because after the initial emotion dissipated, it became an opportunity for her to see the full comedic talents of Dern, Neill, and Goldblum. "When we were filming that, it was just the funniest thing because I remember a lot of the lines are just ad libbed," she shares. "And so there were a lot of laughs on that day before we flipped the jeep. I had a really great time filming that scene."

Jurassic World Dominion is playing now exclusively in theaters.