The age difference between Ellie and Alan in Jurassic Park is inappropriate, says Dern


  • Laura Dern reflects on the significant age difference between her characters Ellie and Alan in Jurassic Park, calling it “totally inappropriate.”
  • Dern only noticed the age difference between the actors when she read an article about it that highlighted cultural awareness of patriarchal dynamics.
  • Although Alan and Ellie’s romance is rekindled in Jurassic World: Dominion, Dern’s comment reminds us that the age difference in their relationship got off to a troubled start.

Laura Dern points out the significant age difference between Dr. Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler Jurassic Park was inappropriate. Steven Spielberg’s first release in 1993 Jurassic Park The film quickly became a huge success, with audiences flocking to see dinosaurs brought to life on the big screen like never before. Although the dinosaurs were the film’s biggest appeal, it was the characters that audiences fell in love with. The film follows paleontologists Ellie (Dern) and Alan (Sam Neill) as they tour a state-of-the-art dinosaur theme park, which quickly turns into a nightmarish battle for survival after some of the dinosaurs escape their enclosures.

Dern did not appear in 1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park but appeared in a somewhat minor role in the third film, Jurassic Park III. In the first film, Ellie and Alan had a romantic relationship, but the two characters disagreed about whether or not they should have children. Ellie and Alan were no longer together and Ellie was married with children Jurassic Park 3, although the two characters remained on friendly terms. However, Dern reprized her role again in 2022 Jurassic World: Dominion next to the original Jurassic Park Starring Neill and Jeff Goldblum, continuing the relationship between Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler.

See also: Jurassic Park: Why Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler Didn’t Return to the Lost World

What Laura Dern had to say about the age difference between Ellie and Alan

Mixed image of Ellie and Alan, 30 years older in Jurassic Park 3

In an interview with The timesDern thinks about her role in the original Jurassic Park, particularly the significant age difference between her and Neill. Dern was 23 years old during filming Jurassic Park while Neill was a full 20 years older, with Dern pointing out the notable discrepancy after Neill said: “I’m 20 years older than Laura!” Although Jurassic Park remains one of the most important and popular films of all time, it’s clear that not everything is included Jurassic Park has aged well. Dern said:

Which was a completely appropriate age difference for a lead actor and actress back then! This only occurred to me when I opened a magazine and found an article entitled “Old Guys and Gals…”. Well, it felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill. And only now, when we came back in a moment of cultural awareness of the patriarchy, I thought, ‘Wow! We’re not the same age?’ […] Our age difference in Jurassic Park was completely inappropriate.

Ellie is described in the original Jurassic Park According to the script, she was in her late 20s and Alan was in his mid-30s, but the age difference between the actual actors who would play the roles was far greater. The film doesn’t directly say how old Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler are, but Ellie is clearly significantly younger than Alan. Since the film was released in 1993, at a time when less attention was being paid to the problematic dynamics between men and women in film, it is possible that the film’s producers did not realize (or care) that the Age difference was inappropriate.

Despite the age difference, Alan and Ellie have rekindled their romance in Dominion

Sam Neil as Alan Grant and Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler in the helicopter in Jurassic World Dominion

One of the biggest selling points for Jurassic World: Dominion marked the return of the original characters as Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler joined Dr. Ian Malcolm joins the new cast to stop the dinosaurs. Jurassic World: Dominion also gives fans what they want as Ellie is divorced, which leads to Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler rekindling their relationship and they continue to live happily ever after. The 2022 film was heavily criticized and has the lowest ratings Rotten tomatoes Score of any film in the law franchise, but the portrayal of the two characters was one of the film’s biggest wins.

Dern and Neill were 55 and 74 years old, respectively, at the time Jurassic World: Dominions release, making the age difference seem less jarring compared to 1993, as Dern was almost 30 years older than the original Jurassic Park. While it wouldn’t be a huge problem if the two characters met for the first time in the 2022 film, and while it provided a satisfying ending for the characters, Alan Grant and Ellis Sattler’s relationship still had a troubled beginning. Dern’s comment serves as an important reminder that even films as popular as Jurassic Park may contain elements that wouldn’t work if the film had been made today.

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  • Jurassic World Dominion theater poster The age difference between Ellie and Alan in Jurassic Park is inappropriate, says Dern

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