And while Wise has always hoped that Dern would reprise her role as Dr. Sattler, she wasn't so sure for quite a while, even admitting that she "never imagined returning" to the franchise.
However, if her character were to return, Dern told the publication that she wanted to make sure she was an "evolved scientist" and "true to who she was, which is being fearless yet vulnerable".
“Her activism and feminism as a scientist was really important to me. I spoke with Steven and Colin, and we all wanted her to return with a new sense of self and advanced in her life and her work,” the 55-year-old actor explained.
“She’s not some sexy-scientist trope. I didn’t wear makeup in this movie. She’s real. She’s divorced but loving life independent. She’s raised kids. And she’s at the height of her career, and she’s using it as service to the world. She’s really a modern, feminist female action hero, and that’s a beautiful message.”
For Jurassic Park: Dominion, Dern returns to the screen alongside her former cast mates from Steven Spielberg's 1993 film, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum. The original trio join the franchise's stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard for what could be the last chapter in the film series.
Recently, both Dern and Neill openly discussed the controversy around their characters' romantic plot from the first film, specifically the age gap between the two.
In the 1993 film, Neill played the part of Alan Grant, a paleontologist, and Dern starred as Dr. Sattler, both of whom were invited to the dinosaur-riddled theme park to secure a safety certification. And later, sparked inklings of romantic attraction to each other.
“I am 20 years older than Laura,” Neill revealed in the interview. “Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady."
He continued, "It never occurred to me until I opened a magazine and there was an article called ‘Old Geezers and Gals’. People like Harrison Ford and Sean Connery acting with much younger people. And there I was, on the list. I thought, ‘Come on. It can’t be true’.”
As for Dern, she agreed that their age difference didn’t feel so inappropriate at the time of filming.
“Well, it felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill. And it was only now, when we returned in a moment of cultural awareness about the patriarchy, that I was, like, ‘Wow! We’re not the same age?’,” Dern explained.
“Laura was a tender age. I’m guessing… 23? And she was already an exciting actor—she had done David Lynch films. It was no surprise she was asked [to do the film]," Neill added. "But I was completely baffled to be called by Steven. I didn’t get it.”
Ready to dust off some dinosaur bones? Fans of the franchise can catch Jurassic World: Dominion on June 9, 2022, in Australian cinemas.