Sam Neill has assured his fans that he is “alive and kicking” and doing well after revealing that he was being treated for stage three blood cancer.
The 75-year-old Jurassic Park star revealed the news in his forthcoming memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This, where he writes in the first chapter that he is “possibly dying.”
And in the wake of her news making headlines, Sam took to Instagram on Saturday to give a health update, telling her followers that she’s in remission and has been for eight months.
The actor also said that he will soon get to work to start a new project with actress Annette Bening, 64, and another “wonderful cast.”
He wrote in a caption alongside a video: “Hi, I’m Sam Neill, sort of an actor, vintner, and an author.”
Update: Sam Neill has assured his fans that he is ‘alive and kicking’ and doing well after revealing that he is being treated for stage three blood cancer
Shock: The 75-year-old Jurassic Park star revealed the news in his forthcoming memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This, where he writes in the opening chapter that he’s “possibly dying.”
He went on to suggest that he’s going through the worst of it, continuing: “I’m alive and well and I’ve been in remission for eight months now, which feels really good.” And I’m alive and well and I’m going to work.
Detailing his excitement at getting back to what he does best, Sam added: “I’m so happy to be back at work.” We start filming in seven days. I’m doing something called ‘Apples Never Fall’ with Annette Bening and a really wonderful cast. So here I am.’
The Hunter actor went on to share more details about his new book and how he came to write it, recounting how he put pen to paper after taking a break from acting due to his treatment.
He said: ‘The main thing is that I’ve written this book, it’s called ‘Did I ever tell you this?’ And it mentions cancer because that’s the kind of context in which I wrote it.
‘But I didn’t really intend to write a book, I needed something to do while I was in treatment, and I’m used to going to work and suddenly I couldn’t go to work. That is why I wrote the book, and I have to say that it has had a great response.
“People seem to like it, which is great. He was very nervous, obviously as a first-time author. Anyway, I think it’s fun. We subtitled it ‘Movies, Life, Love and Other Disasters’. So he gives you an idea of all the crazy things that have happened to me. The tone of the book is one of surprise.
“I never thought I would have an acting career, let alone as an actor on screen. But that’s more or less what happened and I’m filled with gratitude as I look back on this life, and that’s what the book is about.
‘I hope you enjoy. I enjoyed reading the audiobook the other day, I hadn’t looked at the book for quite some time but I found it more entertaining than I expected. And he was looking through the glass window at the audio engineer/producer and he seemed to be laughing a lot, so I take that as a good sign.
It’s okay: In the wake of her news making headlines, Sam took to Instagram on Saturday to give a health update, telling her followers that she’s in remission and has been for eight months.
Speaking: He wrote in a caption along with a video: ‘Hello, I’m Sam Neill, kind of an actor, vintner and author as it happens. And my news seems to be all over the news right now, and he’s kind of ‘Cancer! Cancer! Cancer!’
Reassurance: He went on to suggest that he’s going through the worst, continuing: “I’m alive and well and I’ve been in remission for eight months, which feels really good.”
New approach: The Hunter actor went on to share more details about his new book and how he came to write it, recounting how he put pen to paper after taking a break from acting due to his treatment
So I hope you enjoy it, and let’s not worry too much about ‘all that’ because I’m fine. Well!’
It comes after the movie star said in an interview with The Guardian: ‘The thing is, I’m a thief. Possibly dying.
He added: ‘Maybe I have to speed this up. I found myself with nothing to do.
And I’m used to work. I love working. I love going to work. I love being with people every day and enjoying human company and friendship and all that stuff. And suddenly I was deprived of it. And I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’
Neill also told the BBC that he has had a “fierce type of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”
He began writing his memoirs as a distraction and to “give me a reason to get through the day.”
Disclosure: It comes after the movie star said in an interview with The Guardian: ‘The thing is, I’m a thief.’ Possibly dying’
The book reviews the New Zealand actor’s 50-year career on screen, as well as his sudden illness.
Neill revealed that he sought medical treatment after noticing bulging glands in his neck while on a publicity tour last year for the movie Jurassic World Dominion.
The piano star remained calm when told of his diagnosis by doctors, and immediately began plotting to write a book about his life.
‘I thought I needed to do something, and I thought, ‘Should I start writing?’ she told the BBC.
‘I didn’t think I had a book in me, I just thought I’d write some stories. And I found it more and more fascinating.
“A year later, not only did I write the book, it didn’t have a ghostwriter, but it came out in record time,” he said proudly.
And about the literary effort, he also said that he “never had the intention of writing a book.”
Sam explained, “But as I kept going and writing, I realized that he was actually giving me a reason to live, and I’d go to bed thinking, ‘I’ll write about it tomorrow… that’ll keep me entertained.'”
“And it really was a lifesaver, because I couldn’t have gone through that with nothing to do, you know.”
Tragedy struck: Neill revealed he sought medical treatment after noticing bulging glands in his neck while on a publicity tour last year; Pictured in 2019
Sam’s specific ailment was diagnosed as angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.
He is now in remission but will receive chemotherapy for the rest of his life.
According lymphoma.org AITL is ‘a rare, often, but not always, aggressive form of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL)’.
Statistically, this specific type of blood cancer accounts for only one to two percent of all NHL cases in the United States.
The site also notes that older patients are more likely to be diagnosed.
Symptoms can include high fever, night sweats, rash, and autoimmune disorders.
Reflecting on life, the seasoned actor admitted: ‘I’m not afraid of dying. But it would bother me. Because I’d really like another decade or two, you know?
“We have built all these beautiful terraces, we have these olive trees and cypress trees, and I want to be around to see it mature. And I have my adorable little grandchildren. I want to see them grow.
But as for the dying? I couldn’t care less.
The star was married to Japanese makeup artist Noriko Watanabe from 1989 to 2017 and they share two children: Elena, 32, and Tim, 40.
Flashback: Sam, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards in the original 1993 Jurassic Park
Sam, who was born in Ireland and later moved to New Zealand, first appeared in 1975’s Landfall.
He then starred in 1979’s My Brilliant Career, which was based on the Miles Franklin novel.
Neill’s breakout international role was in Andrzej Zulawski’s surreal 1981 divorce film Possession.
The actor said the independent that Zulawski was ‘a genius, but crazy’. He asked you for much more than you could give. He asked for much more than a director should ask for.
Sam’s most notable role is Dr. Alan Grant, whom he played in the Jurassic World franchise most recently in last year’s third installment.
Longtime co-star: Sam and co-star Laura Dern in a still from last year’s Jurassic Park: Dominion