INDEPENDENCE DAY ACTOR JEFF GOLDBLUM IS BACK TO SAVE THE WORLD
Routine and discipline, says Jeff Goldblum, are the secrets to his success. At first glance, the Independence Day: Resurgence star might seem an unlikely advocate for such values.
But behind that loosey-goosery- exterior is a man prepared to get up daily at 5am to accommodate both a substantial piano practice and a decent physical workout before a full day’s work.
It’s commitment like that that allows him to sustain a second career as a jazz pianist.
When he isn’t making films ( Nashville, The Big Chill, The Fly, Jurassic Park and The Grand Budapest Hotel), the actor/musician has a residency at a club in Los Angeles.
“Tap me on the shoulder if you ever get there,’’ says the actor, sounding very much like he means it. “It’s very intimate and I love doing it.”
For Goldblum, discipline and freedom are closely associated. “Jazz practise gives you exactly that. You play, you play, you play ... so you can get there, let it all go, listen and then have a conversation.
“I think there is an element of that, ideally, in acting too. So it’s cross-training. And it’s a tonic for the nervous system.”
Goldblum carries his 63 years so lightly, one is inclined to listen to his advice.
“I’m very good with lights out,’’ he continues, in a way that makes that sound almost rock ’n’ roll.
“There’s nothing about night life that particularly attracts me anyway.”
Since Goldblum became a father for the first time last year – his third wife, Olympic gymnast Emilie Livingston, gave birth to son Charlie Ocean on July 4 – that’s probably just as well.
“We have him on a very strict routine,” says the proud dad, producing a photo of his curly-haired cherub.
“He sleeps 11 hours, straight through. And two naps a day.”
Bath time also runs like clockwork, Goldblum says.
“He’s in the bath tub at 6.20pm. All of us get in. He loves it.”
Charlie’s parents have him in bed by 7.30pm. They follow a few hours later.
“I like that kind of life anyway. He’s made it better.”
Goldblum, who reprises the role of satellite expert David Levinson in Independence Day: Resurgence, has played a number of memorably eccentric screen scientists.
But any perceived predisposition towards such professions is merely an act.
“I am nothing if not conscientious,” says Goldblum, currently learning his lines for a role opposite Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok.
“If I am playing a chaos theoretician in Jurassic Park or this guy, who is an MIT graduate, I try to make it sound like I know what I am talking about.
“But I mean, I played a saxophone player once and I didn’t learn to play the saxophone. I learned to fake it as much as I could.”
Goldblum’s father was a doctor. “I saw his appetite for (science) and he was always thrilled when I asked a question. He’d say: ‘Hmmm, so you are curious about that. Let me tell you this’.
“But I was very focused on the arts from early on.
“That’s what I have devoted my life to.”
Even so, Goldblum’s character research has altered his point of view.
“I’m now sort of religiously devoted to the scientific approach and it’s even encroached upon so-called spiritual and poetical things because, if you can’t get inspired from the facts about where we came from and who we are and the nature of the planet, I don’t know what else you need. Apart from Shakespeare, perhaps.
“It’s much more fun than believing in astrology, for instance, which has no credence. Or alien abduction …”
In keeping with scientific orthodoxy, Goldblum believes our universe is large enough to support another form of life, but he encourages academic rigour over flights of fantasy.
Even Goldblum, however, reckons it’s OK to make up “what if” stories. Which is why he returned to Independence
Day, with Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman and Charlotte Gainsbourg, two decades on.
“Aside from entertainment, these stories might have other useful parallels,” he says.
“Even without an alien invasion, the planet does have real challenges that we would all do well to be on the same page about and come together – including nonviolent conflict resolution.”
Jeff Goldblum takes on an alien invasion again in