GOLDEN TOUCH

IN­DE­PEN­DENCE DAY AC­TOR JEFF GOLD­BLUM IS BACK TO SAVE THE WORLD

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - In­de­pen­dence Day: Resur­gence opens to­day VICKY ROACH

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.”

In­de­pen­dence Day: Resur­gence.

Jeff Gold­blum takes on an alien in­va­sion again in

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