Sam’s still one of the wilder peo­ple

Sunday Star-Times - - NEWS - LORNA THORNBER

He’s just turned 70, and is win­ning crit­i­cal ac­claim all over the world, but don’t ex­pect Sam Neill to start act­ing his age.

A few days out from from to­mor­row’s Emmy Awards, where he’s nom­i­nated in the out­stand­ing nar­ra­tor cat­e­gory for his work on doc­u­men­tary se­ries Wild New Zealand, the Kiwi ac­tor showed he was still ca­pa­ble of pok­ing fun at him­self.

Neill posted a clip of him­self danc­ing on a de­serted beach as he thanked fans for their birth­day wishes.

Then in a sep­a­rate on­line post he up­loaded a photo of him­self wear­ing a gi­ant bush on his head.

‘‘Peo­ple still wor­ried about the con­di­tioner I was us­ing in 2016? Re­lax. I am now us­ing re­cy­cled fry­ing all from McDon­alds w ex­cel­lent re­sults,’’ he wrote.

Neill is just back from the Venice Film Fes­ti­val where Aus­tralian western Sweet Coun­try, in which he stars along­side Aussie screen vet­eran Bryan Brown, took out the spe­cial jury prize.

‘‘It was an au­gust and grand oc­ca­sion ... Then these two old mon­grels showed up,’’ he wrote in a post above a pic­ture of him­self and Brown grin­ning mis­chie­vously.

The Hunt for the Wilder­peo­ple and Juras­sic Park ac­tor shows no signs of slow­ing down. He’s cur­rently film­ing and we’ll get to see him in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Rag­narok in just a few weeks’ time.

Some­how, he still finds time to run his cen­tral Otago vine­yard and farm, pop­u­lated by an­i­mals named af­ter such fa­mous faces as He­lena Bon­ham Carter and Meryl Streep. A re­cent post of a sow (named af­ter Bri­tish ac­tress Imo­gen Poots) and her five piglets was cap­tioned ‘‘no ques­tion @TaikaWaititi is the fa­ther’’. Another pig, in­ci­den­tally, is named af­ter the Kiwi di­rec­tor. A win to­mor­row would be a chance to outdo that video clip of his cel­e­bra­tions for his 70th, where he runs to­wards the ocean, arms wav­ing. ‘‘This is an id­iot [me] cel­e­brat­ing get­ting this far,’’ he wrote.

Sam Neill

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