Actor Sam Neill revealed to The Guardian he has been battling angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, ahead of the release of his memoir, which addresses his health.
The paper reveals the book opens with a shocker: “The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying,” he reportedly writes in the beginning of Did I Ever Tell You This?
The cancer was stage 3, the 75-year-old explains, but he’s now cancer free thanks to a new chemotherapy drug he was switched to when the usual kind failed.
Neill, who played paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park movies and reprised in the recent Jurassic World: Dominion, explains he was diagnosed after feeling swollen glands while promoting that trilogy’s third film.
The actor says his isn’t a cancer memoir, but the illness forms a “spiral thread” throughout, intermingled with anecdotes from his early life, growing up in Ireland and New Zealand, and from his time in the movie business.
He “never” set out to write a memoir, the actor explains, but while he was being treated last year, “I found myself with nothing to do … I love going to work. I love being with people every day and enjoying human company and friendship and all these things. And suddenly I was deprived of that. And I thought, ‘what am I going to do?'”
“As I went on and kept writing, I realised it was actually sort of giving me a reason to live and I would go to bed thinking, ‘I’ll write about that tomorrow … that will entertain me.'”
Neill says, “I can’t pretend that the last year hasn’t had its dark moments … But those dark moments … have made me grateful for every day and immensely grateful for all my friends. Just pleased to be alive.”
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