Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2
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Sam Neill is a complicated guy: A Hollywood icon, who's spent a lifetime avoiding L.A.; a deeply principled public figure and environmental advocate who doesn't like to preach; and, as he's shown throughout his career, a low-key person, who saves his intensity for his work.
Now, Sam is your classic "late bloomer" - a guy who had to wander in the wilderness before finding his voice. Known as the consummate Kiwi, Sam was actually born in Northern Ireland before moving to New Zealand when he was seven years old. Once he decided to be an actor, Sam realized that it's not as easy as flicking a switch: He didn't start getting big roles until he was in his thirties, starting with "Omen 3: The Final Conflict".
But once Sam broke, he broke big, and his career in America has been pretty diverse: His highest-profile gig came in 1993, in the groundbreaking, multi-million dollar mega-movie "Jurassic Park", but Sam's one of those actors who's been so impressive so often that it's easy to forget how consistently he's been great: "The Piano"? "The Horse Whisperer"? "The Dish"? We rest our case.
Sam just wrapped on the first season of the TV series "Alcatraz", which was shot primarily in Vancouver; he's also in a new movie, "The Hunter", alongside the equally awesome Willem Dafoe. Dafoe is hired by a bio-medical company to trap a Tasmanian tiger, a mysterious animal that may or may not actually exist. It's a cautionary tale about our fragile relationship with nature, a cause that's near and dear to Sam's heart.