Richard Attenborough died today, within a week of turning 91.
I won’t pretend to be thorough and I won’t call this an obituary, but Attenborough is a face that has been familiar to me for a long time, thanks to his appearance in Jurassic Park as the ambitious CEO of InGen and founder of Jurassic Park, John Hammond.
I have never read the book that it’s based on, but in some sense John Hammond is the villain of the movie. He is the one who stole the work of other great men, he’s the one who could but didn’t take the time to think about whether or not he should… I’ll stop before I go full Goldblum. The point it, Hammond is the one who causes the mess, but he’s never without our sympathies thanks to a thoughtful and enthusiastic performance by Attenborough. I know his work as a director will be the focus of most of these pieces in the next week, but my favorite scene of his in JP, and one of my favorite scenes in the film period, is when Hammond talks about how he first started as a business man/entrepreneur. It gives the movie, and Hammond, a soulful side.