The “Jurassic Park” actor — who is promoting his new memoir “Did I Ever Tell You This?” — recently revealed he was diagnosed with stage 3 angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.
Sam Neill wants his fans to know that he’s “alive and well” despite his cancer diagnosis.
One day after it was revealed that the actor was diagnosed with stage 3 blood cancer last year, Neill, 75, took to Instagram to share a message with followers who may be worried about his health, explaining that he’s in remission, and there isn’t a reason for anyone to “worry.”
“Hi, I’m Sam Neill! Actor of sorts, vintner, and an author as it happens,” he began in a video, which was transcribed in the post’s caption. “And my news seems to be all over the news at the moment, and it’s sort of ‘Cancer! Cancer! Cancer!'”
His diagnosis was first revealed on Friday as The Guardian posted an interview with Neill, in addition to excerpts from his upcoming memoir, “Did I Ever Tell You This?”
The “Jurassic Park” star described the media coverage of his diagnosis as “slightly tiresome,” pointing out that “as you see, I am alive and well and I have been in remission for eight months, which feels really good.” He added, “I’m alive and kicking and I’m going to work.”
Neill went on to express his excitement about getting back to work, sharing that he’s going to begin shooting the series, “Apples Never Fall,” starring Annette Bening “and a really wonderful cast” in a week.
“So here I am, and I just wish the headline wasn’t ‘that thing’ so much,” he continued, adding that the “main thing” is that he’s written a memoir, “Did I Ever Tell You This?”
“And it does mention cancer because that’s the sort of context in which I wrote it,” Neill said. “But I didn’t really mean to write a book, I needed something to do while I was undergoing treatment, and I am used to going to work and I suddenly couldn’t go to work. So that’s why I wrote the book.”
The Golden Globe winner shared more details about his memoir, admitting that as a “first-time author,” he was “very nervous” about how the book was going to be received.
“I have to say there’s been great response to it. People seem to love it, which is great. I was very nervous, obviously as a first time author,” Neill said, adding, “Anyway, I think it’s fun. We sub-titled it ‘Movies, Life, Love and Other Catastrophes.’ So it gives you an idea of all the crazy things that have happened to me. The tone of the book is one of surprise.”
“I never thought that I would have a career as an actor, let alone an actor on screen. But that’s kind of what happened and I am full of gratitude looking back on this life, and that’s what the book is about,” he explained. “I hope you enjoy it. I enjoyed reading the audiobook the other day, I hadn’t looked at the book for quite a while but I found it more entertaining than I expected. And I would look through the glass window at the audio engineer/producer and he seemed to be cracking up a lot so I take that as a good sign.”
Neill ended his video by telling his fans, “Let’s not worry too much about ‘all that’ because I’m fine. Okay!”
While promoting his book during his interview with The Guardian, Neill detailed his cancer journey, sharing that it began after he noticed he had swollen glands during the press tour for “Jurassic World Dominion” in March 2022.
Shortly after, “The Hunt for the Red October” star said he was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL). According to Cancer Research UK, AITL is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and “usually affects older people, typically around the age of 70.”
Following his diagnosis, Neill said he underwent chemotherapy, however, the first round didn’t work as expected. Fortunately, he shared that there was an opportunity to try out a new chemotherapy drug. The treatment worked, but he has to receive it every month for the remainder of his life.
The “Sleeping Dogs” star said he’s now in remission. “I’m not off the hook as such, but there’s no cancer in my body,” he told The Guardian.
Looking back, Neill said, “I can’t pretend that the last year hasn’t had its dark moments. But those dark moments throw the light into sharp relief, you know, and have made me grateful for every day and immensely grateful for all my friends. Just pleased to be alive.”
“Did I Ever Tell You This?” will be released on March 21.