Sam Neill wants everyone to know that he’s doing just “fine” after recently revealing that he was diagnosed with stage 3 blood cancer last year.
The Jurassic Park star, 75, took to Instagram on Saturday to assure fans that he’s been in remission for the last eight months.
Dressed casually in a white T-shirt, Neill noted in a lengthy video that it’s a bit “tiresome” to hear about his health struggles in the news since he’s “alive and well.”
“My [health] news seems to be all over the news at the moment, and it’s sort of ‘Cancer! Cancer! Cancer!’” the New Zealand-born star shared. “Which is slightly tiresome because as you see, I am alive and well and I have been in remission for eight months, which feels really good.”
According to Neill, his health on the upswing, he’s “alive and kicking and … very happy to be going back to work.” Next week, he’ll get back in front of the camera, co-starring with Annette Bening in the upcoming adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s book Apples Never Fall. But ultimately, he wishes that the dialogue around him focused more on his upcoming memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?, which he wrote while receiving cancer treatment.
“I just wish the headline wasn’t ‘that thing’ so much, because the main thing is that I have written this book,” he continued. “And it does mention cancer because that’s the sort of context in which I wrote it.”
He added, “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, and I have to say there’s been great response to it.”
Neill went on to explain that he never thought he would have such a thriving acting career. That’s one of the reasons he subtitled the book “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,” the Piano star explained. “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 concluded by asking people to focus on the book, rather than the cancer.
“Let’s not worry too much about ‘all that’ because I’m fine,” he concluded, with fans and friends ranging from Tom Payne and Alan Cumming to Tatum O’Neal and Bobby Cannavale chiming in in the comments to share their well wishes.
Neill first spoke about his health situation in an interview with the Guardian that was released on Friday. He shared that he first discovered he was ill while doing press for Jurassic World Dominion last year, noticing that he had swollen glands. Within weeks, he was receiving chemotherapy for angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a blood cancer. Unfortunately, the first round of treatments didn’t work. The piece cited a passage in his book in which he writes “the thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying. I may have to speed this up.” Neill went on to say that he’s “not afraid to die, but it would annoy me.”
He told the newspaper, “I’d really like another decade or two, you know? We’ve built all these lovely terraces, we’ve got these olive trees and cypresses, and I want to be around to see it all mature. And I’ve got my lovely little grandchildren. I want to see them get big. But as for the dying? I couldn’t care less.”