Dern was just 23 when she shot Jurassic Park, which is something people clearly were not aware of previously (Picture: Amblin/Universal/Kobal/Rex)
Dern and her co-star Sam Neill starred as fan favourites and experts in their fields, palaeobotanist Dr Ellie Sattler and palaeontologist Dr Alan Grant, in the movie.
However, a recent interview has stunned fans after the actors drew attention to both their 20-year age gap and just how young she was at the time.
Neill was born in September 1947, while Dern arrived in February 1967.
With Neill mentioning Dern’s ‘tender age’ of 23 when they began work on the project, he pointed out their age difference as he mused on how thoughts had changed over the years.
‘I am 20 years older than Laura! Which at the time was a completely appropriate age difference for a leading man and lady,’ he explained to The Sunday Times.
Dern and Neill gave a new interview which explored their 20-year age gap (Picture: Amblin/Universal/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)
The pair played romanic leads as well as two of the film’s dinosuar experts (Picture: Amblin/Universal/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)
Alongside the age gap though, fans were stunned to discover just how young Dern was at the time.
‘’Laura Dern was 23 when she starred in Jurassic Park with Sam Neill’ has blown my head clean off today,’ announced one person.
‘Laura Dern being 23 in Jurassic Park is really tripping me out. Did people just dress old in the 90s? What is this?’ asked a confused fan, while another commented: ‘It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that Laura Dern is 23 in Jurassic Park because to me she was a capital A adult in that movie, perhaps even up to 50 years old.’
‘Laura Dern was only 23 when she did Jurassic Park!! Even after being told this I still think she was 35,’ joked one fan.
Dern is reuniting with Neill for Jurassic World: Dominion (Picture: Getty)
Agreeing, another social media user added: ‘Laura Dern was 23 when she starred in Jurassic Park?! I would have guessed she was in her 40s (the same age she has been ever since).’
Others were pondering Hollywood’s fondness for casting much younger women opposite older men, wondering: ‘Have our minds been so warped by casting conventions? I honestly thought they [Dern and Neill] were the same age.’
Many also pointed out that Dern’s real-life age when shooting began meant she was too young to be properly qualified as presented in the film.
‘I find it difficult to believe that Laura Dern was only 23 during the making of Jurassic Park with Sam Neil being two decades older. Plus her character has a PhD. Unless she’s some kind of prodigy, a qualification at that age is impossible,’ the pointed out. ‘I assumed she was about 30 to his 40.’
Fans pointed out that the actress was not old enough to have the qualifications of her character (Picture: Amblin/Universal/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock)
‘I figured she was doing her own research on palaeobotany, otherwise why the hell would she be on a dig with Sam Neill?’ asked another. ‘A tenured palaeobotanist at an institution would be in their mid-30s, no?’
Fans were also quick to praise the film’s crew for selling Dern so convincingly as a woman older than 23.
‘Kudos to the makeup and wardrobe departments, they did an impressive job of making her look like she was in her 30s,’ which was perhaps due to the need to sell her character’s expertise and experience, as above.
Peaky Blinders actor Neill even got involved with the online conversation, tagging his co-star and quipping: ‘Funny – Laura has always seemed more grown up than me. Nothing’s changed.’
Despite her age, Neill said he felt it was ‘no surprise’ that the actress was cast in the movie as she was ‘already an exciting actor’ having worked with David Lynch on 1990’s Wild at Heart.
Big Little Lies star Dern also shared her view on things, revealing that she hadn’t really thought about them being different ages, despite Neil being in his early forties while she was in their early twenties when they filmed.
Telling the publication that it ‘felt completely appropriate to fall in love with Sam Neill’ back then, she added: ‘And it was only now, when we returned in a moment of cultural awareness about the patriarchy, that I was, like, “Wow! We’re not the same age?”’
Jurassic World: Dominion is out in cinemas on June 10.
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