Hollywood actor Sam Neill wrote memoir while being treated for blood cancer

By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Jurassic Park star Sam Neill has said writing a memoir while undergoing treatment for stage three blood cancer gave him “a reason to live”.

The 75-year-old told the Guardian in an interview about his book, Did I Ever Tell You This?, that he started writing about his life as a way to keep busy while receiving treatment last year.

He said: “I found myself with with nothing to do. And I’m used to working. I love working. I love going to work.

The Graham Norton Show – London
Sam Neill Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas

“I love being with people every day and enjoying human company and friendship and all these things. And suddenly I was deprived of that. And I thought, ‘what am I going to do?’

“I never had any intention to write a book. But as I went on and kept writing, I realised it was actually sort of giving me a reason to live and I would go to bed thinking, ‘I’ll write about that tomorrow … that will entertain me.’

“And so it was a lifesaver really, because I couldn’t have gone through that with nothing to do, you know.”

Neill first experienced swollen glands during publicity for Jurassic World Dominion in March last year and was soon diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, the Guardian reported.

The memoir reportedly discusses receiving chemotherapy, which started to fail, before taking a new chemotherapy drug which he will take monthly for the rest of his life, despite now being cancer-free.

Peaky Blinders Festival
Sam Neill during the Peaky Blinders Festival in Birmingham. Photo: Jacob King/PA. Photo by Jacob King

He told the Guardian: “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.”

Neill, who reprised his role as Alan Grant in the blockbuster Jurassic Park franchise last year, has also starred as Major Chester Campbell in hit BBC series Peaky Blinders.

Did I Ever Tell You This? will be published on March 21, it has been reported.