the vulture transcript

Jeff Goldblum Is on the Brink of Doing His Best Work

In a conversation with Carrie Brownstein, the actor opens up in his own strange way.

Photo: Bobby Doherty
Photo: Bobby Doherty

When Jeff Goldblum was a kid, if you can imagine Jeff Goldblum as a kid, he was “wildly obsessed” with becoming an actor. “Every day before I went to school, I took a shower with this glass door, and it would steam up and I’d write, ‘Please God, let me be an actor.’ And then before I left, I would wipe it off.” Jeff Goldblum recounted this and more childhood stories as a part of this year’s Vulture Festival, for his panel “Jeff Goldblum’s World.” Goldblum was interviewed by the only other person who embodies his blend of cool and weirdo — Carrie Brownstein, naturally — about music, curiosity, parenting, Robert Altman movies, and the second season of his Disney+ series, The World According to Jeff Goldblum. You can read the full transcript of his interview here, Goldblum-ian run-on sentences and all.

Carrie Brownstein: As I was prepping, I found that an underlying and recurring theme in your life and work is this curiosity. I was wondering about the provenance of that. Could you tell us a little bit about your childhood — the Goldblum household. Like was it full of books and literature and what was that like?
Jeff Goldblum: I grew up in Pittsburgh, as you may know. Pittsburgh is an interesting place — have you ever been there?

I have.
What’d you go to Pittsburgh for?

To play music.
Our band played there too, at a place near our house in West Homestead. Pittsburgh is a place that … there’s cultural things going on there.

Growing up, I had two older brothers and one younger sister — we’ve always been very close. She’s two years younger than I am, and she’s a painter. She married a painter. Her life has been devoted to the arts, and our parents exposed us to cultural things, they were very curious. They both wanted to be actors.

My dad came from a poor family from Russia. They came here and had a little luggage store [inside] a candy store. He needed to pull himself up by his bootstraps. He thought at 18 that he’d either be a doctor or an actor, and chose to be a doctor but always had an interest in theater. My mother flirted with the stage also. They would drive to New York and come back with cast albums from the musicals they’d seen. They had sophisticated taste; they saw Lee J. Cobb do King Lear. They’d take us to the museum and I had some facility as an artist early on. They gave me special art classes, and I got tap-dancing classes, and they exposed us all to musical lessons. My older brother had a clarinet.

They took us to see dance. We went to the Syria Mosque and saw the Bolshoi Ballet. When I was a kid, Maria Tallchief was a dancer I remember seeing … My parents were interested in cinema, too. I saw the first run of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and I Am Curious (Yellow) and Elvira Madigan and a movie called Joanna — you know, avant-garde things. They were into that.

My dad was a doctor, and he enjoyed my curiosity. Because he was an internist, he would always be drawing pictures of the stomach and the internal organs on a napkin, so he was into learning and all that. When I said to him, “Hey, what happens to this piece of corn when you cut it in half, and then cut that in half again, and keep cutting it in half?” at the dinner table one night, he said, “Ah, that’s very interesting.” And he would expound on it.

When I went to Chatham Music Day Camp, between fifth, sixth, and seventh grades, that’s when my world of curiosity and passion exploded. This group of people who were there just thrilled me. I had a flair for some of the things. There was arts-and-crafts, piano and music appreciation, and softball. There was drama for the first time, which really made me decide that I wanted to be an actor. Then, between ninth and 10th and 11th grades, I went to six-week sessions at Carnegie Mellon University. That’s when I really became obsessed with being an actor.

I’ll tell you one thing and then I’ll stop for now: These art classes that I went to at Carnegie Museum, I’d walk through the dinosaur display, which was the biggest at the time. I’d take this wonderful class. I must have been 12 or 13. At the end, when my dad would pick me up, I’d be waiting outside. When I was waiting for him, on a few different occasions, you know what I did? I took it upon myself — and maybe other people do this too and it wasn’t so weird or special or anything — but I would do this thing where strangers would walk by, and I would pick some out and then pretend to know them. And I would go, “Oh, my gosh, look who it is. Oh, my golly, I can’t believe I’m seeing you. Come here. How are you?” And they’d go, “I don’t know you. Do you know me?” And sometimes I’d get into a conversation. I just had a hankering to do that. Is that kind of interesting and a little related to what you’re talking about?

Yes, it’s both interesting and totally related I think.
I don’t know how I got so much energy. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t have any caffeine. Do you have caffeine these days?

Yes. Just in the morning.
Good idea. I’m told that’s a good thing to do. But I have no caffeine. That’s our show, drive safely! I think you’re opening me up in a strange way. I feel like telling you everything. I don’t know why. I’m so happy that you’re doing this. I’m so grateful to see you, too. It’s too rare that we run into each other. I’m so interested in you, anyway. I think you’re great. Thanks for doing this.

It is very mutual — and I’m happy to be here! What I was thinking about as you were describing your own proclivities for performance was: Did you rope your siblings in? Was this some through-line through the whole family? Was everyone slightly a performer? 
My parents, right, wanted to be actors. My mom was vivacious and stricken with a show-off-y kind of element to her character. But my two older brothers, no. The first one, Lee — the firstborn — he was trying to find himself all through his life in fact. The lucky thing that I had — which is, “I know what I want to do and I’m very interested in this thing” — he didn’t have anything like that. He, in fact, told our parents that he had decided to be a doctor like my dad and pursued that for a little bit, but the roots of his motivation were not as lucky as mine.

And then Rick … oh, Rick was wonderful and interesting and fascinating. He’s also not with us anymore. He died when he was 23. He was an adventurer, so a little adjacent to something that maybe I have in me. And he was great and smart, and he wanted to be a writer. He’d already decided that he wanted to write. He was keeping a journal of some kind, and he went down to North Africa, around Agadir and Casablanca. He was a romantic in many ways. And I looked up to him. He got something quick and passed away. I used to perform for him. In fact, he was kind of my main audience. I thought I was funny early on, and I would do funny things for him. I wanted to do them for him. But he was not a performer himself.

And then Pam, a real artist, who, during our upbringing, would sit there, quiet. She was the last one — two years younger. She would draw things, always drawing on a napkin. That was always part of her salvation and her character. She’s devoted her life to it, and to this day, she’s making stuff that she’s excited about.

We went on the David Letterman show once because I taught her to play the piano with her nose. We did it together. She admitted later [to thinking], “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this,” but she came out and she was fine and dandy. But you know, it wasn’t in her — although performing for me always had an element of terror in it. The exhilaration was because I overcame it! But she wasn’t ready to do that. So my proclivity, my appetite to show off in this way, whatever you call it, was unique in our sibling circle.

You’re an amazing piano player — I’ve seen your band play. How did you decide then, as a kid, that you were gonna go into acting and not music? 
I got the idea in Chatham Music Day Camp. I got the lead part in this little show at the end. It was a little musical, and I acted and rehearsed it and then leaped on stage. My dad had said, “If you find something you love to do, that’s a compass and a lighthouse and a guide toward what your vocation might be.”

That night, I remember my parents were in the audience. After I came off, they said, “How’d you like that?” I went, “I did. I did!” That’s all I said, but I think I had already decided for myself, I want to be an actor. Then when I took that Carnegie Mellon course, I was wildly obsessed with it. Every day before I went to school, I took a shower with this glass door, and it would steam up and I’d write, “Please, God, let me be an actor.” And then before I left, I would wipe it off. But I was just driven.

Around the same time, I was playing piano and learning to play jazz and loving it and doing it just for the fun of it — kind of in the same relationship that the two exist now, for the fun of it. When I was 15, I would call cocktail lounges around Pittsburgh and try to get a job. I got a couple. I never thought, I want to be a musician. They had two different roles in my muddled thinking, you know?

You’re talking about writing this aspirational message on your shower stall. Your early filmography includes things like Nashville and Annie Hall, small parts but big movies and big directors. What was the first moment that you thought, “I am an actor”?

One of the things that was lucky was that I happened into the Neighborhood Playhouse where Sanford Meisner is teaching — wonderful acting teacher, and has made a big impact on everything I’ve done since. He said, “It takes 20 years of continual work to call yourself an actor, and then if you’re lucky to keep working, a lifetime of continual progress.” So I took that to heart and certainly before 20 didn’t, you know, think, I am an actor.

That’s the question: When did I decide that I was an actor? Well, you know, I was always thrilled, as I still am, to fill out forms saying, “What’s your profession?” and go, “Actor.” I’m still tickled to do that. I would say I’m an actor, but I felt, “Jeez, I’ve got a lot to learn.”

I was so lucky to work with Altman, and very interesting directors and good movies. Can you imagine from early on? I hardly ever had to do anything else professionally. I sustained myself that way, and got to learn just like Meisner said, from little things with interesting people to classrooms with another, directors, and situations. It kind of worked that way, maybe because I’d made up my mind, the seed had been planted in my mind. So maybe I look for that and turn those situations into learning opportunities.

I feel like I’m an actor now. I feel like I can say, “I’m an actor.” I’m still trying to get better. And I think I’m on the brink of doing my best work right now, frankly. I feel that grand things are ahead. And I’m improving. It’s like piano: discipline yields results, and I play every day. I’d go through my body of work. And I’ll tell you, I played some things this morning that were better than I’d ever played them. That’s true.

So you know, you keep working and just like Sandy Meisner said, “It’s not such a secret of how you’re digging for the fruit that you’re going for. It’s the continuity of digging that will really provide results.” I’ve devoted my life rather conscientiously to trying to investigate it more and more and get better.

When you were in those early films, first starting out, who was the first person that you were working with — an actor, writer, director – to really impress you?
Well, jeez, I was impressed and inspired by everybody. The first job I had onstage is the first job I got, with The Two Gentlemen of Verona, the musical version [helmed by] Galt MacDermot, who had written Hair. He was a very impressive and inspirational personage, and he was around the Delacorte Theater where we did that. Joseph Papp was the producer, a very important and fantastical person of inspiration and education. And [the playwright and screenwriter] John Guare, a fantastic writer and a person of sophistication, adapted the play for this thing.

Raul Julia was starring in it, a very special guy, and a very special actor, inspirational as a man and as a human person, and a person aspiring to good character and good living and an artist of unusual and special talent. Jean Erdman was the choreographer. I didn’t know then — because there was no IMDb — all that time she was in a relationship with Joseph Campbell. Joseph Campbell. I wish I’d known! Stockard Channing — I’ll bet you admire her — was fantastic in it.

It was an extension of that feeling at Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham. I was just hungry and ready. And I’ll be darned, I wound up in groups that were really interesting and nourishing. So that’s my first job. Then I go to [the play] El Grande de Coca-Cola, the second job. Right around that time I got signed up for the first movie, with Michael Winner and Charles Bronson in this movie Death Wish. You know, Michael Winner was a known screamer, and not as highly esteemed as one of the great cinema artists of our time, I think it’s fair to say. But he, in the first scene that I was doing, yelled at me and said, “Go!” We were just rehearsing the camera shot with me and two other bad guys. We were looking up the stairs, then he yelled at the top of his voice in front of everybody, “Goldblum, start acting now.” It’s a nugget if you receive it in the right way … it’s a pretty good nugget of our learning and inspiration: Just start acting. It’s not bad.

Anyway, soon I came across Robert Altman, who was a pillar, a model, an exemplar of artistry and originality and beauty and loveliness and great.

You’re talking about growing up in Pittsburgh and then being in New York. What was L.A. like? What was your experience of coming here? Was it always on your radar to end up in L.A.? And what was it like to be here when you first got here? How did you find community?
It wasn’t on my radar. I still am not particularly strategic about where things are leading, necessarily.

I’d never been to Los Angeles in my life. I was in El Grande de Coca-Cola, and I didn’t even know that Robert Altman saw the show, because there was a snowstorm and he had changed his plans and saw it. I was in my Greenwich Village apartment when the phone rang, and they said, “This is the casting director from Robert Altman. We saw you in that show. We’d like you to do this movie California Split.” A miraculous call, really. They sent me the script, I flew on a plane to Los Angeles and Scotty Bushnell, this casting person and producer, picked me up at the airport.

I’d never seen it before. She drove me to Westwood — didn’t know what that was — to his Lionsgate operation there. There was this kind of Spanish-y-looking courtyard, and I’ll be darned, Robert Altman was up there, and Gwen Wells, with whom I did another movie after California Split. [Altman] said, “I just did this movie, M*A*S*H.” He was great. Seeing that that night, getting off the plane, was striking and remarkable. Hanging around there for a week or two and doing that part, that was amazing.

Then I went back [to New York], and then he said, “If I like you, and you like me, we’ll do Nashville this summer.” Oh my golly, to hang out with Lily Tomlin and Geraldine Chaplin and Keith Carradine and Ronee Blakely and those people — and Robert Altman! That was at the high point of his work with that crowd. They did what Wes Anderson does now. We took over this complex there in Nashville and hung out for the whole time.

Afterwards, an agent said, “Come out to California and we’ll show you around.” That was Abbey Greshler with Diamond Artists — an old-time agent. I stayed on the couch of a friend, and then just … stayed. The El Grande de Coca-Cola got up again here at the Whisky a Go-Go. Then they sent me up for a few things. And I did Like a Blue Night and Starsky and Hutch and a Colombo and a Laverne and Shirley.

I was still taking dance classes, and then I wound up finding [the famed acting teacher] Peggy Fury and taking more acting classes. Then you get to ’83. With my friend, we said, “Let’s have a school, let’s keep teaching this.” So we learned how to do it and I taught for a couple of decades at this place. And California became a nourishing family and place to be of creativity. And it’s been very creative.

When would you ascribe the transition from being unknown to known? Was it with The Fly or Jurassic Park? And what was that shift like for you?
Well, it’s good because it’s very gradual. It still seems to still be gradual. There was a guy at the hotel two days ago who said “Hey, Mr. Bloomberg, nice to see you!” I never know if it’s ungracious to correct him or not. Probably not.

I don’t. People call me Carrie Bradshaw all the time, and I just say, “Yes, thank you.”
And then he said, “I like that movie you did, Undercover.” I said, “Well, thank you. I did Deep Cover. Did you mean Deep Cover?”

So people have either no knowledge of me still, or a vague knowledge of me, but you know, along the way, it’s been gradual and never a big deal, or never anything but pleasant and sweet and lovely. The Fly in ’86 had a kind of a “thing.” I’d go to parties and people would go, “Bzzzzzz,” and I’d go, “Hello, thank you.”

I did a little [detective comedy] series for a little bit. When I met Bill Clinton, he was like, “You know, Jeff, I liked a lot of things you did, but I never missed an episode of Tenspeed and Brown Shoe.” I was like, “Wow, people know that?” Then Jurassic Park, a worldwide picture like that … it’s never been difficult for me. I don’t know the people who say, “Oh, it’s such a challenging thing, it changes your life and you don’t know how to be and it turns you.” It never happened to me like that. It’s just never been a problem or particularly challenging or anything but kind of sweet.

I think this idea of relatability — which I do think is kind of a strange currency to be in the marketplace, because I think it doesn’t serve everyone well — serves your Disney+ show, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, really well.

I guess I’m a people person. I’m kind of anxious to make connections, and acting itself is another variation, a vehicle, to be with other people, you know?

I mean, I think that just perfectly illustrates your openness. My favorite moment is when [the dog-rescue employee] says, “Well, last year, we did a calendar for first responders, and this year, we’re doing dogs,” and you’re like, “That seems a natural transition, and of equal importance,” and then you just smiled. And I loved that. I mean, in some ways, dogs are also first responders for our emotional well-being, which is why they’re so messed up. Because dogs used to have real jobs and now their job is to take care of us. I read a whole book about it called The New Work of Dogs. If your dog is a nightmare, it’s probably because its job used to be sheep herding. And now it’s to comfort you.
Really? I should have talked to you for that series, because that’s what I want to learn about. You have a dog?

I have two dogs.
Dogs are amazing. You saw the episode you just mentioned, I thought it was particularly moving. They rescue dogs and the ones that are then qualified, they train them very thoroughly and intensely to rescue people — human beings when trapped under rubble after a disaster of one kind or another. I met the people involved. They have a training area of rubble, and they put me in some kind of concrete tube under “rubble.” The dog then was sent out to try to find me, and sure enough, he did. I thought it was very emotional and just amazing what these dogs do.

Newtopia is that production company, and the creative people, Karen McGann and Kathryn O’Kane, were two of the directors who worked on that. They do a good job. When I see it again, I’m always delighted by it and oftentimes choked up. I love the way the show came out. I tell that story, “Oh, you know, the dog should be biting my butt,” and then they cut to the Buster Keaton thing — they’re good. They know how to do that. I really admire what they do, and they make me look good because I do blather on, and then they make it coherent and make me look good.

But the show is kind of easy for me. We don’t do two takes, it’s just authentic. They shoot me as I’m meeting the person and they try to keep me surprised. They tell me as little as possible. I’m just encountering the thing and, you know, I just do what I do.

So the origin of the show is not you with an idea saying, “I’d like to learn about all these things.” They came to you, and you don’t, in terms of each subject matter, know about it in advance.
Here’s what happened. They were tinkering around with the format on NatGeo Explorer a few years ago, and they offered the chance for me to host three of them, which I did. I hadn’t really done something exactly like that before. I thought, Okay, that’s gonna be fun, because I like National Geographic and science and adventure and exploration and learning. I like everything they do. So it was a fun experience. It was different than this, it was a little more conventional — and, for me, a little more constrained. Even when I interviewed Sam Rockwell, whom I requested, and Norm Eisen — fascinating guy, who was the model for my character in Grand Budapest Hotel, wonderful guy — they kind of were trying to kind of steer it in a certain direction. Then I had a teleprompter to read, and then tried to make it my own a little bit, so they liked that.

Anyway, after the show, they said, “That was good. We have an idea. Maybe you want to do a show on your own — a new kind of show.” And I said, “Thank you so much. That’s great. You guys are great. And I’d like to work with you. I do have an idea for how I might approach it: I could think and talk at the same time. I’d like to just not be in a studio. Let me interact with people. Because I think that could be fun and bring out something good and useful in me, something I could enjoy and build upon.”

It kind of became that. Even in the voice-overs they have, they’re very brilliant, and they write a guide, but then I go, “Okay, hang on, let me turn on the juice, let me mess this up in some way.” So I talk and try to make it my own. And I enjoy it. They would come up with some things, and I would say, “Here’s my feeling about those things.” And through that we would collaboratively come upon whatever it was that we were gonna do.

Jeff, you have two young boys. They show up in an episode or two. I was wondering how having kids has changed your approach to work or your approach to existence.
Changes everything, as you’ve heard many times before. It’s cliché, but it does. Your heart cracks wide open. You care about them more than anything. They’re so deeply built into our makeup; you’re so deeply enchanted by them and in love with them. And I’ve found that with Emily Goldblum — she likes to be called Emily Goldblum, my wife. It’s deepened our relationship, and that we have this important thing to do together is romantic and nourishing in every way.

They’re so playful and curious. Seeing the world through their eyes and wanting to do things with them is just great. I don’t want to endanger them or exploit them. But we said, “Hey, you should come to work [with me to see] all these things you’d be interested in.” I went to Legoland, which they would have loved — I didn’t take them.

Wait, you went to Legoland, and you didn’t take them there?!
Well, that wasn’t part of the thing. [Producers] kind of decide, “Hey, maybe your kids could be part of this thing, the fireworks thing or …”

Fireworks are definitely safer than Legoland for kids.
Well, have you been to Legoland?

No. It actually sounds like a nightmare.
I’d never done a Lego in my life before these kids. Never. I did Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys. But to Lego … I just left a pile before I came here. We were all playing, they say, “Dada, come here, let’s play.” That’s one of the things they like to do, because we mostly deny them screen time, so they’re not really doing much of that.

I went to Legoland, and that wasn’t part of the plan to bring them. But I’d like to bring them there! I think they’d get a big kick out of it. When they come [to set], the directors are sensitive, and we just catch them playing a little. We just allow them to play, never asking them to do anything more than they want to do. I don’t think they even know what we’re doing exactly, or that anybody’s filming, because it’s a small crew and we just fool around. There’s not lines or anything.

But when I see it, I’m always touched. I’m choked up a lot sometimes in the episodes, and then when I see the episodes, it’s just amazing because they do a good job in the way they use it. I gave them all my home movies from Pittsburgh, so you see some old footage that I’m always stunned and moved by.

I mean, there is a very moving moment in season two where you meet with some self-proclaimed witches, and one of them does a reading of past lives. She talks to your deceased parents and siblings.

Observationally, you have kind of a science brain, your recall is amazing. I’m sure you’ve noticed how many names he’s mentioned. When Jeff is on set, he will remember everyone’s name, which I think is very respectful and wonderful — I think it’s a show of respect, but I am always impressed. So I’m just curious in something like that moment, where people are dealing with something that’s not necessarily able to be scientifically proven, what part of you is still willing to embrace delight and magic? And how do you balance those things?
There’s an episode on magic, and Penn and Teller are part of it, and Eric Blackwell and Zach King, but Penn and Teller are very good. And if you know Penn Jillette, he’s very articulate about what he’s devoted his life to — the both of them. They reveal to the crowd, “Hey, nothing supernatural is going on here. These are tricks.” And lovely that the brain is susceptible, because it’s entertaining to be astounded like that. But maybe one of the fruits of it can be that you realize how trickable you are, and to be careful and to be vigilant that you don’t become the victims of cons and con people.

They’re very articulate and eloquent about that. And in fact, when I talked to them about mediums and people who, in their opinion, make either self-deluded or inauthentic, deceptive use of your connection with your departed loved ones, they have a very strong opinion about that. In the episode, we also say that, “Hey, magic can also be this other thing where people use that term to connect themselves to nature and your connections to your heritage and all that stuff.”

Anyway, there were three of these witches but I loved them. As I said to them a little bit, a lot of my life in acting has been devoted to the unseen and the imaginary and openness to the miraculous of one kind or another, and especially the era in which I was introduced to acting. At Carnegie Mellon, in those courses, there was yoga, which was very new then, and Eastern ways of opening yourself up. That was part of what appealed to me. I was way into the delicious arts of opening up that may not be provable. As I was saying, “No dad, I’m, I’m a breatharian, I’m made of air,” my dad the doctor was like, “Ai ai ai ai ai.”

But I was of both minds. Now I’ve come around in this cycle, where I highly esteem scientists. I’m still starstruck with Carl Sagan and his book The Demon-Haunted World. There are many relevant applications of good meat-and-potatoes thinking, and trust in what we know. However, I still have a strong appetite for poetry and music and things you can’t explain. And we know there are mysteries that we still haven’t fathomed in the universe.

When one of the witches started to go, “Yes, I see your father. And what’s that? What’s that? Wait a minute, you’re going too fast. Ah, he wants to tell you something. Both parents want to tell you that you’re being a wonderful father with your children,” I sort of got choked up. I thought it was very moving. It had opened me up. They’d asked me to bring some pictures of my parents and family, so the whole thing was a little meditation that I found delightfully moving and sweet. I wasn’t pretending. I’m of both stripes, I guess you’d say.

There’s a great quote from that episode that I will read that I think segues nicely into why you have such ardent fans. You say in relation to these witches, that you don’t necessarily believe them, but that you like to see them believe in something that’s nurturing to them, which I think is a very generous way of thinking about difference and heterodox and paradox and the ways that people express nuance and things that we don’t understand. I feel like that kind of porousness that you possess is what draws people to you.

One thing that I did find on the internet — the best place for finding this stuff — is all the ways that people really love you and want to use your face to sell things.
I apologize already.

So these are leggings with your face
Oh no. Oh my God. I don’t think I’ve seen these particular ones. Wow. Oh boy.

All from all different eras. These are for sale now. I assume we can all assume that this is not something that you’re seeing a dime for.
No, no, none of this merch, no. I’ve never seen that before, and no, there’s no merchandise at all that I have any vested financial interest in.

You have band T-shirts. But that’s different.
We made a cut with Virgil Normal. Do you know Virgil Normal?

I do.
We made a limited little thing, we wanted to make some merch for The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra [Goldblum’s band]. And I recently … [sees the slideshow of Jeff Goldblum merch], oh my God in heaven.

That’s a pillow.
That’s a pillow.

A throw pillow.
Oh my God. You know, I have none of this in my home. I’ve never seen that in life or anything. But that of course is a little Photoshop of me in Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Wes Anderson, I like the whole style of that because you know those glasses are Mark Mothersbaugh’s actual glasses? He’s a pal of Wes, and as Wes writes in the script — the document is, as you can imagine, beautiful and elaborate and meticulous and perfect — he described all that. He said, “Oh no, I know the glasses I want you to wear. And I have this blue-light pink scarf that I also want you to wear.” He arranges it all. I have an affection for that. But in no place in that movie did I appear with a primate of any kind. They’re mocking that up. Maybe they’re in The Fly.

[He sees the next slide of Jeff Goldblum merch.] Oh my God in heaven. Oh my God, what the heck? Yeah, they’ve gotten me. Well, what is that? It’s a … it’s a painting that you can …?

It’s on Etsy. It defies explanation in some ways but also requires a literal explanation, which is your head on a dinosaur body.
Yes, yes. Looks like it might be a T. rex of some kind, and I’m looking fierce. I think they imagined that … but anyway, nice, nice picture. Way to go, very flattering. Very nice.

This is an interesting one [moves to the next slide]. So this was a hybrid. There were actually a lot of this, this kind of melding of you with …
You had to look at this. I’m so sorry. Thank you so much.

No, thank you.
I have seen this. That’s, I think, a melding of the appropriation of the Michael Jackson “Thriller” and my pose in Jurassic Park.

Here’s another pillow. There’s a lot of St. Goldblum.
Oh, my golly, how about that? I know about the Goldblum variations — that’s kind of, you know, witty, isn’t it? I think there’s a book that I’ve seen.

Did you consult on this book?
I think I’ve seen it. No, no, no, no prior knowledge or collaboration or anything. No. Did you see that book that came out about me, what do you call it? An unauthorized biography. But I have it actually. I got it. And it’s on my table. I have not read it. I have not read it. But I’ve seen some snippets from it here and there.

And you can learn something.
I want to learn something. I’m always eager to learn something about myself.

Well, we are down to literally the countdown on the last minute.
No! No! Look at this. I do know about this.

He does know about this. So all of you here today who have joined us, thank you. You will all be receiving a Jeff Goldblum cookie.
That’s an edible cookie. I had to approve this image. A couple of people last week said they wanted to make a cookie. “Is this good?” I said, “Yeah, that looks pretty good to me.” It’s quite nice.

There’s still stubble on it.
There’s stubble and I didn’t shave today. I have not tried it. So I can’t attest to the deliciousness of the cookie. Of course, all cookies are good.

Just a quick survey: Who will keep this in perpetuity and who will eat it?
Applause for who will eat it … yes. I see. I myself will take one of these home today if there’s an extra one.

I’m sure you can get one.
I’d like to show Emily and the kids. Somebody made, a while ago, a bag of M&Ms and each little M&M had a picture of my face. We had it for a while but then Emily started to eat it the other day.

I think she’s in the right, there.
She’s in the right. Yeah. What’s good if not nourishment, you know?

Jeff Goldblum Is on the Brink of Doing His Best Work