‘I was christened Nigel’: Actor reveals unknown facts

Sam Neill was born in Northern Ireland but grew up in New Zealand. He is a legend of the screen,

Sam Neill was born in Northern Ireland but grew up in New Zealand. He is a legend of the screen, having appeared in television programs such as MerlinThe Tudors and Peaky Blinders as well as major cinematic productions such as Jurassic ParkThe PianoDead Calm and My Brilliant Career. 


His most recent film is Hunt for the Wilderpeople in which he plays a gruff mountain man whose quiet life in the wilds of the South Island is disrupted when a mouthy foster kid arrives. Since its release in Australia it has become the most successful NZ film of all time.

Neill recently revealed some of the unknown about his life. Sure, you might be aware that he is twice-married and has three children. You might have even known he runs a vineyard in New Zealand when he’s not shooting films. But were you aware that he was christened Nigel?

Neill says it set him back for years when he sat down with The Guardian for a one-on-one with Rosanna Greenstreet.

In the interview, Neill reveals his most treasured possession are his father’s war medals. He also admits to craving company, being completely inept when it comes to sport, and that his guilty pleasure is Come Dine With Me because it is “everything you need to know about the British in one tidy hour”.

It was a revealing interview during which Neill showed off his subtle sense of humour; like most of us he despises the “weird fat bits on my hips” and says his favourite word is F**k, which we probably find ourselves muttering more than once in a day.

Will you see Hunt for the Wilderpeople? What’s your favourite word?

  1. Yes I knew that Sam Neill’s name was Nigel, as a motor mechanic many years ago I used to work on his Father’s (Major Neill) motor car. Major Neill lived on the Otago Peninsula and was a New Zealander but in England at the start of world war 2 so joined the British army.

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