Yes, that is a 25-foot statue commemorating Jeff Goldblum’s shirtless scene from Jurassic Park. In 2018, Now TV commissioned the giant statue’s creation in honor of Goldblum’s character Dr. Ian Malcolm’s iconic, fleshy pose for the film’s 25th anniversary. But why was it made? The internet, uh, found a way.
Of all the young heartthrobs out there with impossible physiques and airbrushed complexions, the internet has a collective fascination with the 69-year-old, 6-foot-4-inch actor. There’s an endless assortment of memes, .gifs and Tumblr accounts devoted to his unique charms. But really, you only have to look at his earlier film roles to understand how he cultivated an intriguing aesthetic all his own. To celebrate Jeff Goldblum’s 69th birthday, we’re chronicling this eccentric actor’s rise to fame and the internet stardom.
Science-Fiction Was Perfect for Goldblum’s Charm
In 1978, Goldblum landed one of his first big roles in a remake of the 1956 cult-classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Viewers got their first taste of his eerily calming, deep voice and hypnotizing, transient glances as humans were replaced by alien doppelgängers. Hollywood seemed to understand that Goldblum’s natural eccentricities and haunting good looks were the perfect fit for more challenging roles in ensemble films.
He dabbled in serious roles and comedies, but his curious magnetism was the perfect fit for science-fiction blockbusters. Classic movies like The Fly, Powder, Independence Day and Jurassic Park all benefited from Goldblum’s signature stare that somehow suggests wisdom and fear at the same time. No matter what part he played, he delivered a muted confidence and otherworldliness that left generations of viewers enthralled. Roles in Thor: Ragnarok, Hotel Artemis, and Jurrasic World: Fallen Kingdom have brought Mr. Goldblum’s charm to a sea of fresh-faced fans. It’s no wonder the internet didn’t waste time in obsessing over him.
The Undeniable Zaddy of the Internet
We make music remixes of his laugh and watch them over 3 million times. We make Tumblr pages devoted to putting his face on flowers (which, for the record, is referred to as “Goldbluming”). And we slow down his voice to make him sound drunk in old Apple commercials. Why? Because the internet knows how to honor a legend.
It makes perfect sense, really. He’s a one-of-a-kind entertainer, so paying respect and investigating his magic requires alternative, off-kilter tributes. Just type “Jeff Goldblum meme” into your browser’s search bar and marvel at the myriad ways we honor his allure. Of course, sometimes his allure just requires your eyes, hence the internet’s fascination with his iconic shirtless pose from Jurassic Park. Hot and weird? That man deserved his statue.
When asked about the sculpture, Goldblum added fuel to the flames with his response. “It was lovely,” he began, “I liked that whole statue. I don’t know what it looked like in the flesh, or in the concrete. I didn’t see it. I saw pictures of it. I think they took it down, but isn’t it making a tour, of some kind? Like the treasures of the tomb of King Tutankhamun? I hope so. I hope everybody gets the chance to see it at one point or another.” Handsome, generous and he knows his history? How is this possible?!
His Charisma Off-Screen Is Somehow Even Better
It’s true. The man can do more than look insatiable in front of a camera. After decades of fandom, he revealed himself to be on board with all of the weird ways the internet expressed its love. Just watch any of his talk show interviews that demonstrate Daddy Goldblum looking appreciative, humbled and enjoying life’s ride at every turn.
If that wasn’t enough, his sultry spell goes beyond interviews and the big screen. The man is also a dynamo jazz piano player who released two albums with his band, Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. His albums have topped the Billboard jazz charts and featured duets with the likes of Sarah Silverman, Miley Cyrus and Fiona Apple. And he performs in Prada’s collection of patterns only a man like himself can make look impeccable. The man simply can’t help but keep it cool wherever he goes.
His very own National Geographic show, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, is a rare opportunity to dive deeper into his psyche. Each episode of the documentary series lets Jeff pass on the wisdom and life lessons he’s learned throughout his life. For him, it’s a chance to share parts of his colorful past. For us, it’s another chance to gawk at one of Hollywood’s most captivating men in cinema history.