Wise words from acclaimed actor Jeff Goldblum

Published: February 3, 2017
Author: Steven Thomas


The more I've researched Jeff Goldblum the more I'd love to meet him.  It seems that he's one of those actors who has perfected playing, well, himself.  He comes over as brilliantly eccentric - on and off screen and I imagine him to be a fantastic dinner guest.  In a recent piece for Mr. Porter the writer Stephanie Rafanlli describes his "ruminations" as "sound pockets of sheer charisma".  Rafanelli also goes on to quite rightly point out that Goldblum has "avoided the quicksand of self-parody" and that there is "something fluid, shape-shifting about Mr. Goldblum; he's both indisputably himself and ever-evolving, improving."

Maybe it's the fact that he's had to understand so many different characters over his lengthy acting career?  As I dug in a bit more it struck me how he seems to apply an admirable level of openness, empathy, and curiosity to everyday life...

“I’m open, I’m accessible and I like to be intimate and thoroughly, thoroughly exposed, you know? What’s certainly true is that I’m interested in other people.” 

Or, perhaps it's because he sees life as a never-ending improvisation derived from his love of Jazz.  Goldblum plays weekly gigs in Los Angeles with his jazz band, the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.  I was tickled by the fact the band is named after his mother's friend who lived to 100 years old.  Another nod to a contented longevity derived from taking life as it comes and finding new ways to learn and adapt.  Incidentally, every set his band plays is kept a secret from him.

“I certainly like to improvise, challenge myself. I consider myself a student.”

“I’m enjoying life no end, and more and more as we go along. And I feel like I am getting better at things. I have palpable results.”

Even at 62, he comes over as someone who isn't looking to the next thing or who is distracted by what's headed their way; instead, he seems to be on an adventure, one that he's doing his best to make the most of.

“…and I feel like I’m on the threshold of something, you know? My best work. I just feel I, I, I… might be able to do something better than I have ever done.”

“...I like a spontaneous, vibrant… life. But a lot of that is up to me. You can’t expect doves to fly out at every moment.”

Rafanelli also explains how he has used his training as a young actor in the 70's under Sanford Meisner, into a method that can be applied to music and indeed an all-embracing life philosophy.

“Meisner said, ‘If you work constantly, it’s going to take 20 years before you can even call yourself an actor...That’s the way it is with piano, with everything...That’s how organic and slow-cooking this process is. It’s not any microwave effort.”

When talking to Sean Woods for Men's Journal Goldblum describes how he view the inevitable aging process...

"I like this idea of honoring nature, not masking it. You know, the flower blooms, the flower dwindles, and that's what we do. Enjoy it. The wilting side of it can be beautiful, too. You wouldn't take a flower and do surgery on it or paint it or put a pair of Spanx on it."

“None of us live forever. Even if you live to 100 in the cosmic calendar, that’s a blink of an eye. I’m open to living, but I’m open to dying, too. Monks sometimes meditate in morgues. It’s all very fleeting. We will be here and not here.”

Similarly with Eve Barlow / The Guardian

"I have no faith in an afterlife and you never know when it’s gonna end,” he says. “There’s so much that’s delicious, precious, magnificent, mysterious and infinitely enjoyable that it would be foolish not to make every day an adventure.”

...and finally on making the most of all relationships.

"I will say that I think interactions and relationships of all kinds fall under the creative umbrella. Trust yourself and let nature take its course. There is something in the cosmos that connects you with them and can make you infinitely curious about their mystery and beauty."

Wise words indeed.  If have the time, take in this video of Jeff and his band below and tell me that his philosophy isn't working.

NB: The featured image, to my knowledge, has no copyright and was sourced from Pinterest.  If this isn't the case then please do let me know and I'll happily remove it.