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Helen Hunt And Gwyneth Paltrow Could’ve Played Ellie Sattler In Jurassic Park

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Laura Dern and Sam Neill in Jurassic Park

This week will see the 3D re-release of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The 20th anniversary edition of Spielberg’s classic film will see a new and improved digital restoration, with a fancy 3D up-conversion. I’ve seen the new treatment, and while the 3D doesn’t lend much to the film, Jurassic Park is definitely worth watching on the big screen, especially if you’ve never seen the dinosaur movie in theaters. Universal had the stars of Jurassic Park, Sam Neill and Laura Dern, doing TV appearances to promote the 3D re-release and they’ve divulged some trivia and tidbits about the production that you may not have known.

Both Helen Hunt and Gwyneth Paltrow auditioned for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler, neither of whom had hit it big in Hollywood yet. While the actresses would have done a fine job in the role, the part went to the right actress, Laura Dern, who was magnetic and charming as Dr. Ellie Sattler.

Although Helen Hunt had a steady acting career before Jurassic Park, she hadn’t gained much exposure until she appeared on the widely popular NBC sitcom Mad About You with Paul Reiser in 1993. Gwyneth Paltrow had a small but notable role in Steven Spielberg’s Hook as the Young Wendy in 1991, but it wasn’t until she co-starred with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in David Fincher’s Se7en that she became a household name. Either way, both Hunt and Paltrow would later go on to win Academy Awards for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role for the movies As Good As It Gets and Shakespeare in Love, respectively.

Jurassic Park 3D will hit theaters everywhere on April 5th, in IMAX. You can see the segment from NBC’s today show below.

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