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Monday, December 6, 2021

Jeff Goldblum’s favourite places to visit in the USA

After four years there, I started to do movies and moved to Los Angeles, which is still my main base. The wide-open spaces of Los Angeles made for a pretty good lockdown. I was with my family – my wife, Emilie, and our two boys, Charlie, aged six and River, aged four. 

We’ve still managed to get around a bit over the last couple of years, too – they were even with me in England recently. I love London and I was in the UK filming Jurassic World: Dominion. We stayed at the Langley Park hotel, near Pinewood Studios. We were so privileged because much of the world was shut down and we enjoyed a very creative time. My kids visited the set and went to the creature shop at Pinewood where they were making all the stuff for the movie.   

In the first season of The World According to Jeff Goldblum, we travelled all around the USA, visiting Hawaii, Indiana and Texas, where I was in conventions amongst huge crowds of people. But the bulk of the second season started after the pandemic, so we decided we’d stay in California. 

But then, around the time I was shooting Jurassic World, California and LA had a Covid-19 surge, and the producers asked if I’d be willing to spend a month in Atlanta, Georgia. I said “Ya, if you say so”, and that’s where I danced with Diego the sea-lion, Georgia Aquarium’s most famous resident – what a weird and wonderful thing that was. We also filmed at Cascade roller-skating rink, which is a black-owned business that’s been a staple of the local community for 30 years.

I got weepy on camera with the J-setting dancers in Saint Auburn, Atlanta, who do a style of dance popularised by the Prancing J-Settes, a collegiate marching band. I’d just finished the competition and parade down the street, and then the J-setters were coming out in this beautiful way through dance, into a more authentic version of themselves, dancing with such courage and beauty. I got choked up talking about how dance can bring us all together and actualise us individually, enabling us to have intimate and creative experiences with each other.

When I’m working, I’m very conscientious. I go to sleep and save my energy for the assignment, so I’m not the type of guy to go out much – but we did go out once in Atlanta, to a barbecue restaurant. We had cornbread and other delicious local dishes and it was spectacular. I’m very easy to please with food, but that was some authentic BBQ. My mouth is getting wet just thinking about it. 

We also filmed in Arizona for the episode about fireworks, and the scenes of the unpolluted sky with astronaut John Herrington were emotional and awe-producing. We talk about it being a delicious part of the human experience, a mix of wonderment and delight. 

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