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13 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Jurassic Park' That Prove Filmmakers... Find A Way

Updated September 10, 2021 4.2k votes 575 voters 38.3k views13 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting 'Jurassic Park' behind-the-scenes facts.

Jurassic Park behind-the-scenes stories tend to mirror the movie itself; both are filled with action and excitement. Both also have a streak of humor running right down the middle. Steven Spielberg's 1993 adventure was more than a blockbuster - it was an outright phenomenon. People went to see it multiple times, dazzled by the groundbreaking visual effects that realistically made dinosaurs come back to life. The memorable characters and nail-biting suspense were draws, too.

From a malfunctioning Tyrannosaurus rex, to the unusual way the raptors' sound was created, to a literal hurricane, the cast and crew of Jurassic Park overcame many challenges. The following stories from the making of this modern classic will give you the scoop on how it all went down. You'll have an even stronger appreciation for the movie after you know all the care and devotion that went into bringing Michael Crichton's best-selling novel to the screen. 

Which of these behind-the-scenes tales from Jurassic Park is the coolest? Your votes will decide. 

  • 5

    Joseph Mazzello Got Knocked Down By A Raptor Claw On His Birthday And The Crew Sang To Cheer Him Up

    The movie's characters get knocked around by the dinosaurs. At least one of the actors got knocked around, too. And it was poor Joseph Mazzello's birthday!

    The young star was filming the scene where Tim and Lex are in the kitchen. One of the fake raptors was being pushed on wheels when its metal claw collided with Mazzello's face:

    It was a raptor on wheels that was to follow me, and I'm supposed to go left, and it's supposed to go to the right. We did a bunch of takes. And one time I went left and I sort of turned around to look up and see the raptor turning the same way as me. And its claw, which was metal, hit me in the head because I was that height. And I fell down. I was a little bit dazed.

    Things improved slightly from there. According to the actor:

    I fall on the ground, I'm dizzy. Everybody comes over, running, and Steven comes over, ‘Joe, Joe, you OK? You OK?’ I'm a little like, ‘yeah, yeah. I think so,’ And he goes, ‘Well, I think this is as good of a time as any. Ready everyone? Happy Birthday to you,’ and the entire crew is singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me while I'm on the floor, dizzy from getting hit by the claw of the raptor.

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  • 6

    The T. Rex Puppet Was So Big, The Building It Was In Had To Be Enlarged

    Although many of the dinosaurs were CGI, several scenes required the use of puppets in order to interact with the human stars. That included the T. rex. Special effects whiz Stan Winston was brought on to design it.

    True to form, the tyrant lizard puppet was massive - 36 feet long and 18 feet tall, to be precise. In fact, it was so big that Winston realized the building that housed it needed to be enlarged. To accomplish this, the roof was raised and a bigger door was installed so the crew could get the puppet out.

    The final puppet was, according to First Assistant Director John Kretchmer, "absolutely breathtaking. It was the most incredible puppet you could imagine seeing."

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  • 7

    Wayne Knight Got Extra Makeup On ‘Seinfeld’ Because The Dinosaur Spittle Dyed His Skin Purple

    Wayne Knight was having a hot year in 1993. Aside from having a significant supporting role in Jurassic Park, he was a recurring actor on Seinfeld, then the most buzzed-about sitcom on TV. These two jobs ended up clashing in a very unusual way, though.

    Knight filmed the scene in which his character, Dennis Nedry, is attacked by a Dilophosaurus that spits purple goo at him. The ingredients used for that goo ended up dying his face purple. When he returned to Seinfeld, staff had to apply extra makeup to him so that the purple wouldn't show. The sitcom's producers were apparently not too happy about the situation. Knight later recalled the embarrassing situation:

    One night, I went back to shoot a ‘Seinfeld’ [episode] and I came back while we were shooting ‘Jurassic [Park],' and I said, ‘You know when you did the thing with the spitter?’ They go, ‘Yeah.’ [I said] ‘It kind of dyed my face purple.’ He [dinosaur creator] goes, ‘Yeah, it'll do that,’ So there was a make-up problem going back to TV, we had to like cover the spot ... and they basically said, ‘Don't blink, because we'll do it again.’

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  • 8

    Samuel L. Jackson Was Excited To Shoot His Death Scene, But The Hurricane Forced It To Be Scrapped

    A year before his breakthrough in Pulp Fiction made him a household name, Samuel L. Jackson had a small but significant role in Jurassic Park. He played Arnold, the computer expert tasked with running the park's automated systems. Although it was a high-profile part, it didn't come off precisely as the actor intended.

    Arnold meets his demise offscreen. A longtime fan of genre films, Jackson was eager to film what was supposed to be a tense death scene at the hands (and claws) of the velociraptors. Unfortunately for him, a hurricane destroyed the set this sequence was supposed to be filmed on. It subsequently had to be scrapped. 

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