Jeff Goldblum Always Stays True to the Most Fascinating Character of Them All: Himself

Beyond acting, advertising is also a rich territory for this eclectic star

His most prominent U.S. work is for Apartments.com, featuring his quirky appearance as tech maven (and inventor of the “Apartminternet”) Brad Bellflower.
Monica Schipper — Getty Images

Charting Jeff Goldblum’s career on its surface does a great disservice to the long list of intriguing choices he has made over the years. After all, Goldblum is, arguably, one of the most intriguing characters out there.

“I’m as interested [in the world] now as ever,” he said in conversation with Adweek and BETC Paris’ Stéphane Xiberras during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June. “So if I’m interesting at all, maybe it’s because I still stay interested.”

Goldblum is known for plenty: his blockbusters, like the Jurassic Park series and Thor: Ragnarok; his turns in several Wes Anderson projects; and his successful music career as a pianist with The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, to name a few. Over the years, he has lent his unique style in fun commercial gems around the globe, including ads for Holsten Pils; several Apple spots in the ’90s; and a riotous 2015 campaign for U.K. electronics retailer Currys, in which he gave acting tips to not-so-thrilled Christmas gift recipients.

His most prominent U.S. work is for Apartments.com, featuring his quirky appearance as tech maven (and inventor of the “Apartminternet”) Brad Bellflower. The RPA-led campaign debuted in 2015, and Goldblum continues to anchor the brand’s work—including its most recent series directed by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. 

“[Waititi and I] already had a relationship, [and] I adore him,” said Goldblum. “I liked what we did and [we] had a blast. Even the agency said, ‘I’m glad you decided on [Waititi], because you’re obviously having a good time, and that’s coming out in the commercials.’”

Goldblum, a self-proclaimed “late bloomer” and father to two young children, is in a gratitude-filled chapter of his life—and career. He has no shortage of opportunities, so he only pursues projects if the work “wants to leave somebody with something not unwholesome, and if it’s exciting to me, personally and creatively.”

After all, while Goldblum has created a wildly successful career out of morphing himself into roles like Ian Malcolm and Grandmaster, he stays true to the most fascinating character of them all: himself. “I’ve always been a pure kind of passionate actor and merry prankster who [is] trying to bring something good to whatever I do,” he added.

How He Got the Gig

“Early in the process, it was obvious that Jeff was the best choice,” said Pat Mendelson, svp, ecd, RPA, on the Apartments.com work. “He’s so funny, likable, quirky and has that charisma that everyone reacts to.”

“I liked [the idea] of making little movies [for the brand],” added Goldblum. “They’re good people, and it’s a contributive service.”

Big Mistake

In Goldblum’s opinion, “there are no mistakes because mistakes are good, and it’s good to fail.” But he did say that early in his career he was “mistaken about how to manage my experiment into craft,” which led him to overwork himself.

Lesson Learned

“Maybe if I hadn’t overworked, I wouldn’t now be able to shrug off all unnecessary effort and trust myself to do whatever is required,” explained Goldblum. “I taught for a couple of decades whenever I wasn’t working. I’m sure I would talk about that and try to warn [people] early on and [tell them to] trust yourself.”

Pro Tip

On creativity, Goldblum quoted Russian theater practitioner Constantin Stanislavski: “Love the art in yourself, not yourself in art.” Or, in Goldblum’s words: “Love, actually, what you have to offer.”

This story first appeared in the Aug. 19, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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