Sam Neill, a well-known actor, director, and producer, was born in Northern Ireland as Sir Nigel John Dermot Neill. His family soon relocated to New Zealand, where he was raised and began his career. And he started a farm there later in life. Currently, the actor amuses himself by renaming abused and neglected animals after other actors he is familiar with.
At Hiptoro, we browsed Sam Neill’s Instagram until we came across a picture of a cow with the name Helena Bonham Carter. We were also shocked to discover creatures that Sam had jokingly given the names Kylie Minogue and Taika Waititi in honor of his pals.
In 1954, his family and young Nigel emigrated to New Zealand, where his father was born. Because he thought the name Nigel was “a little effete for a New Zealand playground,” he began referring to himself as “Sam” while attending a boarding school there.
The future actor attended Canterbury to study English literature after finishing high school before relocating to Wellington. Despite the childhood stuttering he had experienced, he had his first acting experience while attending the university.
The City of No, Neil’s debut movie, came out in 1971. He has appeared in numerous films and TV shows to date and has received several prestigious honors. San Neill as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park and Major Chester Campbell in Peaky Blinders, are two of his roles that may be familiar to you.
Sam currently resides in the New Zealand town of Alexandra, where he operates a winery. Everything began in 1993 when he chose to begin farming the first 5 acres of his property. Sam claims that although this company continues to operate and purchase new lands, it is not a very profitable venture.
The actor works in agriculture because he enjoys it and finds it fulfilling, and he frequently posts photos of his farm adventures on Instagram.
Sam takes pride in his large-growing zucchini and pumpkin harvest. He makes jokes at times, “Turn your back for a minute, next thing you know the courgette is a 2-ton truck.”
Sam enjoys having his grandchildren participate in his hobby. The actor says, “Here we shamelessly exploit child labor. In all fairness, they eat more grapes than they pick. Wait, who’s exploiting who here?”
Sam Neill enjoys making fun of his coworkers. In 2018, he wished Mia Wasikowska a happy 69th birthday on Instagram while sharing a photo of the two of them. Everything is fine, but the actress is now 29.
However, this is not all. The actor has a large farm where grapes and zucchini are grown. He also has a number of animals that he has named after actors from films.
“Have you ever had a sheep for a friend?” Sam Neill once wrote on his Instagram. “I was always nicer to Jeff Goldblum the ram than he was to me, to be honest. If I turned my back, he’d sometimes head butt me in the bum. Other than that, he was pretty good company.”
Graham Norton, a bull, also roams the grounds of Sam’s farm. He’s also the namesake of the well-known comedian and presenter, as you might have guessed. In honor of Australian actor David Wenham, who played Faramir in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, another calf that was born on the farm was given the name Daisy.
In addition to “celebrity” bulls, there is also a cow named Helena Bonham Carter, who was named after the actress best known for her roles as the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland and Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movie series. Sam enjoys feeding her by hand and compliments her on having excellent manners.
“We’ve been friends for many years, and I was godfather to all 8 of her calves including Laura Dern,” the actor wrote. In another post of his, he confessed, “Helena Bonham Carter, the cow, trying to kiss me this morning. I don’t blame her. I’d shaved.”
Some animals, though, cause him a lot of trouble. For instance, Michael Fassbender’s rooster may begin crowing at 5 a.m. directly beneath Sam’s windows. The actor quips that, like his well-known namesake, the rooster takes his responsibilities very seriously.
There are numerous other “celebrities” in Sam Neill’s hen house. The actor claims that Kate Winslet is the ideal mother because she is so kind to her chickens. She can be found here.
However, a different hen named after the actress Rose Byrne is quite cunning. She once came under suspicion for stealing the pig’s breakfast right in front of it. By the way, the farm’s owner gave this hog the name Taika Waititi in honor of the well-known comedian and film director from New Zealand.
The actor also takes care of several ducks. One of them bears the name Kylie Minogue in recognition of the well-known singer. Sam, however, claims that this bird “doesn’t sing a lot — but you know she’s a duck.”
There is also Charlie Pickering, a duck who ultimately revealed herself to be a girl. Sam claims to be an old friend of this duck. She has grown sentimental with age and likes to cuddle.
Charlie enjoys gazing at her image in the pond. Neill quips in jest: “Charlie Pickering, the duck, is probably the poultry narcissus on our farm. But if you were as drop-dead gorgeous as Charlie, you’d be admiring yourself a fair bit too.”
Sam Neill loves to spend time with his pets. He can easily sing a song to his cows and pigs in the field. Additionally, the actor enjoys demonstrating yoga poses to his fans while telling them that one of the pigs is a true athlete.
“This is the Pig’s turn. He’s more of a yoga guy rather than Pilates, and this excellent stretch he calls ’The cobra.’ My Pilates instructor in Sydney doesn’t stretch as well as The Pig, to be honest,” Sam says.
The farm animals were saved in part. Sam, for instance, once adopted ten chickens that were housed in tiny cages. The actor was concerned that it would take the birds some time to get used to the daylight and become independent.
The rescued birds return their owner’s love in kind. “Bryce Dallas Howard roosts up a tree at my front door. In return for being rescued by us about 6 months ago, she has taken it upon herself to be my guard chicken. An important job,” Sam Neill wrote on his Instagram.
The actor makes an effort to raise awareness of the SPCA in New Zealand on his Instagram. This group supports the protection of sick, hurt, lost, mistreated, or abandoned animals.
“We would like to ask you to help SPCANZ and the work they do care for some 41 thousand abused, neglected animals every year,” Sam Neill says.
Sam Neill still performs as an actor in films today while also tending to his farm’s animals. The farm welcomed a new resident in July 2022. Sam’s supporters named the piglet Bryan. Her middle name is Bryan Brown, an Australian actor who starred in the television series The Thorn Birds and the film Gods of Egypt.
What is your pet’s name? Let us know in the comments section.