Mamoudou Athie admits 'freaking out' over 'Jurassic World Dominion' cast (exclusive)
Watch: Mamoudou Athie was starstruck on Jurassic World Dominion set
Mamoudou Athie has confessed to 'freaking out' and feeling starstruck when he had the opportunity to work with the original Jurassic Park cast members in Jurassic World Dominion.
The 33-year-old star plays the communications head of a genetics company in Colin Trevorrow's film, which deals with the impact of dinosaurs being unleashed into the world at the end of 2018's Fallen Kingdom.
Athie told Yahoo that he was less nervous about working with animatronic beasts from the Cretaceous period than he was about sharing the screen with his acting heroes.
Read more: Colin Trevorrow says Dominion celebrates entire franchise
"The dinosaurs, that takes care of itself. But working with these guys, I've admired them forever," he said.
Dominion sees Sam Neill and Laura Dern return to their roles as Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, while Jeff Goldblum is again back as Dr Ian Malcolm after his brief appearance in Fallen Kingdom.
Athie added: "Honestly, when you see a movie like Jurassic Park as a kid and then you end up as an adult working with the same actors in that movie as those characters, there were moments of ... I don't typically get starstruck, but in those moments I was like 'this is bizarre and I'm freaking out'."
Read more: Sam Neill says Jeff Goldblum "drove everyone crazy" on set
The star was joined for his interview by Goldblum who, in his unique, idiosyncratic way, wasted no time in comparing himself to a prehistoric creature.
"I do sometimes bite. I do sometimes get ferocious," said Goldblum. "But other times I'm sort of a wondrous, mysterious creature and I like the leaves from the tall trees."
Described by star Chris Pratt as the Jurassic equivalent of Avengers: Endgame, Dominion was shot amid strict COVID-19 pandemic rules but maintains an enormous scale.
"I feel like working in that way made us feel safe, so we could really just play. We were living with each other, so we could trust everybody," said Athie.
Read more: Sam Neill reveals details of Jurassic World return
Goldblum added that the "amazing" British crew — including executive producer Alexandra Derbyshire — were influential in getting the movie over the line, describing it as "a British film".
He said: "It was a bittersweet kind of thing. We knew what was going on in the world and we knew our rare opportunity, how we were being protected and the family kind of connection we made, bonding-style, with each other.
"We were the first production, I think we can say proudly, to go out and give it a try. They pioneered and spearheaded those COVID protocols that allowed us to get through it and other productions since then, even now, have built upon and copied our blueprint."
Laura Dern also discussed her fondness for her colleagues, who gained closeness given the fact they had to live together for five months in order to maintain a pandemic bubble.
She said: "It was the only way to do it and the only way to feel safe enough to do it at the time that we did it and at the time that the UK was going through the heartbreak that it was.
Read more: Bryce Dallas Howard reveals bruises from Dominion shoot
"We were pre-vaccine and there was an entire film industry trying to figure out how to return to work safely. So we were learning and defining protocol together and creating this safe home for each other.
"It was pretty incredible, and with the most deliciously supportive, hilarious, kind leading men possible."
Jurassic World Dominion roars into IMAX and cinemas in the UK on 10 June.
Watch: Trailer for Jurassic World Dominion