Following the two sequels to the 1993 smash hit “Jurassic Park,” actor BD Wong realised he had to take things into his own hands.
As Dr. Henry Wu in “Jurassic Park,” the chief engineer responsible for the recreation of the dinosaurs in the park, there was never any resolution to what happened to the character.
Did he get eaten by his creations once the park lost power and roamed free? Did he make it on one of the last boats off the island?
The character’s absence in any followup sequels led to years of people asking Wong what happened to Dr. Wu. Finally, the actor was ready to finally give the fans what they wanted.
“I was at the point where I wanted to make some videos to put online showing what happened to him,” Wong told Business Insider. “Silly things for the fans, like he somehow ended up with the shaving cream can.” Referring to the infamous Barbasol can filled with dinosaur embryos that dropped out of Dennis Nedry’s coat when he was attacked by a Dilophosaurus in “Jurassic Park.”
But before he could follow through on his zany idea the phone rang, and it was “Jurassic Word” director Colin Trevorrow.
A year before “Jurassic World” went into production, Trevorrow reached out to the actor and asked if he would like to reprise the role of Dr. Wu.
“I was like, ‘Sure, of course, that sounds great,'” Wong recalled. “I didn’t really take it that seriously because things change all the time.”
Wong knows that from first-hand experience.
The 54 year old is a veteran character actor having worked on “Law & Order: SVU” for 11 years playing Dr. George Huang and starring in countless movies since the 1980s. But when he got the call to play Dr. Wu the first time around in “Jurassic Park” he thought it would bring him to the next level.
Mainly, because of the size of the Dr. Wu character in the book. In which he stays on the island with the others to regain power to the park.
“I was actually hired from auditions I did that were scenes taken from the book,” said Wong, referring to the Michael Crichton novel the movie is based on.
“So imagine my surprise when I got a call that I was working on the movie for one day,” he said.
Though his character was stripped bare, Wong got over it quickly because being on a movie of that magnitude definitely helped him get more work.
But when Trevorrow came calling 20-plus years later, Wong was a bit sceptical.
“I think he might have sensed that I was sensitive to their not being much to [the character],” he said. “He was courting me in a way.”
As Wong predicted, it was months following that first call with Trevorrow when he finally got word that Dr. Wu was going to be in the film.
But how they had fleshed out the Dr. Wu character was beyond Wong’s expectations.
“The character was coming full circle but also they were giving him his due in some way,” Wong said. “They were making him into a three-dimensional person and I liked that.”
In “Jurassic World,” Dr. Wu is now the head of the division that clones dinosaurs and has pushed the boundaries of cloning. He’s in charge of developing bigger, and more dangerous creatures to keep fans of the theme park returning for more.
Dr. Wu’s major scene comes after his newest creation, the Indominus Rex, has escaped and the park’s owner Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) comes to Dr. Wu for answers. Like in “Jurassic Park,” Dr. Wu gives the audience a better understanding of what our heroes are up against. But this time Trevorrow wanted the character to have an added layer.
“We’re about to shoot my big scene with Simon Masrani, Colin comes over to me and says, ‘You know, I think Wu he should say, ‘All of this is because of me,'” Wong recalls.
The line was not in the script, and Wong was instantly taken-aback that Trevorrow would let a lower-tier character say a line of such magnitude.
“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ But I said the line in every take from that point on,” Wong said. “But I thought they were never going to use that. Or Universal would not let them use it. That’s just too much of a commitment.”
But it was left in. And that chilling line presented the audience with a side of Dr. Wu they didn’t see coming. A person so full of himself that he now has a God complex. The importance of Dr. Wu to the story is confirmed in his last scene when we see him fly off Jurassic World with a suitcase full of dino embryos.
So, will we see Dr. Wu if there are sequels to “Jurassic World”?
Wong is as curious as we are.
“I’m not even being coy, I don’t have any idea,” he said. “I read the movie and had the same reaction that most all people are having in regards to that. So if you’re the kind of person who’s inclined to root for that thing to happen then there’s a certain amount of encouragement there.”
Is Wong one of those people rooting for that?
“I think I am,” he said, “because now you can tell that the potential [for the character] is really great.”
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