Sam Neill may be best known as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park and the ruggedly handsome Chief Inspector Chester Campbell in Peaky Blinders, but that’s far from the only role this New Zealand-born actor has played throughout his lengthy career. From his breakout role in 1981’s The Piano to his performance as a prisoner in 2010’s Inception, Sam Neill has become an iconic face on screen and stage around the world. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting roles this versatile actor has played over the years… The Many Faces of Sam Neill: From Chief Inspector to Peaky Blinder

Detective Inspector

Detective dramas may be gritty, but they’re also a good place for great actors. There are far too many examples of stellar roles that propelled one-time stage actors into Hollywood superstardom, including Daniel Craig in Skyfall, Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’s Diary and Michael Gambon in Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire. Detective Inspector is an intriguing role for someone who can master various facial expressions to show perplexed anger or cunning thought. Audiences have seen these roles work magic on Oscar winner Helena Bonham Carter and upcoming Oscar nominee Eddie Redmayne. Major Chester Campbell is a prominent member of the police force whose intelligence (and keen eye) easily makes him a rival to Thomas Shelby’s criminal empire.

Miles Anderson

Aka Major Chester Campbell from Peaky Blinders and Dr. Alan Grant from Jurassic Park among others. His acting ability is an example for everyone who wants a successful career in Hollywood. He was trained at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, which has turned out many actors known for their versatility as he is one.

The Many Faces of Sam Neill: From Chief Inspector to Peaky Blinder
The Many Faces of Sam Neill: From Chief Inspector to Peaky Blinder

He can portray anything from a hard-boiled cop to a laid back scientist without batting an eye and without looking out of place with his American accent.

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Lex Luthor

One of Sam Neill’s first roles was Lex Luthor in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. LexCorp might have been his brainchild, but Neil played it smart and acted as if he wanted peace for all. LexCorp provided free medical care and energy sources around the world, ultimately helping Clark Kent save both a space shuttle and a space station that was threatened by an asteroid. (Well done, Mr. Kent.) In real life, however, Neil is one of our most environmentally conscious actors, who once said in an interview with Starlog Magazine , An actor can do nothing except use his celebrity status—whatever clout he has got from being able to get some work—to say what he feels about things that are important.

John Hammond

Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies. I think that Neill played a great character here and does so in Peaky Blinders. You would never see him as a bad guy but he’s used perfectly as Campbell here. He has a commanding presence on screen with just enough arrogance to be slightly unnerving. That confidence in his position, coupled with some questionable tactics keeps you on edge when he’s on screen but at times his character seems like an old dog that knows there are new tricks out there, trying desperately not to play by them (as long as it doesn’t hurt his authority). Campbell comes across as very even keeled, almost robotic in fact at times.

Dr. Alan Grant

Jurassic Park-Sam Neil: Sam Neil, Jurassic Park movie and others. (1993): Actor (1963-) His real name is James Roy Neilson. Born in Invercargill, New Zealand on October 31, 1948. He received a scholarship from his school so he could attend a private boys’ high school. He dropped out during year 12 at age 17 in 1965 after passing his exams for University Entrance and worked as a farmhand near Invercargill for three months before deciding to become an actor in 1966 after seeing Camelot on stage.

The Many Faces of Sam Neill: From Chief Inspector to Peaky Blinder
The Many Faces of Sam Neill: From Chief Inspector to Peaky Blinder

He left home in January 1967 and hitchhiked south arriving in Christchurch where he signed up with a drama school.

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Who is Chester Campbell based on?

It appears that Chester Campbell is loosely based on one Chief Inspector Percy Sillitoe, who was in charge of policing in Birmingham during 1919–1929. There are some striking similarities between these two law enforcement figures. Both were born and raised in Scotland, immigrated to Australia and both served as police officers in Victoria before becoming involved with Irish Republicanism. Finally both became spies for MI5 during World War I. After WWI both joined Special Branch working within their own particular departments (Sillitoe led CID section D) with Chester Campbell serving as a detective inspector handling espionage, counter-espionage and subversion cases at division level.

Who is the chief inspector in Peaky Blinders?

Spoiler alert! Major Chester Campbell is a fictional character created by Steven Knight and portrayed by veteran actor Sam Neil. In British TV series Peaky Blinders, Major Campbell plays as head of CID at Birmingham Police Force. Here are few things you didn’t know about Chester Campbell in Peaky Blinders.

Is Chester Campbell still alive?

On December 15, 1902, a train carrying passengers from Sydney to Melbourne collided with another that had just left Melbourne. In total 55 people died in what was one of Australia’s worst railway disasters. When a devastated crowd attended a memorial service on Christmas Day, they were shocked when an Anglican minister said that perhaps some good could come out of tragedy if it inspired humility and repentance. Several days later authorities arrested 42-year-old John William Peterson at his home in Northcote. He appeared in court with badly bruised knuckles, which he attributed to punching holes in his walls in anger after news came through about those who’d died.

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Did Polly sleep with Campbell?

Polly can be seen clearly putting a piece of paper with Campbell’s name and address in her purse. A few scenes later when Thomas is about to kill Polly, he unzips her bag where he finds Campbell’s name, he then proceeds to take a picture from his pocket and after smashing it on Polly, kills her. In season 2 episode 1 at 12:50 / Thomas goes over to Campbell’s home and confronts him asking him if he slept with his wife. After initially denying that they slept together, but then confessing that she tried herself.

Was Major Campbell a real person?

Not really. While there was a Chester Campbell in WWI, he wasn’t a chief inspector and he never served as police commissioner for Birmingham. There was also a Scotland Yard detective named Reginald Blinker Smith who could’ve been an inspiration for Arthur Shelby’s nemesis, but we don’t know if anything about his personality is similar to Campbell’s. According to an interview with creator Steven Knight, part of what drew him to adding Campbell into Season 2 was some negative feedback from fans who disliked that Sir Michael Murphy (the head of operations for British Intelligence in Northern Ireland during WWI) was essentially sidelined for much of Season 1.

What did Campbell do to the Chinese girl?

In an interview, Campbell said that he asked for his character’s death. He stated in a 2009 interview with SFX magazine that he would not be returning to series 4 and was quoted as saying, I was very happy at being offered such a wonderful part but I felt it had reached its climax and I didn’t want them to drop it into a pale imitation. It had so much mileage left but without some kind of completion it wouldn’t have worked. On his request for his character’s death, Campbell explained that he had asked producers, Couldn’t you just kill me?. He also went on to say that …My hand didn’t even shake.

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