Written by Michelle Mastro
“I bet you’ll never look at birds the same way again,” says Dr. Alan Grant, comparing birds to dinosaurs in the famous film, Jurassic Park. And the actor best known for playing him, Sam Neill, has seen another side of birds, too, since enjoying life on the farm with one of his favorite farm friends, a duck named Charlie.
Birds of a Feather
Of course, Charlie isn’t exactly a dinosaur, and Sam Neill’s farm in New Zealand isn’t a theme park run amok. But, as Neill told Vulture in an early July interview, life on the farm comes with surprises. “There’s something about that duck!” Neill said, “He loves being in my company and I love hanging around with him, too…Or rather, I shouldn’t say he. I always thought Charlie was a male, and then she laid eggs one day. That was quite a surprise…” Neill said. On Neill’s farm, like in Jurassic Park, “life finds a way.”
Perhaps not so surprisingly, Charlie and some of Neill’s other animal pals—pigs, sheep, and rams—have become social media stars. Neill shares videos of his now celebrity farm friends on Twitter, showing his followers the highlights of the simple life. “What’s amusing me today? It’s mostly my duck. I really don’t know why people have reacted so strongly to the farm, but it’s definitely a nice thing to have happen.”
Life on the Farm
In one video, Charlie flies, surprising Neill. In other tweets, the actor does yoga with his pig, dubbed simply, The Pig. Other tweets include his chickens, one of whom is named after Neill’s famous friend, Meryl Streep.
Several of his other animals are named after celebrities as well. There’s Jimmy Nesbitt, the bull, and Helena Bonham Carter, the cow. “The real Helena writes me an email once in a while, and I fill her in with what’s going on with her cow,” Neill said.
But no matter how many animals Neill has, Charlie holds a special place in Neill’s heart. “We’re getting new friends for Charlie in the next few weeks, so we’ll see how that goes.” Neill insists “Charlie is No. 1 for me,” so any new feathery friends will also have to love the duck, Neill said.
Want your own farm friends? Check out these cute chicken coops to start your own farm. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!