ByTom Chapman, writer at
tweet: tomtomchap Warden of the North - bearded, tattooed and square eyed 'til the end
Tom Chapman

Failing to live up to the dino-sized task of outshining its predecessor, The Lost World: Jurassic Park was the 1997 sequel to 's original romp around the park. While The Lost World is nowhere near as spat upon as Jurassic Park III, the magic of the first film just wasn't quite there. Spielberg was back, while newcomers like Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn joined a returning . Again the unlikely hero of the piece, this time Dr. Ian Malcolm made it a family affair and had his daughter along for the ride.

We all remember Vanessa Lee Chester's Kelly, Malcolm's daughter, who was well on her way toward the terrible teens. The spunky gymnast made it onto the expedition to Isla Sorna by accident, but wasted no time in kicking Velociraptors in the gonads. Now, 20 years after the film hit cinemas, Chester is reflecting on her time among the T-Rexes and the rugged chest of Goldblum.


As a child star from the likes of A Little Princess and Harriet the Spy, Vanessa's biggest role was definitely as the solo child of Spielberg's sequel. Taking to Instagram, the actress (who is now 32, to make you feel even older) told us how she landed the part as Kelly after running into Spielberg:

"As I was signing an autograph for him (go figure!), he told me one day he'd put me in a film. One year later, I got a call from Amblin Entertainment saying Spielberg wanted to meet with me- he was thinking of casting me in the sequel."

Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards briefly returned for one scene as Tim and Lex in 1977, but it was left to Chester to play the youngest member of the cast for the majority of the movie. The Lost World may not have been quite the breakout part she had hoped for. Appearing in singular episodes of The West Wing, Veronica Mars, and How I Met Your Mother, Chester nowadays seems to spend her time in more background roles. To be honest, it could be worse, she could've gone down the Culkin route of a child actor.

With dramatic action scenes, dino chases, and that infamous trailer stunt, The Lost World was certainly a grander affair, but also more adult in its themes. With a much darker tone, the film lost some of its family appeal, and even a Hollywood cast couldn't gel it back together.

Thanks For The Memories

By Chester's account, at least life on set was fun, with the rest of the stars looking after her. Among the rest of the shared posts on her Instagram, she showcased heartwarming messages from the likes of Moore and the spider-like handwriting of Vaughn. Notably, the message written to her by Spielberg revealed that she was his only choice for the part of Kelly.

With Goldblum officially reprising his role as Ian Malcolm for J.A. Bayona's , now would seem like the perfect time for Kelly to join back in for a father-daughter adventure. However, unless Chester is keeping it zipped, it doesn't look like she has signed on to the next installment in the franchise. While she may not have a part in the future of the Jurassic World world (yet), she will always have those memories of 1997.

Check out the trailer for The Lost World: Jurassic Park and don't forget our poll below!


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(Source: Instagram @vanessalchester)


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