ByPeter DiDonato, writer at
A night owl that writes what comes to mind. You can follow me on Twitter at @didonatope or visit my blog at
Peter DiDonato

Ty Simpkins got his start in a Steven Spielberg film when he was three years old (War of the Worlds, 2005). It's only fitting that he would return to Amblin in the much-anticipated Jurassic World.

Though he is only 13-years-old, Simpkins has been featured prominently in several hit movies. He played the lead role of Dalton in the first two Insidious movies and played alongside Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3. Now with Jurassic World on his resume, it's pretty safe to say he's one of the biggest child actors in the movie business today.

Ty Simpkins' famous Insidious character.
Ty Simpkins' famous Insidious character.

At a recent press event for Jurassic World, I had the opportunity of interviewing Simpkins, who plays Gray in the film. His role involves a good amount of being chased by ravenous dinosaurs and screaming in terror. Since Jurassic World has a major horror element to it, the first thing I wondered was how similar his experience acting in Jurassic World was to the bone-chilling Insidious movies. Simpkins said that at a younger age, the fear was much more real for that film...

Well actually for Insidious it was all real fear because there were people in makeup dressed as ghosts chasing me around and I was only eight at the time. I knew it was fake but it was actually very terrifying.

So while the fear wasn't as real while filming Jurassic World, Simpkins' performance in it was entirely based on skill. For the scene where his character is being attacked in a glass gyrosphere, he was very blunt on how he got in the moment...

I just thought to myself: 'there's a dinosaur and he could kill me at any moment, so I have to run.'
The gyrosphere scene.
The gyrosphere scene.

Despite how flat out amazing the gyrosphere scene was, Simpkins favorite scene to film was a different action sequence...

My favorite scene to film was probably the sequence where we're being chased by the pteranodons in the Jeep.

This scene saw both SImpkins' and co-star Nick Robinson's characters navigating a high-speed Jeep in an effort to escape a flock of perturbed pteranodons. In fact, the whole sequence felt like a fitting tribute to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

What really made this scene work was the on-screen brotherly chemistry Simpkins and Robinson had. According to Simpkins, he and Robinson hit it off right away once they got onto the set...

Yeah, we hit it off right away. We kind of became brothers. I have an older brother and Nick has a younger brother so we can kind of related to that.
Simpkins and Robinson became best friends on set.
Simpkins and Robinson became best friends on set.

Besides both actors having brothers to relate to, something else they had in common was their love for dinosaurs. Simpkins said that if he got to walk in a dinosaur's shoes, his choice would be a fan favorite...

I would probably be the t-rex because nothing can really beat a t-rex. It has no real predators.

When asked why he thinks the t-rex is such a fan favorite amongst Jurassic Park fans, he added...

It's so terrifying to see the t-rex attacking people and to think about if you were really there. I think that people just like him because he's big and terrifying.

Looking back on his childhood, Simpkins said that he had a multitude of fond memories when it came to dinosaurs. He didn't just get into the magnificent reptiles while filming the movie; he was pretty much born as a fan...

The first time I started loving dinosaurs was when I first saw Jurassic Park when I was a little baby. So, I don't remember the first time I saw it, but yeah, I've loved dinosaurs all my life...I used to love Land Before Time and that dinosaur movie that Disney made as well.
Simpkins in Iron Man 3.
Simpkins in Iron Man 3.

After Jurassic World, Simpkins says that besides horror and action movies, he wouldn't mind doing a comedy or a drama next...

I would very much like to do a comedy...or (a more dramatic role) would be cool too.

More specifically, Simpkins next project will see him reuniting with Iron Man 3 director, Shane Black. Simpkins says that he greatly admires Black, and his directing position is one of the main reasons that he signed onto the project. The film is titled The Nice Guys, and Simpkins was willing to shed a little light on the project...

I have a small part in it...The movie is about a detective that has to solve a mystery about a porn star who got murdered. It comes out next year and I think it's gonna be cool...Shane told me about it and I said: 'that sounds cool!" Then Shane said: "yeah we're gonna try to get you in on it." It's going to be awesome.

It's clear to see that Simpkins has already done quite a lot in his short career, and aims to continue it with even more exciting projects. Based on his sizable experience in the world of Hollywood blockbusters, Ty Simpkins may just be the next big star to look out for.

Check out Jurassic World in theaters now!


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