Jeff Goldblum was quite the zaddy as brilliant but eccentric scientist Seth Brundle in David Cronenberg’s 1986 horror remake The Fly — who, before he transformed into a projectile-vomiting human-insect hybrid, became an unlikely sex symbol.
“Goldblum is our nation’s sci-fi sex monster,” wrote The Decider’s Meghan O’Keefe in 2016. “He beckoned us to unleash our most animalistic desires in The Fly.”
The beloved actor humbly accepted that designation during a Role Recall interview with Yahoo Entertainment while discussing The Fly, which opened in theaters 35 years ago, on Aug. 15, 1986.
“I don’t know who says that, but there you go,” he replied (watch full Role Recall interview above, with The Fly starting at 1:16) before breaking down the allure of Seth Brundle — object of desire for Geena Davis's journalist Ronnie Quaife — in a way only Jeff Goldblum could do.
“I had my flowy locks at that point. If anything is attractive, at least for me, it’s somebody who is passionate and interested in something and focused on something and has some brain power, too. And that character is supposed to be kind of a smarty pants. So you know, maybe that was attractive. And then of course once I get mashed up with the fly DNA, I’m given to great power, volatile storms, and a sexuality — a fevered, unquenchable sexuality.”
Goldblum worked with effects and makeup artists Chris Walas and Stephen Dupois (who won an Oscar for their efforts) for the scenes in which Brundle morphed into a fly — spending five hours in a “dentist’s chair” each of those days on set.
“I kind of squeezed on this rubbery suit so I look all boiled, boily and misshapen,” he recalled. “And then they put the prosthetics in.
“It’s not the most comfortable thing, but it wasn’t bad. It was a fun thing to do.”