Jeff Goldblum is Borrowing From the Bill Murray Pop-Culture Playbook

How the actor is changing his brand into cultural icon.

Jeff Goldblum is everywhere these days, he’s “so hot right now” if you ask Mugatu. One theory why: He’s borrowing from the Bill Murray playbook to transform his brand from actor to icon.

There are a few similarities between Jeff “Brundlefly” Goldblum and Bill Murray who, somewhere along the way, realized that being Bill Murray was pretty kickass in its own right. Instead of simply staying the course and delivering the goods on the screen, Murray became a legend away from celluloid as well. He built a brand around his quirky persona, cultivated a generally accepted aura of personable, fan-friendly relativism, and became a modern legend.

In the meantime, Goldblum has been carefully cultivating his own icon status. Much like Murray, Goldblum has a quirky edge to his acting, and has that offbeat look of a non-leading man leading man. He appears to be taking this and running, realizing that being Jeff Goldblum is, apparently, pretty cool. But this transformation, one that only a select few oddball characters in Hollywood could pull off, has to be more than just a grassroots movement from online meme-obsessed society of fanboys.

One of the biggest steps in Goldblum cultivating his nostalgic pop-culture icon status is his willingness to cater to the fans, same as Murray. Recently, a fan of Jurassic Park (and, specifically, “The Goldblum”) invited the actor to his wedding, and he appeared. The wedding party then posed, with Goldblum, fleeing from a T-Rex. Bill Murray has been pulling these stunts for some time, popping in on his fans at unexpected moments - the stories are endless.

Goldblum has fully embraced the callbacks to his performances in both Jurassic Park and Independence Day, even stirring up buzz for the upcoming ID sequel with a new Facebook page. And even though he didn’t appear in Jurassic World, his Dr. Ian Malcolm, and Malcolm’s chaos theory, loomed large over the film.

Their paths aren’t perfect parallels. Murray went from comedian to leading man to Oscar nominee to icon, Goldblum from oddball supporting player, to leading man, to captain of the cameo, to icon. However, there is something intrinsically similar to the way Murray became something more than an actor in the eyes of his adoring fans, and Goldblum is doing that very thing in front of our eyes. Goldblum is the latest “cool guy.” He is taking the Murray playbook and making it his own.