Peaky Blinders' Sam Neill shares "embarrassment" over real name

sam neill, the kelly clarkson show, season 5
Peaky Blinders star "embarrassed" over real nameNBC - Getty Images

Actor Sam Neill has shared the sweet story behind the decision to change his name.

During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the Jurassic Park and Peaky Blinders star was prompted to share the reason why he changed his name to Sam.

"That's embarrassing that you know that," he told Clarkson, who revealed his real name – Nigel John Dermot Neill.

sam neill, the kelly clarkson show, season 5
NBC - Getty Images

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"I was christened Nigel Neill – that's like my parents giving me a disadvantage from the start," Neill joked.

Despite Clarkson saying that Nigel Neill would make for a "strong" actor name, Neill was adamant that no one "[wants] to be called Nigel".

"It's also called 'Nigel No Mates,' you know, 'Nigel No Friends,'" he continued, reminiscing on how he and his childhood best friend, also called Nigel, landed on different names.

"When I was 10, my best friend was called Nigel Nut – which is even worse – and I was Nigel Neill," the actor said.

kelly clarkson, sam neill, the kelly clarkson show, season 5
NBC - Getty Images

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"We liked Westerns, and we thought, 'Let's not just call ourselves Nigel, let's have nickname.' So I was called Sam and he was called Bill, and that was the best decision I ever made," he explained.

"There are no film actors called Nigel Neill, that's never going to happen," he concluded.

Neill appeared on Clarkson's show to promote his recent series, Apples Never Fall.

Based on Liane Moriarty's best-selling novel of the same name, the thriller follows married couple Joy (Annette Bening) and Stan Delaney (Neill), eager to enjoy the golden years of their life after their four adult children have flown the nest and they've sold their successful tennis academy.

Things go awry when Joy goes missing and the children become reluctant to report the disappearance as they start questioning their dad's innocence.

The four siblings are played by GLOW's Brie Larson, Thai Cave Rescue's Conor Merrigan Turner, Carol star Jake Lacy, and Speedway's Essie Randles.

The Kelly Clarkson Show airs on NBC in the US.

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