She just may a co-star "type," as Bryce Dallas Howard has gone from dinos to dragons and back again.
A year after her film “Jurassic World” -- in which she and Chris Pratt dodge some predatory dinosaurs (she in the infinitely more challenging Ginger Rogers-esque role, i.e.: having to do it in high heels) -- became one of the highest-grossing films in movie history, Howard scored another creative victory. In Disney’s warm-hearted, Amblin’-evoking family film reboot “Pete’s Dragon” (debuting Nov. 28 on Blu-Ray and DVD), she stands at the center of an unconventional family unit -- one that includes a gigantic, chameleon-like, fantastic beast.
The actress, who grew up as an unabashed fan of the 1977 original, sat down with CBR to discuss what it meant to her to create a movie so well-received it may in time become a family classic, and the nerves she felt showing the new film to her oldest child. Oh yes – and then there’s that upcoming sequel to the fourth top-grossing film of all time that will reunite her with Pratt and their unpredictable, un-extinct co-stars.
CBR: I think this movie is going to have a “rolling thunder” effect. Every time somebody sees “Pete’s Dragon,” it’s going to have a new fan, and it’s going to be that kind of movie that people spot on TV and don’t turn off. They sit down and catch it at any point and they stick with it. Do you feel that way?
Bryce Dallas Howard: That’s, of course, so lovely. I think there’s something very soothing about this movie. There’s an innocence. I think for sure there’s a lot of stuff that we watch on TV that isn’t soothing, and unfortunately, a lot of that is the news.
I think that is in part what we are trying to provide as a service, is to create something that can be hopefully emotionally nurturing in some sort of way. So I think that, yeah, I could see how watching a film like this with your family over the holidays, watching this as a repeat viewing, is something that would kind of feel good, I think.
As a mom, were you watching your kids watch the movie and crossing your fingers for their reaction, given how much the original meant to you when you were little?
Yeah, yeah! My son -- I’ve been actually waiting for my daughter for the DVD/Blu-ray release to watch at home with her, because I actually haven’t brought her to the theaters a lot. But my son I brought to the theaters. He’s almost ten.
I kept looking at him the whole time when he was watching the movie. Then it ended, and he turned to me and he said, “Can I watch it again?” And that was the highest praise, basically, that he could give me. So yeah, it’s really cool getting to see his experience of the movie. I didn’t really realize how much I wanted him to approve of it.
Has he seen the original too?
No, he hasn’t seen the original yet. Whoa! He’s got to see the original. Whoa. Oh my gosh. I feel like I just committed a crime, having him watch this one first.
How much info do you have on your next “Jurassic World” movie? Have you gotten a lot of the story solidified?
Oh, yeah, yeah. Very much so, yeah. And that’s what’s so cool about “Jurassic.” Even with the first, when I came on board the first one, I think at least a year before we even started shooting. Colin [Trevorrow] was always so inclusive and collaborative, so that has continued with this next one.
The script is awesome. I saw Chris [Pratt] this week. I’ve seen everyone in London recently. Yeah, we’re talking about details now. We’re, like, down to the details. It’s pretty exciting. It’s going to be the first time that I’ve ever gone back to something. My husband [Seth Gabel] works predominantly in TV. I’m always like, “Ah, you’re working with your friends again. You’re so lucky!” I feel very lucky.