Bryce Dallas Howard: Jeff Goldblum is a genius
The actor returns as a transformed Claire in the sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World -- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, that's getting released this week
It isn't an exaggeration to state that Jurassic World (2015) redeemed the Jurassic Park franchise. Its much-anticipated sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, hits the screens this week. Set a few years after the original, the film finds Isla Nublar and its reptilian residents under threat from a massive volcano, which will destroy the island and send the animals back into extinction.
Bryce Dallas Howard is back as Claire Dearing, once the no-nonsense boss of park operations on Isla Nublar. Now, however, her feelings towards the dinosaurs are different, and she’s leading the mission to rescue them before lava-fuelled doom descends on them all. Bryce, here, talks about Claire’s evolution, and what it was like to work with Chris Pratt and Jeff Goldblum.
How has Claire changed – and not changed – from when we last saw her?
Her mission, sense of purpose, perspective have changed, but her personality hasn't. Between the first and second films, she has become an activist. She's created an organisation called the Dinosaur Protection Group, whose mission is to ensure that these animals are afforded the same protection as any other endangered species. Owen and others, however, think they should just let nature take its course, but she's on this mission to save the lives of the dinosaurs which are in danger from the volcano. So she has a different mindset, but has still found a way to manage to be in a position of leadership.
Were there any specific qualities you wanted to bring to her character?
We wanted the people to evolve and still have it be a dinosaur film that rocks! I think that by the end of Jurassic World, she's far more connected to her heart, and has found her feminine side and power. These were all qualities that I wanted to bring into this film. Then physically, in the first film, I had this very severe haircut, and I wanted to just wear my hair in a ponytail. I haven't dyed it between then and now; so it's all natural. I wanted to bring more of an earthiness to Claire.
The film itself feels different tonally. It is an action-adventure, but has suspense and horror layered on top, right?
And emotion too. I think it's right for there to be a deepening in this film. What I love is that we do have time on the island, and then we also have the very American sense of humour that Jurassic Park and Jurassic World have. It feels like a Jurassic film, but pushes the genre into a place where the stakes are raised. And JA (Bayona, director) has such a haunting quality to his work, a sense of mystery, while also being incredibly cinematic.
JA Bayona likes to use music on the sets to communicate the tone of a scene. What was that like?
It was perfect! I'm stealing that for when I direct again. It's so cool because Bayona is fluent in English, but we don't speak Spanish and there are nuances that might not always translate. So he uses this as a tool. We would go through a rehearsal and he would start to play the music and we would understand the pace of the scene, the tone of it, the energy level -- if it was emotional, if it was scary, if it was triumphant.
Was there a push to have more practical sets? Could you relate to the animatronics more than CG?
Totally. It was awe-inspiring what they were able to do in terms of bringing these animals to life. I might not be performing with a real animal, but there are 11 women and men who are bringing that animal to life. It just makes sense -- the animal looks real, feels real, and is real, in a sense. And you do form emotional attachments. Blue is my favourite character, hands down. I keep saying that the third film needs to be Blue's film!
You and Chris exude great chemistry on screen.
Chris is the best; it's an even partnership. So much of the story is about our relationship. It's about seeing them solve problems together and how their personalities help or inhibit their survival.
Jeff Goldblum features in this film too, of course.
Every film he does, he's on top of his game. He's a genius! I'm just desperate for scenes with Claire and Dr Ian Malcolm, because they have completely different perspectives on the whole thing, and I just want them to fight.