On screen, Bryce Dallas Howard is no stranger to running in heels through tufted terrain after dark to fend off bloodthirsty dinosaurs. Behind the scenes, the ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ star fought a separate battle against studio executives who wanted her to play Claire Dearing in the upcoming ‘Jurassic World’ sequel, in which she stars alongside Chris Pratt, DeWanda Wise, seen taking off, and Jeff Goldblum. In a recent interview with Metro, Howard opened up about the grueling conversation — one she’s had as a woman in film on multiple film sets over the course of her career — and credited director Colin Trevorrow with dismissing studio execs’ demands.
“With the third movie, it was actually because there were so many women cast that Colin was very important to protect me…because the conversation came up again, ‘We’ve got to ask Bryce to pick up the phone,'” she explained. “He said, ‘There are many different types of women on this planet and there are many different types of women in our film’ and I had to do so many stunts that wouldn’t have been possible if I had been on a diet.”
“I have to do [the stunts] With my body, she was at her maximum strength and I hope that’s just another indication of what’s possible.”
Echoing Howard’s views on the unrealistic expectations of women on screen, Wise added, “It’s always something. There was a lot of opposition to Kayla [Watts, Wise’s character] Having muscles, what it means to be a woman, to look like a woman. It’s just every page, it’s relentless and impossible.”
Howard, who performs several potentially body-destroying stunts in the Jurassic World films, differentiated Jurassic World: Dominion from the previous two films in the series, saying the third film allowed her to present herself and other women more fully as real people. After being “asked not to use my natural body in movies,” the Mandalorian director says she’s “thrilled [at] all the action I had to do.
For Howard and Wise, the upcoming sci-fi movie is a small step towards a more accurate portrayal of women in film. In addition to providing realistic portrayals of women at all levels, the actors hope it will become normal to have more women than men in films and to present women with humanity rather than defining them by body type. “[The film introduces] these heroines who aren’t perfect,” Wise said. “There’s a story in there, a feeling that you can be heroic even if you don’t feel heroic. I’m interested in the future of action and blockbusters that really allow women to be the whole people we are.”