To The Rescue: A Conversation with Chris Pratt & Bryce Dallas Howard for the Home Entertainment Release of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.
When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.
With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favourite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Where were you when you saw the very first Jurassic Park film back in 1993?
Bryce Dallas Howard: We were almost the same age. Chris was 13 and I was 12 and we both saw it on the opening weekend 25 years ago. We were on opposite sides of the country. He got to see it twice and I only got to see it once.
Chris Pratt: At the time it blew my mind. I was swept up like the rest of the people in the world in this Jurassic frenzy but even at the time I knew who Steven Spielberg was. I knew that he was a filmmaker that I admired. I had loved ET and I had loved The Goonies and the things that he had helped to bring to the screen and directed and produced. I knew that he was part of Gremlins and so many films in the ’80s that I really loved. So when I saw that Jurassic trailer I knew I wanted to see that movie. And when I saw the dinosaur, I just had to see that movie and it caught me and I was hooked. It was a defining movie for me as a kid.
And where you when you heard how much the first Jurassic World movie made in the first weekend?
BDH: We were together out promoting the movie and then were texting each other. When it got to around US$500 million or something Chris was like, ‘One for each finger!’ It was exciting.
CP: Yes, it was exciting. After our press tour I was filming The Magnificent Seven and I took a break from that to promote Jurassic World and then I went to back to set. And every day I came on to set Denzel Washington was there and he would be like, ‘There he is, the One Hundred Million Dollar Man!’ And then he kept reminding me every day how much it was making. It was pretty surreal and cool.
How has Owen and Claire’s relationship in this film changed from the previous one?
BDH: In the first film you are really watching two people fall in love, and two unlikely individuals falling in love. Whereas, in this story, in the time that has passed between the two films, it's been complicated and they have gone in different directions, philosophically, as individuals. There is still peak romantic tension. That's still happening but they are not together anymore when you first meet them, and the events of this movie are what really brings them together again.
What is it that they like about each other?
BDH: Who knows? They have complementary strengths and complementary weaknesses.
CP: And I think they both are vying for control. That type of relationship really bonds you in the right circumstances. It requires a certain set of circumstances to create this bond between the two of them and we see that in the first film. And then when they are free from those circumstances they each deal with life differently. Owen doesn't think you can fix the problem by leaning into it and trying to do good. He thinks the best thing that you can do for yourself is to live above your guilt and negate it and try to make yourself happy.
BDH: That’s definitely Owen’s psychology.
CP: That’s true. Claire's more inclined to lean into it and to do what you can, to take responsibility for what you have done and to try to help in some way. We had the idea that this was our constant fight. Claire kept saying, ‘We need to do something about this,’ and Owen would say, ‘There's nothing we can do about it. Just relax. We need to have fun and live our lives.’ Our characters disagreed about that. So she made it into the dinosaur protection group and I went off and started building a cabin, and it takes the circumstances of this film for us to get together and realise that we are good together.
If there were a referendum about leaving the dinosaurs on the island or getting them off with them being a potential threat for humans, what would you decide?
CP: Well, that's a good question.
BDH: We should answer. We should not cop out here. I guess that's the beauty of this film - that we start to get into territory where there's no clear right or wrong answer. Dr. Ian Malcolm [Jeff Goldblum] has a very good argument for not saving the dinosaurs. Claire has a very good argument for protecting these dinosaurs as an endangered species at this point. That's the sci-fi of it, saying ‘What are you going to do?
CP: I think what ends up happening is that it’s a big cost to move dinosaurs so it ends up being like a free market decision. Someone decides that they will do it but then you see the motivation is a type of greed that has consequences. We see that in life all the time.
Chris, could you break down a little bit that scene where Owen is escaping the lava because that is a good piece of physical comedy…
CP: That was a long couple of days, figuring out how to do that. I like the way it turned out but that was one of the things when I read the script and I read that scene, I squinted my eyes and I thought, ‘Shit, I am going to have to do that somehow.’ JA and I zeroed in on walking that line between what really might happen, and also trying to have a good fun, irreverent movie moment. Hopefully, it works but it was a lot of fun. What we see in the film is a chunk of it but what we shot went on much longer. In the edit they pared it down to just the basics. Hopefully, in the behind scenes footage you’ll see me bobbing around for a lot longer.
Do you guys still get a thrill when you see the big animatronic dinosaurs?
BDH: Absolutely. It is combination of robotics and puppetry and often for one dinosaur there would be ten, 12 individuals operating these puppets. So you’re experiencing a real performance. It looks real, it feels real. They don't do anything between when they shoot the scene and when you guys see the scene. The scenes with animatronic dinosaurs, that's what it looks like. That's a whole other level of miracle. It's incredible.
CP: The practicality of the performance and these artists working and rehearsing and creating moments of magic that do not exist in the script but you actually find in the rehearsal process, that's really cool. The end result is a thrilling creature on the screen that looks real but the process is a lot more fun to do. And we got to bring our kids on set and they got to see it. And these teams were so gracious. We had my son Jack and Bryce’s daughter Beatrix on set. Blue, the raptor, is turning her head and blinking and reaching out. It's like being at a quarter of a million dollar Chuck E Cheese or something. It’s really fun.
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is now available on digital download and released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 5 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment