Bryce Dallas Howard was embarking on an adventure 600 million years in the making. Fine, three — but the emotions were just as raw.
Pulling up to the oceanside rental in Hawaii where she bunked for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, “I started bawling,” the actress, 37, tells Us. “The first film was such an extraordinary experience, something you don’t think is going to happen again, and then it does. Coming back was surreal. I was weeping!”
Those tears were strictly saved for off screen, though. In the sequel, her unapologetic Claire once again teams up with Chris Pratt’s Owen to save the dinos, now threatened by a natural catastrophe.
The mom of Theo, 11, and Beatrice, 6 — with actor husband Seth Gabel — takes Us on a wild ride.
Us Weekly: How has Claire changed since we last saw her?
Bryce Dallas Howard: She realizes she was on the wrong side of history. I love that she can make mistakes, admit to them and then pivot. Now she wants the dinosaurs to have the same rights as any other endangered species. She’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish that, which means finding Owen.
Us: What’s their relationship status these days?
BDH: They both were really like, “We’re breaking up!” But when this brings them back together, it’s like, “Wait, should we be broken up?” Things are still unresolved.
Us: Are you and Chris Pratt as complicated off screen?
BDH: He’s like a pro spirit-lifter! These movies capture the spirit of being in your backyard, acting as if you’re running from dinosaurs. Nothing is too serious. The set is always fun, giggly but also focused.
Us: And Jeff Goldblum returns as Dr. Ian Malcolm —
BDH: Oh my gosh, I was so excited! He’s such a good character. In a way, it really breathes life into the franchise because it brings it back to the beginning, to the people and perspectives that started it all.
Us: Last time, there was controversy surrounding Claire’s heels. Will her wardrobe get a revamp?
BDH: In the first, she was going to the office and then — surprise! — it was actually the jungle. Now she’s prepared. But I kept being, like, “I’d like some stilettos, please!”
Us: Are your kids impressed with this badass movie?
BDH: My daughter hasn’t seen it because she was a real tyke when the first came out. My son is stoked, though. He plays it cool, but he has Jurassic World sheets in his room. That’s a giveaway!
Us: Did they visit you on set?
BDH: A ton. They were so thrilled to be back! It felt like vacation. Every day, my son is like, “Alexa, what’s the temperature in Honolulu?”
Us: How would you fare on an island with the species?
BDH: Honestly, really well because I would just hide! I would find a very small space underground and camp out. It takes a lot for me to get stir-crazy. Long term, though, it would be a real problem.
Us: This one is tricky: What’s your favorite dino?
BDH: I don’t want to offend any of the other dinosaurs, but it’s an apatosaurus. I love The Land Before Time. Growing up, my dog was named Littlefoot. We were fully committed to that movie. That’s where the love began!
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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theaters Friday, June 22.
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