When it comes to seasoned pros in Hollywood, Bryce Dallas Howard tops the list. She's not only been acting since the late '80s, she's grown up in the film industry, getting to spend time on set with her father, Ron Howard, director of films like Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. With a lifetime of experience, you'd think that Howard would be super chill about her work. Boy, oh boy, were we wrong.
When we chatted with her about her latest film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (released on digital on Sept. 4 and available on Blu-Ray on Tuesday), Howard's excitement was palpable. Not only was she excited to talk about the film and the development of her character, Claire Dearing, but the brightness with which she spoke about working with costar Chris Pratt after laughing through telling us what's making her feel powerful right now made us feel warmed to the core.
We think Howard is a ray of sunshine, but you can read our interview with her and decide for yourself.
SheKnows: Let's start off with something fun. What’s making you feel powerful right now?
Bryce Dallas Howard: I can't believe that I'm going to admit that, but [laughs] there's a new mix that [Amazon's] Alexa introduced me to and that I am all about. So, like three days ago, I said to Alexa, "Alexa, play fun music," and then Alexa said, "Playing Gay Pride Party," and it's the best thing I've ever heard and I can't stop listening to it. It's for anyone who wants to feel powerful, empowered, encouraged, jazzed up for workouts or getting ready in the morning or whatever. Say to Alexa, "Listen to Gay Pride Party," and it is incredible.
SK: This is your second time playing Claire Dearing in a Jurassic World movie, and this time, she gets to exercise her badass side a bit more. Do you relate to that in any way, or are there other ways you relate in real life?
BDH: Definitely. Even in [2015's Jurassic World], I remember Colin [Trevorrow], who wrote it and directed it, kept saying — I was like, "What is she like?" — "She's like, you." One time we were hanging out, and we're walking around my neighborhood and there was a house was for sale, and I walked into the house with him. I was like, "Hey, do you mind if we just check this out quickly?" And we walked in there and I was asking the realtor questions, […] and I think the realtor mentioned something like, "You know, you can rent it out," and I was like, "Oh, really? Because I didn't think the zoning in this neighborhood allows for you to do that." […] Then I exit the conversation and Colin goes, "That's Claire." So I think that there's an assertiveness, that kind of an unapologetic assertiveness, that I definitely really relate to.
[As for Fallen Kingdom], I would also hope that in terms of her sort of righteousness and her unwavering dedication to her mission — I mean, I think that's something also that I certainly relate to when I'm focused on something, like a dog with a bone.
SK: This is also your second time working with Chris Pratt, and we just have to know: What’s it like working with him?
BDH: It's honestly the best. I highly recommend it [laughs]; it's great for everyone. Everyone should get the full Chris Pratt experience, honestly. He's an impeccable human being and a blast and I adore him. He's so funny. He's a total extrovert. I'm a secret introvert, like a talkative introvert, so it's perfect because when we're on set, I will whisper into his ear and he's like this very charismatic, incredible leader, and yeah, it's just good.
SK: As a working mother, I’m curious to know if you ever had to deal with feelings of mom guilt in splitting time between work and your family and, if so, how you worked through that.
BDH: Well, I mean, it's a great question, and I think one that all of us ask ourselves and are constantly navigating. What I would say for me is it's about routines that are consistent and add up over time. So, it's a little bit like investing in the stock market or something in compound interest. If you take 10 percent of your savings and 10 percent of what you make and you put it in savings automatically and you automate it, you don't even think about it but it just is adding up. So, in terms of family, if there are routines in place and traditions in place that they don't matter how much you're traveling or how tired you are, whatever. It's just that's an automatic, a nonnegotiable.
SK: Are there any values or life lessons you’re working on passing along to your children at this moment in time/in their lives?
BDH: Right now I'm reading a book called The Opposite of Spoiled, which is about finances and know-how and [a little bit about] parenting. […] But the biggest answer to your question is a few years ago, I called the Theosophical Society in Chicago and […] I literally asked him, "My kids are getting to an age where I'm trying to figure out like what to teach them. What do you guys teach kids? Do you guys have like a Hebrew school or Sunday school program? What do you recommend for kids?"
What they said, I always took to heart. They said the most important thing is that you, as parents, are on your journey and that you are exposing [your kids] to your journey of figuring out what you know your moral compass is, the philosophy in your life and what your spiritual journey is. You show them that, through your example, but what you actually teach them is three things: healthy body, healthy mind and the brotherhood of man. So, it's basically like how to teach them how to have a healthy body, have a healthy mind, and you teach them the golden rule, essentially how to be a part of a community and how to treat others in the same way that you would want to be treated.
I was like, "You know what, that's really good." So, sometimes when things get overcomplicated or I get overwhelmed or I feel like as a parent I've missed out on some things, I'm like, "OK, of those three kinds of subjects, what does my nagging complaint or concern fall under?" and then let me home in on the big picture issue. That usually helps me kind of figure it out.