Chris Pratt Says Jurassic World Dominion Co-Star Bryce Dallas Howard Shared Star Wars Secrets: 'She Was Spilling Everything To Me' - 8 Days Skip to main content

Chris Pratt Says Jurassic World Dominion Co-Star Bryce Dallas Howard Shared Star Wars Secrets: 'She Was Spilling Everything To Me'

In an exclusive interview with 8day.sg, Chris Pratt says the concluding chapter of 'Jurassic World' "feels like a James Bond movie".

Chris Pratt Says Jurassic World Dominion Co-Star Bryce Dallas Howard Shared Star Wars Secrets: 'She Was Spilling Everything To Me'

When Chris Pratt joined the cast of Jurassic World as Owen Grady, the animal behaviourist-turned-raptor wrangler in Jurassic World, he was untested as a leading man — Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be out for another three months when cameras started rolling on the Steven Spielberg production — better known as overweight slacker Andy Dwyer in TV sitcom Parks and Recreation.

But Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow, himself a filmmaker from indie pedigree dipping his toes in the molten lava of blockbuster storytelling, knew he’d found his hero. “He’s someone whom you can believe in moments of intense drama, levity, and romance,” Trevorrow told this writer seven years ago during the film’s Beijing promo tour. “I love that we got him before it’s the 15th Chris Pratt movie,” he added. “Remember when Will Smith was in Men in Black and Tom Cruise was in Top Gun? [Chris in Jurassic World] is going to be special too.”

Beast masters: Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt on the June 15, 2015 cover of 8 DAYS.

Flash forward to the present.

Pratt, 42, is into his 15th movie as a marquee player (if you include his voiceover gigs in a couple of animated features and, er, a cameo in Jems and the Hologram) which so happens to be Jurassic World: Dominion, the concluding chapter in the franchise’s next-gen trilogy.

That movie — in cinemas June 9 — is again directed by Trevorrow (he sat out 2018’s Fallen Kingdom, with J A Bayona taking over the reins) and sees Pratt reunited with Bryce Dallas Howard and a host of resurrected prehistoric beasts, familiar (welcome back, T-Rex!) and modified (hello, Giganotosaurus!).

Back too are Jurassic Park alums Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, reprising their respective roles as paleontologist Alan Grant, paleobotanist Ellie Sattler and mathematician Ian Malcolm, offering their expert opinions (besides, the obvious runnnnnn!) on whether dinosaurs and man, two species separated by 65 million years of evolution, can ever get along.

8days.sg recently sat down with Pratt for a seven-minute Zoom call one fine Thursday morning (late Wednesday afternoon over in LA), where the father of two — one-year-old daughter Lyla Maria with current wife Katherine Schwarzenegger (they’re expecting another child) and son Jack, 10, with ex-wife Anna Farris — has been busy fielding questions from journos from around the world.

Here’s the thing, though: the press hasn’t seen the movie; all we’ve sampled so far is a five-minute prologue dropped online in November, a trailer, and just a few days ago, an EPK-ish “Legacy” featurette. Fret not, Pratt has seen it. Not fair, bro.

Holed up in an undisclosed location (where internet connectivity is an issue), Pratt looks chilled (or is he exhausted? Can’t really tell). He responds to our queries dutifully and politely; occasionally, he apologises for the long-winded replies that eat into our precious time.

Naturally, I didn’t get to ask all my questions, like how has working on Dominion prepare him emotionally to say goodbye to Guardians of the Galaxy, which he’s currently filming the third and final instalment?

Alas, that’s another question for another time. I'll get him next time: Pratt and the Guardians will appear in Thor: Love and Thunder, opening in July (dear Marvel, where's the trailer?) and in the same month, he will return to TV with the action series The Terminal List for Amazon Prime Video.

(Actually, I also want to know if he’s heard of this local beverage called Milo Dinosaur and that if there were an Owen Grady-inspired drink, what would it be. Pity, that didn’t fly with his publicist. Oh well.)

8 DAYS: Dominion is final chapter of the Jurassic World trilogy. What’s the most fresh and exciting part about playing Owen Grady at this point of the saga?

CHRIS PRATT: I think the way to continue playing Owen is to truly approach it with seriousness around the character's evolution, with the determination that you are not moving backwards and you are not going to retell a story by hitting the same beats. In the first time, Owen and Claire [Howard’s character], are almost familiar archetypes — the stoic man leading and the damsel in distress. He’s quipping with funny one-liners and saving the day, saving her, while she’s running around in high heels. By now, it’s important that we evolved from the will-they-won’t-they type of sexual chemistry from the first film. You can’t repeat that for the second film. Instead, it’s important to focus on their relationship and how it evolves organically. This time, they tried out but it didn’t work out; once the sex is over, they realise there is no conflict. But she is still hung up with trying to do something to fix the past and he’s trying to live his life in the present, and that causes a rift between them. And now in the third film, they are meant to be together. They are approaching life as partners committed to one another. They’ve also taken on the role of parents: raising Maisie [played by Isabella Sermon] as their own daughter. They are struggling with things every parent is struggling with — but on a different scale. She’s a clone and has proprietary genetics, which as you see in the course of film, will have a pivotal piece of information that drives the movie forward. That’s the long answer. I think it’s honouring Owen and Claire and their relationship and wanting them to evolve beyond your typical archetypes that kept the characters fresh for us.

I’m really psyched about the scene where Owen gets chased by a raptor in Malta! You’ve seen the movie. Can you tell us more about the sequence.

The first Jurassic film and the five films leading up to this one have all been limited by this structure, which is to keep this story isolated on an island. In the last film they literally blow the island up and now it is no longer limited by that structure. It feels global — it feels like a James Bond or a Jason Bourne movie. It has giant global implications with the release of this [cloning] technology: the proliferation of these dinosaurs — they are everywhere.The scope and scale are unlike the previous films. So what you can expect from that Malta sequence is one amazing, 12-and-a-half minute long action sequence. And it is remarkable. It’s so good — it’s unlike anything anyone has seen before. I’m so proud to be part of it. I can’t believe that we actually filmed it and that we were able to do it during COVID. It’s crazy to think what Colin actually pulled off in making that action sequence and it’s just one of many that are just so epic.

Playing catch: Chris Pratt as Owen Grady finds a new way to entertain a raptor in a scene from 'Jurassic World: Dominion'.

I really hope the trailer didn’t reveal too much. I always thought they should’ve kept the Indominus Rex and Indoraptor out of the trailers for the first two movies. You know, so as to keep the surprises fresh.

I felt the same way but I can honestly say I don’t think it does. Obviously, when you come to these films, you know what is going to happen for the most part — dinosaurs are going to flip out and start killing people and they will try to escape in a way that keeps the hero safe. But this film, like I said, will shift in the axis of the last films. There’s something different, there’s a whole storyline around this technology that plays out in this film and disrupts the dinosaurs’ food chain.

One highlight I’m looking forward to in Dominion is the reunion of the original Jurassic Park actors, Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. Can you recall an instance where they were blown away by the technology and innovation that went into the Jurassic movies today? Hey, we didn’t have that back in '92-93?

I do remember them discussing that. I think they have a little more trust in the process now which they may not have in the first film. I remember Laura saying that they were looking up at some dots in the sky. What? Wait a minute, what are we looking at? Is it going to be good? Up until that point before Jurassic Park came out in 1993, [before computer animation, you use stop-motion or claymation to make a creature and it didn’t always look good. [In the original Jurassic Park] when Sam Neill takes his sunglasses off and turns Laura’s head and she looks up and she is staring at something — they didn’t know what they were looking at. But this time around, they trusted the process. It’s now an easier process now than it was. We have previz now and we were able to show people exactly what the film is going to look like in a rudimentary, animated way, so we know the pieces we are doing. If they were learning any new tricks, they didn’t let on because they are such pros.

During the making of Dominion, did you ever walk into Bryce Dallas Howard as she was prepping to direct The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett?

Oh, yeah. She was working on The Mandalorian at the time. She was telling me all the secrets. She was spilling everything to me. I couldn’t believe I was getting all this inside information on The Mandalorian. Listen, that woman is a worker bee — she’s just a prolific worker. She was working on her degree [from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts] while doing the first film. On the second film, she was doing that and prepping [Solo: A Star Wars Story] with her dad. On the third film, she was prepping for The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Me? I’m doing the film and on my day off I would go golfing. It’s been such a treat to have her as a partner throughout the course of this film.

She should direct a Jurassic World movie.

I think [the franchise] will be lucky to have her. That will be great.

Jurassic World: Dominion opens in cinemas on June 9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is slated for May 2023.

Photos: UIP

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