STATE OF GRACE
Bryce Dallas Howard talks her new creature feature
You’ve had two big summer movies in a row with Jurassic World and now Pete’s Dragon. are there any connections between the women you played in each?
Claire and Grace are very different people but they both have intimate relationships with giant reptiles [laughs].
You’ve said you really pushed to be cast in Pete’s Dragon. How did you go about it?
I asked to see the script secretly with my agents because I was curious. I loved the original Pete’s Dragon and I was like, “What are they doing?” When I read it, I realised it was a departure. I thought it was beautiful and innocent. I told my agents I’d like to be considered for the role. Six months went by and I got a call from [the producer] that he wanted to offer the part to me. On the spot, I came out and said, “Yes, I want to do this.”
the film has a timeless quality to it, with the year its set and the remote forest settings. Did you embrace that vibe?
Yes! Initially, I didn’t know the movie would be set somewhere in the early ’80s. As I became more aware of the intentions around that, I never brought my cell phone on set. I wanted to be in that world. A quieter, more simple world.
pete has a very distinct journey, but what is grace’s?
My joke has been “It’s a film about a boy and his dragon... and I’m in it too!” But for me, the subtle part of Grace’s journey was the story of a woman becoming a parent. This is what it takes for her to become a mother. In becoming a mother, you need to believe in the impossible and things you can’t see, like your own child growing inside you.
But is she wearing high heels?
With Robert Redford, who plays Grace’s father.