STATE OF GRACE

Bryce Dal­las Howard talks her new crea­ture fea­ture

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Pete's Dragon - tara Ben­nett

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.

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