Just another day of chasing (and being chased by) prehistoric critters! Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard hit the jungle again in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Chris Pratt has crossed the cosmos in
Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel and, most recently, in Avengers:
Infinity War. Bryce Dallas Howard shared the screen with the fire-breathing star of Pete’s Dragon and hung with Marvel’s famous web-slinger in Spider-Man 3.
This month, they’ll again confront some old foes in Jurassic World: Fallen
Kingdom (in theaters June 22). And the matchup, as they say, is unlike any of their others: This grudge match is prehistoric, sort of. Now, says Pratt, 38, “we’re not just scared of the dinosaurs, we feel like we need to be their stewards, help take care of them, because they’re the result of our creation.”
The new film, the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park series, picks up a few years after things at the Jurassic World theme park went wrong. After the hybrid dinosaurs created by scientists broke free of their enclosures on the tropical island of Isla Nublar, tough Navy veteran Owen Grady (Pratt) and tightly wound park operations manager Claire Dearing (Howard) had successfully evacuated to the mainland, leaving some of the cloned dinos behind to freely roam the island.
But, Pratt says, as his and Howard’s characters learned in the previous film, Jurassic
World (2015), “If you meddle with science, it will bite you in the butt—with teeth.”
And indeed, this time around the filmmakers added a few more teeth and upped the fear factor. “We start off with the smaller stuff, like an erupting volcano on an abandoned island full of dinosaurs,” says Howard, 37, “and then we work our way up to the really scary stuff: dinosaurs in a child’s bedroom.”
There were no dinosaurs lurking in the bedrooms of either star when they were kids, but each admits to being scared of something.
Pratt was born to mom Kathleen and dad Daniel in Virginia, Minn., and raised in Washington state. The youngest of three siblings, he “was terrified of swimming until I was probably, like, 9—even if I had a life jacket on,” he says. “I was certain I was gonna drown.” He now lives
in Los Angeles, with a second home in Washington’s San Juan Islands, and is co-parenting his son, Jack, 5, with actress Anna Faris, the star of TV’s Mom. The pair separated in July 2017 after eight years of marriage.
Howard was born in Los Angeles to mother Cheryl and dad Ron Howard, the acclaimed director whose most recent project is Solo: A Star Wars Story. The eldest of four siblings, she says she was afraid of “complicated” food. “Any food that seemed adventurous just terrified me,” she says. Howard now lives in New York with her husband of 12 years, actor Seth Gabel, 36
(Fringe, American Horror Story), and their kids, Theo, 11, and Beatrice, 6.
THE ROAD TO HOLLYWOOD
When the actors talk about their path to stardom, they each have a “discovery” story that sounds like it came right out of the movies.
Pratt was working as a waiter at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant in Lahaina, Maui, with a skill set that made him popular with patrons but not exactly management material. “I played games with the kids. They’re like, ‘Where’s my food?’ and I’m like, ‘Who cares?! We’re in Hawaii!’ ” One day in the late ’90s, actress Rae Dawn Chong sat at his table and was so charmed, she asked if Pratt could act and told him to give her his number. I was like, ‘I live in a van—give me your number,’ ” he says, laughing. Ten days later, he was the lead in her horror comedy Cursed Part 3 and “I got paid $700!”
From there, he worked his way into television in Everwood, The O.C. and eventually into his breakout comedy role as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation.
Howard grew up watching her father work—and even got to appear as an extra onscreen in his films once she turned 7. But her first acting stints were all on the live stage. After a performance of As
You Like It at New York City’s Public Theater, director M. Night Shyamalan, casting for his 2004 film, The Village, came backstage and asked her to lunch. That led to her leading role in the film, then to other roles in Lady in the Water,
The Help (she ate Minny’s infamous pie) and the fan-favorite “Nosedive” episode of the Netflix show Black Mirror, often ranked as one of the top 10 episodes of the entire series.
THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP
After talks for the first Jurassic
World began, Pratt and Howard met for the first time in person on the 2014 Golden Globes red carpet, a moment Howard’s father captured on camera and tweeted about, before realizing the casting announcement wasn’t official. “It was so great,” recalls Pratt gleefully, “because I was like, ‘OK, they haven’t told me I got the job—but they’re not going to tell Ron Howard he’s wrong!’ I think Ron Howard got me this job. Thank you, Ron! Such an awesome dad moment.”
After their wildly successful first dino film in 2015, the pair reunited last year to film much of Fallen Kingdom on the Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, Hawaii. But even surrounded by tropical paradise, they faced more than a few challenges on camera, from filming in a chlorinated pool that fried Pratt’s hair and skin to riding in a zero-gravity gyrosphere that made Howard nauseous. And Pratt had to do some awkward face-offs with a velociraptor that wasn’t really there—until the special-effects department created it. He acts out how he’d say to the air in front of him, “Get back, get back . . .” and then “Whoa!” as he’d throw himself on the ground. The camera crew, watching on monitors nearby, “didn’t want to say how stupid it looked!”
But the pair agrees the hardest scene to film was actually a knee-busting, physically taxing sprint straight down some rocky hills. “It felt like we were on a ski slope with no snow, and going as fast as you go when you’re skiing,” says Pratt. “We had to be going over 20 miles per hour—I’m not joking!”
Offscreen, they bonded over parenting—especially considering that Pratt’s son, Jack, and Howard’s daughter, Bea, got along royally when they both came for on-set visits. “They’re super compatible,” says Howard. “Sort of like us.” Yeah, says Pratt, “he’s so in love. They spend time together, and she bosses him around, and he loves it! I totally see them, like, one day in the future probably being married. Which is cool. I would be OK with it!”
In his downtime, Pratt spends time with Jack on his Washington farm, taking him fishing and out in the rowboat. “That’s my escape,” he says. “Phones don’t work up there. It’s just beautiful sunlight, not a lot of talking, and hard work—just, like, moving hay and an endless list of projects that need to be done.”The latest to-do on the list: turning a nearby lake into a fishery by scuba diving down to help place weed mats for new fish. “It’s basically like a 22-acre aquarium, so we’re gonna just go up there and turn it into a world-class bass fishery,” he says. Professionally, his next move is starting production on the film Cowboy Ninja Viking, based on a comic book series.
Howard looks forward to dinner with her kids. “I’m a totally terrible cook,” she says with a laugh, “but just hanging out with them—once they’ve stopped complaining about whatever’s being presented to them—it’s so fun.” After that, she’s either reading, or writing or watching a movie, or thinking about it. “I have a very one-track mind, very limited interests,” she says. This year, she’s transitioning to the other side of the camera, into directing full-time with her feature-film debut, Sorta Like a Rock Star for Netflix. It’s
based on a young adult novel by Matthew Quick, who also wrote
Silver Linings Playbook.
And all those fears they had as kids? They’ve shifted to their own kids—“normal adult parental fears,” says Pratt. “We’re living in a different time and there are new dangers present that never were before.” It’s part of the reason they’re so grateful to be making movies that give viewers a brief break from the real world.
“It’s escapist entertainment,” says Howard, who compares
Fallen Kingdom to riding a roller coaster. “When you’re on a roller coaster, you’re not thinking about your problems at home; you’re like, ‘Wooo!’ ” And, they agree, we need a ride like that right now more than ever.
“As a nation that’s growing further and further apart, it’s a tender time,” says Pratt. “There’s something sort of beautiful about a movie like this, that you can sit down in a theater, and you might be sitting next to someone with whom you completely disagree politically—but in that moment, you’re sharing an experience that transcends all of the other experiences that seem to divide us right now. It’s like, ‘All right,
fine. Dinosaurs are scary. And the popcorn tastes pretty good, I agree. Dammit, two things! Makin’ real progress here!’ ”
The truth is, he says, there are so few instances anymore where you get to be quiet and turn off your phone.
“Movie theaters and planes,” says Howard. Pratt nods. “And what do we do on planes?” he asks. “We watch movies.”
Pratt says co-star Howard is set to be “one of the most «ÀwV w>iÀÃ ÃÌÀÞ°»