Bryce Dallas Howard may be striking a blow for gender equality in Hollywood in her own way.
There is an old saying that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire ever did in films, but backward and in high heels. Some men may snicker at the notion that doing something in heels is difficult. Those men have never worn heels. And it is heels that Bryce Dallas Howard is getting attention for now.
In Jurassic World, Bryce Dallas Howard’s character spends considerable time running — as does almost anyone in a Jurassic film. But Howard does it in stiletto heels. The scenes in which this happens are considered stunt work. The risk for injury is real and tool a lot of prep. Howard spoke about the attention those scenes are getting recently.
“If too much attention is called to it, it’s like, ‘Oh, man — maybe I did something wrong, because they’re paying attention to the thing that they really shouldn’t be paying attention to,’” Howard said. “But in this case, I loved it because I was like, ‘Yeah! Damn right I ran in heels!’”
As for how hard it is to do that, Howard admits, “Yeah, that was very tricky. So that was part the kind of fun side of that conversation always made me giggle.”
But Bryce Dallas Howard running in stiletto heels is also indicative of something else. Howard continues, “And then kind of the more substantive side of that topic was also, I think, really important and meaningful and talking about female characters in big action adventure films.”
“I mean, this is something that I’m so happy that there’s a heightened sensitivity to and awareness of, because that was something that was just always assumed: That a female character is just going to be sort of help facilitate the male lead and push the plot along. And that is not at all what this character was.”
When she was approached about her possible role in the film, Howard was told that she would actually be the lead, not Chris Pratt. Howard recalls, “I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it. [The director] was like, ‘No, no, no. She’s the lead. She’s the one that changes. She’s the one who you meet in the beginning, and you are with at the end.’ ”
“And then when I read the film, I was like, ‘Holy crap — he’s doing it! He’s really, really doing it. In fact, this character is a central character who does go through huge change, she is flawed and she has all the attributes that typically a male character in one of these movies would have. And she is the hero at the end — and that’s awesome!”
The Jurassic franchise has already planned two sequels for Jurassic World, and Bryce Dallas Howard is on board.
“I think that in the next iteration of this story, she’s the woman that we left that you’ll meet in the beginning, and it will evolve from there.”
— People magazine (@people) October 19, 2015