While in LA for the Pete’s Dragon premiere, we also sat down with Bryce Dallas Howard and talked about her role in the movie, going to New Zealand, reading blogs and more. She’s not only beautiful but she’s so nice and down to earth. She was actually upset that we had to end the interview because she enjoyed talking with us!
Disclosure: I received an all expenses paid trip to LA for the Pete’s Dragon premiere and junket. No one told me what to say or how to think. These are all my words and 100% my own thoughts!
Bryce Dallas Howard Reads Blogs
Not everyone is Hollywood is aware of what we do as bloggers. Some have never read a blog and are sometimes a bit confused on it. But not Bryce Dallas Howard. Nope, she knows what bloggers are and what we do because she reads blogs! She said she may have even read some of ours! Why does she read blogs? To get help with parenting. “You guys are responsible for all of my parenting choices” Bryce said. (Yes, I’m going to refer to her as Bryce in the rest of this post because we are friends now!) She went on to tell us that since there is about a five year span between her children, things changed so much from one to the other so she had to turn to blogs to get caught up. Though she did admit it was easier the second time around “the second kid … you’re like okay, it’s just a wilderness out there. The world is a wilderness and I know how to set up camp a little bit. ” I have to admit I agree with her, it was much easier with my second child. It was pretty cool to hear she reads blogs just like all of us do!
Pete’s Dragon was filmed on location in New Zealand and Bryce took her family there to be with her while she filmed. But it wasn’t her first time there. She said “30 years previously, my dad shot Willow, partly in New Zealand and in I went .. and I have very vivid memories from that time.” Her kids were about the same age as she was when she was there. She thought it would be different by now, but it wasn’t “it was exactly what I remember from when I was a kid.” Pretty cool to go back and remember it all!
We asked Bryce why she decided to take on this role. She had a sweet spot for the 1977 version of Pete’s Dragon and she used to watch it over and over again with her sisters as a child. When she heard that Disney was doing a new film she looked into it. She told us that after she read the script she loved it. She said “it’s very different than the 1977 version but I think it’s so beautiful and it really reminded me of the Disney films that I watched as a child that were quite defining for me and really sort of cemented this idea of kind of like American values“.
So what did her kids think about her doing this film? Bryce said she told them about it and they said “dinosaurs and now dragons?” She said “that reaction was definitely a motivating factor for sure.”
Her kids haven’t seen the first movie yet. She said they will but they’ve read a board book based on the film so they are already hooked on the story. She figures if she showed them the original movie they’d be wondering why she wasn’t singing in this one “I’m like that’s the last thing I need” says Bryce.
Bryce plays Grace in Pete’s Dragon. Grace loves the forest and knows it very well, or at least she thought she did. She’s trying to preserve as much of it as she can, but Jack (her boyfriend in the movie) cuts down trees for a living with his brother. It’s quite the struggle.
She said she was drawn to this film because she actually hadn’t really played a “mother” in a movie before except for one role that wasn’t quite the “ideal mother“, as she put it. Her husband suggested she just use the kind of relationship and dynamic she has with their children when she interacted with Pete to really get into the role. “And it just made it really simple” says Bryce. So what you see in the movie, is how she is with her children, who she says are very sweet and “I don’t have to really raise my voice too much most of the time at least“.
Of course we asked her what it was like working with Robert Redford. She began by telling us that she stayed in the Roosevelt Hotel that night and there’s a picture of him as a young man in the hall where she was staying. She said when the elevator doors opened it was right there and she was like “HELLO!”. But seriously. “it was phenomenal” says Bryce. She went on to say “watching the movie last night (at the premiere) again he’s such an environmentalist and when you’re around him you feel so much peace because he has arrived at that place for himself. And just being in this really serene environment and having these long awesome conversations with him, I mean it’s less a conversation and more just me peppering him with questions – it was incredible. She went on to tell us that since he’s raised children in this industry he has a lot of perspective on that and she loved learning. And also “He has the most incredible head of hair. He’s never dyed his hair. He said his son was like dad, you can stop dying your hair. And he’s like why don’t you believe me? I don’t die my hair. It’s crazy. Yeah, never.”
Bryce said her favorite scene was riding the back of Elliot. I can understand that, I bet it was fun making believe you were sitting on the back of a big green fluffy dragon!
Bryce hopes that people will see Pete’s Dragon and walk out of there and know that there is a place for everyone and a family for everyone. We all experience loss or will eventually experience loss but you can always find family somewhere, in someone.
The interview went by fast and like I said at the beginning, she hated to even end it. But before she left, she did take a group picture with all of us.