Bryce Dallas Howard walked into the room and you could see the bright light that surrounded her. She had a giant smile on her face and kept apologizing for being a couple minutes late for the interview. None of us even realized or cared, we were just excited to see her. She looked adorable and was wearing the cutest black sweater with red lips all over it. You could tell right away that her personality was honest, bubbly, and fun.
Her father (Ron Howard) shot part of Willow in New Zealand and she was lucky enough to go with him and remembers it vividly. 30 years later she got to go back with her own kids for Pete’s Dragon and it was exactly what she remembered as a kid. They love it there!
Fun fact: Her kids also went to school while they were in New Zealand. Just a couple of weeks ago her son said to her, “Mom, in New Zealand it was really tricky because I didn’t understand anyone for the first two weeks. I thought it was a different language at first. Then I realized it was the same language but it sounded different.”
Bryce Dallas Howard and her sisters loved watching the 1977 version of Pete’s Dragon when they were kids. So she sought out the script out of curiosity. “It is very different from the 77 version, but it is so beautiful and reminded me of the Disney films that I watched as a child. They were defining for me and emotional and cemented this idea of American values.”
Fun fact: When she brought up the movie to her kids they were like, “Dinosaurs and now Dragons!!” That was definitely a motivating factor.
Bryce told us that working with Robert Redford was phenomenal. When you are around him he has so much peace. She loved to pepper him with questions about the world and raising a family in the industry.
Fun fact: She told us that Robert Redford has never dyed his hair.
Her favorite moment filming the movie was spending the entire day riding on the back of Elliot with Wes Bentley. She told us that it was hysterical. “We were just losing it the whole time because you know, we’re adults and we have kids and… Ah, we are riding a dragon!”
Fun fact: The Little Mermaid is Bryce Dallas Howard’s favorite Disney movie of all time. It came out during a special time in her life, and of course because Ariel and Bryce both have red hair! David Lowery, the Director of Pete’s Dragon is the same age as Bryce Dallas Howard, and he said that The Little Mermaid is his favorite as well.
When asked what she wanted others to take away from the film, here is what she said:
“There’s this great Walt Disney quote that I’m just going to completely paraphrase here where he essentially was saying, there can’t be light without shadows and that the Walt Disney films don’t shy away from that. Disney films seem to be, for me 50% entertainment and 50% therapeutic. You sort of practice those emotions as a child and you go through that experience and in a way prepare you for what is ahead. Prepare you for the commonalities within the human experience. Seeing the journey and that adventure finding your family in the midst of having bonds that are completely impossible or unconventional, you know, his best friend being a dragon. I think that is the power, and definitely a powerful message. I think we all have a sense of wonder in us! And having a live action film with a magical character does something.” – Bryce Dallas Howard
Fun fact: Her favorite question after a screening is to be asked by a kid, “What was it like working with Elliot? Where is he now? To keep that alive, I treasure that.”
Pete’s Dragon is in theaters now! Go see it!
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