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Jurassic World Dominion : Q&A with Director/Writer Colin Trevorrow, Writer Emily Carmichael, Actors Bryce Dallas Howard, DeWanda Wise and Jeff Goldblum

Synopsis : This summer, experience the epic conclusion to the Jurassic era as two generations unite for the first time. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are joined by Oscar®-winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill in Jurassic World Dominion, a bold, timely and breathtaking new adventure that spans the globe. From Jurassic World architect and director Colin Trevorrow, Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live–and hunt–alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.

Q&A with “Jurassic World Dominion” director/writer Colin Trevorrow, writer Emily Carmichael, actors Bryce Dallas Howard, DeWanda Wise and Jeff Goldblum

Q: We are live in 71 IMAX theaters around North America right now. Everywhere from Montreal to California, there’s a ton of people watching you. Is it cool to be in front of all these people at once?

EC: Well, it’s cool to be in New York. This is my childhood movie theater. I came to this theater so many times. I protested in front of it when they wouldn’t let us in for a matinee because we were high school students and were supposed to be in school. I’m very grateful to be here.

Q: So many times we’re worried about the behind-the-scenes [aspects] of movies. I think everyone in this audience, if you’re coming to “Jurassic World Dominion” opening night, you’re a Fan. Q: For each of you, what do you think would surprise people about the actual making of the movie?

DW: I still get [asked] about what it’s like to work with a tennis ball. I’m proud to report that there was very little tennis ball acting. The level of practical effects of this film was absolutely astonishing. As a blockbuster newbie, it’s very helpful. I’m sure I’ll feel obnoxious the next time around, like, “Oh, it’s not here.”

BDH: Where are the 27 animatronics? Where are all the puppeteers? Amateur hour.

DW: I can’t emphasize that enough because it’s incredible. It takes a lot of craftsmanship and a whole lot of people to make that happen.

Q: Anyone else? 

JG: I think that’s what you might be interested in. You’ve seen it, because these days, you see all manner of what it was like and [in this film] you meet John Nolan, the creature shop creator of all the things.

Colin [Trevorrow], our wonderful director, had us all in a hotel because of Covid, of course. But we rehearsed. He was very collaborative, as we’ve talked about [stuff]. But the way we all worked together… Maybe somebody here or watching would be interested in how we opened things up from a beautiful script that you [Emily and Colin] wrote, and used our weekends to go through the material that was going to be shot the next week. We didn’t take any pictures or videos of what we did, but those rehearsals…

DW: I did. I have a lot of pictures.

BDH: I did. I did too.

DW: I have so many photos of you, Jeff.

JG: Really?

DW: Just wait until next week.

BDH: I did, too. I have secret videos.

CT: Secret videos do exist. Just the idea of something that reshaped people’s lives for 30 years. These are powerful words. And these characters, these icons, that Laura [Dern], Sam [Neill] and Jeff played, they mean so much to us. They were powerful and were heroes, who inspired so many kids to become scientists and paleontologists.

We thought about everything we were going to do as we tried to figure out how we were going to make sure these characters changed and were honored. [We thought about] the way Bryce and Chris were going to relate to them, what they would know about them. Our new characters, [played by] DeWanda Wise and Mamoudou Athie — everybody came together to be able to show the same level of reverence and respect. And then… Just shake it up and put them on a real adventure and send them into actual danger.

Q: We’re here in an IMAX theater. I love IMAX. What are you most excited about, Colin, for audiences to see in IMAX tonight? 

CT: We have some pretty massive dinosaurs in this movie, but we also have a sequence, racing through the streets of Malta that we shot over very long periods of time with actual motorbikes and an actual vehicle that these two were driving. It’s a really exhilarating thing to see in IMAX and it’s so completely immersive. Also, the sound in this theater — we have an animal that pretty much communicates with echolocation, so you hear it in every single speaker except the one that it’s coming from, which is really disorienting.

Q: What would have happened if Jeff had said, “No, I don’t want to do this.” 

JG: I probably wouldn’t do it.

EC: We would have a contingency plan, like, to strong-arm him.

Q: If the original cast had said, “I don’t know if we want to come back,” what would have happened? 

BDH: At some point you know they were on board. Because we knew BD Wong was obviously in the first “Jurassic World” movie, which was incredibly validating since he was [then] in “Jurassic Park” and in “Fallen Kingdom.” Jeff joined, which was like “Jeff Goldblum is now involved” in “Dominion” with Laura Dern and Sam Neill!

Q: Specifically, when did you know that Laura and Sam were on board? 

CT: I feel like everyone said yes in principle right away and were excited right away. But there was, then, that conversation about, “Well, where have you been?” and “How do you see this new world that’s been created? What’s your perspective?”

I think that actors are authorities on their characters, and they know more about who they are than I can ever know. They think about their characters all day, every day. My brain has to be in a lot of different places. So if I have a question about how Ian Malcolm would think, I’ll ask Jeff Goldblum.

JG: Well, first of all, the purpose of the question, “In what crazy alternate universe would I have ever said, “No,” — that doesn’t exist. I don’t care how many multi-verses there are. None of them have me saying, “No.” But had I, for some reason, been unable to do it, I’m sure it would have been like that TV series “Bewitched” — without any explanation, they would have replaced me in this movie with, possibly, John Turturro, or possibly Kevin Kline. I don’t know, I’m sure the list is long and fruitful.

BDH: No, there’s one Ian Malcolm out there, and it’s you, sir.

JG: Oh, get out of here. [Applause]

Q: For the past few years, you’ve been doing some directing. You directed “Little Surprises.” How much did that change you as an actor? When you set foot on a set like this, what’s going through your brain in terms of “You know what I mean.”

BDH: What’s so wonderful about getting to be an actor who’s interested in directing, or studying directing, is that you get to see a lot of other directors’ work. And that’s something that my dad [experienced]. He started off as an actor, doing “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Happy Days” and films like “The Shootist” and “American Graffiti.” Then, when he started directing, he stopped acting, and he said that the thing that he misses the most [is] getting to see how different directors solve problems. Because that’s really what directors are — there are constant problems — they’re visionaries and problem solvers.

I’ve been getting to work on “Mandalorian” since 2018, and having Jon Favreau as my mentor and Dave Polonius, my “Star Wars” mentor, has been incredible. [These] incredible artists [are] visionaries. So learning from them and then going off to make a movie like “Dominion,” I was a little annoyed, because I was like, “I just want to follow you around and see every little [aspect] I had to do. Because it’s very rare to gain access like that to a process like this.

I actually shadowed my dad when he directed a movie called “Solo” [“Solo: A Star Wars Movie”] and I remembered us talking about it when that all happened. It was an opportunity for me, now that I was a professional actor, to watch my dad be a director and to understand what he was doing.

The more you learn, the more you understand, and you’re enlightened by each filmmaker that you get to encounter. That’s why I hope to continue to direct, but also hope to continue to act because it’s the best way to learn.

One thing that I should [mention] is a moment that I really remember. I was doing a movie called “Pete’s Dragon” [2016], and a wonderful filmmaker, Dave Lowery, directed that. He’s the same age as me — when we were making it he was in his mid-30s.

Robert Redford was on set… Robert Redford is one of the most experienced multi-faceted, talented people in the history of our industry. He was asking Dave so many questions, and he was so curious about the technology. I was like, if Robert Redford is using acting as an opportunity to learn more about filmmaking, then that’s how every director should be operating, as far as I’m concerned.

Q : After 30 years of this franchise existing, would you change anything? 

CT: Don’t ask me. I can’t watch any of the movies that change everything all the time. If any of you have ever directed anything, it’s very hard to be truly satisfied with your own work. But you’re constantly trying to do something that feels absolutely the most honorable to the source material, yet truly new and different, fresh and bold all at the same time. So I’d throw that to rest of you.

Oh, I can’t wait to see more. I think it will be cool to see “Jurassic” movies in like different parts of the world to have like Swamp Crawl Jurassic movies or like the Spelunking disaster Jurassic movies, or maybe like the corporate boardroom, no that would be a bad one, forget I said that one…but cool other locations, I think that will be really thrilling.

Q : If Jurassic Park really existed, would you go there?

BDH : Not one person in this panel would go…

EC : I would go…

BDH : She didn’t learn…

EC : Somebody has to not learn, in order for the story to go on.

Q : Jeff would you go? 

JG : Yes, Yes, so I could start some leverage on the decision makers and possibly change their minds for the better.

Q : What was your favorite moment in a “Jurassic” movies that you didn’t star in? 

BDH : The Kitchen scenes in the first “Jurassic Park,” you know green jello leading into the kitchen that whole sequences unreal.

EC : This is an easy question for me, but the moment Bryce and DeWanda’s characters meet in our movies, remains one of my favorite sequences.

JG : The first “Jurassic World” where the two brothers, one brother goes, “Get away from me, you little punk” and then, at some point during the crisis, he’s like, “You can count one me” and the other brother kind of united. I thought that was sweet.

Q : If you could pick any dinosaurs as a pet, which dinosaur would you choose and why? 

EC : I go Velociraptor..

JG : We’ve asked this often, I’ve given a different answer every time and off the top my head, I think it would be compy(Compsognathus), I think if I put the comps on the leash and walk down the street with it, it would be pretty protective.

Q : What was most challenging about playing this role? 

DW : I was just working on not pulling a hamstring, it’s one thing to train for a role, in another thing to do something a sequence repeatedly over and over again with that level of adrenaline. It’s not Cross-country, it’s like sprinting every time. So staying as well and stretched as possible, those are challenging.

BDH : A second, there’s an injury, game over. So it’s your job to be able to show up on the set and deliver again and again whatever takes to get there, that was definitely huge focus for us. So taking some hits. My theory is that if it’s heals within a week, it’s fine.

JG : I would say off the top my head, in many different ways, not let the opportunities down, somehow come up to an optimal discharging of the obligation and so that’s kind of challenging in many different ways, but having you heard you say that…you remember that day..you’ll see in the movie, where I have to sprint like Usain Bolt away from the dinosaur, and as you know I’ve not disclosed yet to anyone publicly and I won’t tell them the whole story, I was sprinting and running, I was also concerned, because I’ve also pulled hammy before. I didn’t want that happen, you helped me on that night and editing you helped me some more, very gracefully.

Q : How did you feel knowing that this is the end of trilogy? 

DW : It was most emotional day f filming that I’ve experienced.

CT : Yeah, it was the very last thing that we did have everyone in it at the end of the film. Everyone is packed into this tiny helicopter, and when I looked all of you, you were to my right, you’re flying the helicopter and then it looked like ET’s closet, with all these faces of all theses people who I loved and who I’ve made this film with, and they were all looking back at me and we were all feeling the same thing, it was really the last shot that we did was this whole group together and it’s very rare that you warp all the actors on a movie on the same night, especially a cast as large as this one. We’ve been through a lot, so it was very meaning and special.

JG: I gotta tell you: the truthful answer is, oftentimes the last — because you’ve had last things here and there after a big investment of some kind. Probably, as I remember on this occasion, too: don’t get too caught up with the “goodbye fellow actors and hasn’t this been fun”. There’s still something in that shot. Whatever it was, how do I make this good? How do I not make it bad? I don’t want to do it and then — [or] what could I have done differently — the last shot? So I’m focused thinking that’s what happens. 

And then when it ends — goodbye everybody and all that — but that takes a while sometimes, for me to process. It’s not all [sound], it’s the end — a kind of expulsion or something, or a feeling of “take my girdle off”. It takes a little processing. I’m still kind of processing it. 

BDH: I think that’s really true. I remember when we — I was very emotional that night for sure. I don’t know if you remember, we flew back together, I basically cried the entire flight, it was really sad. BD Wong was like, “Our leading lady is not okay.” But even the last few days, because getting to do press is something that we all get to look forward to, and realizing that this is winding down. It’s an opportunity to be all the more intentional with our friendships moving forward. 

And it is a new era for so many of us when it comes to this franchise. You know, it’s been almost thirty years, and for us it’s been almost eight years, and for some of us it’s a new beginning. So it is a very meaningful, very powerful experience. I think all of us will treasure and hold on to forever, and it is incredibly bittersweet that it’s coming to a close. Because it has been so wonderful. 

Q : It’s like the end of summer camp. 

JG: Yeah, it’s a profound privilege, it really is a profound privilege. And like every moment of life or in your passionate work, I’m always aspiring to really appreciate it when it happens. 

EC: But I’ve got to say, we’ve been shooting this movie, we’ve been making this movie, we’ve been screening this movie in studio spaces, and evaluating this movie. Now we’re here with a crowd, in New York City, who came here to watch this movie. 

JG: Also, to everyone watching this [on Zoom], we want to bring you in on this. We’ve been talking to people all over the world for six weeks now — longer than that — and we’ve been doing so much to communicate to others how we feel about this film, about the work that we did. But this is the last time we’re doing it — right here, right now. And now, we relay your feed and we give it to the audience, and it goes out into the world. And I hope you have as much fun as we did. 

Check out more of Nobuhiro’s articles.

Here’s the trailer of the film.

Nobuhiro Hosokihttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Nobuhiro Hosoki grew up watching American films since he was a kid; he decided to go to the United States thanks to seeing the artistry of Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange.” After graduating from film school, he worked as an assistant director on TV Tokyo’s program called "Morning Satellite" at the New York branch office but he didn’t give up on his interest in cinema. He became a film reporter for via Yahoo Japan News. In that role, he writes news articles, picks out headliners for Yahoo News, as well as interviewing Hollywood film directors, actors, and producers working in the domestic circuit in the USA. He also does production interviews for Japanese distributors of American films and for in-theater on-sale programs. He is now the editor-in-chief of Cinemadailyus.com while continuing his work for Japan.

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