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In Jurassic World, Chris Pratt’s character, Owen Grady, is well-equipped for a dino-hunting adventure, but the same cannot be said for Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing. Thrown into the chaos in the midst of what was a normal day of being the titular park’s operations manager, she is not only stuck wearing a nice white jacket, blouse and skirt, but also a pair of high-heels. As you might imagine, this costume made Howard’s time performing action scenes quite difficult, but what you probably didn’t expect to learn is that she received training from a UFC Champion who was working on the set as her driver.
I learned this odd piece of trivia when I had the chance to interview Bryce Dallas Howard last weekend at the Jurassic World press day in Los Angeles. I asked her about the hardest days during the production, and whether or not her high heels made it difficult to perform, and she told me that while she initially had the hardest time running in heels, she was able to learn thanks to the help of her driver Pete Williams (famous for being the first to knock out an opponent with a head kick). Said Howard,
He was so helpful, because as someone who is a professional athlete, he really knew how to take care of your body. And I was like, ‘Hey man! I’ve got to do all this heel running, can you give me some tricks?’ And he was awesome, and really helped me.
The actress then stood up and actually demonstrated me some of the training exercises that Pete Williams put her through, including one that was specifically to help her balance. As she explained,
I had these boards… I mean, I felt like I was in The Karate Kid. He had these boards that he made like a platform where I would do all this stuff. I would put my foot on it, and then [balance and lean on one foot] and he would throw balls at me and I would catch it. I would need to like lean over and then get up and do all this stuff, and then we would do this way and that way.
On beyond just being a physical challenge that she had to endure during production, however, Bryce Dallas Howard also added that she felt as though Claire’s business attire and costume evolution through Jurassic World was something that she really liked simply because there was a parallel that could be drawn between it and the journey that she goes on emotionally throughout.
When you first meet her, she’s totally this kind of antagonistic character, and yet, during the journey she reconnects with herself and her greatest power. And I thought, ‘You know, I think realistically, she would be a woman who could really handle herself in heels.’… I just had to kind of rise to the occasion for that, because I’m not somebody that can run in heels.
Jurassic World arrives in theaters this Friday, and stay tuned for more from my interview with Bryce Dallas Howard!