When Bryce Dallas Howard committed to an episode of the popular series Black Mirror, she also committed to a role that involved her changing her shape. There's a big scene in the Black Mirror episode "Nosedive" that involves Howard's character, Lacie, trying to fit into a tiny bridesmaids dress she is sent by a friend as part of a series of roles she is attempting to take on in order to keep her social media ratings up. Bryce Dallas Howard ended up gaining 30 pounds for the gig, and she recently explained why she put on the weight for the role.
Society puts all this scrutiny on women's bodies, which in a way serves to make us go insane and distract us from what's really important. If you allow your spirit to be broken by trying to conform in ways that are not even possible, you will be off track for your entire life and you will lose track of what is important in every area. That's insanity. It was really important for me to show that this insecurity that she feels in the world is because she's not comfortable in her own skin. She's not accepting herself for who she is. I wanted it be about image, and about how people want to control what other people think about them by trying to control themselves in ways that are harmful.
The premise of "Nosedive" is memorable because it connects to the way we view social media in today's life. In the episode, people have an implant in their eye that keeps track of their social ranking. The higher your number, the easier it is to gain access to material goods and other items befitting a higher socioeconomic status. In this world, Bryce Dallas Howard's Lacie Pound is trying to go from a 4.2 to a 4.5 ranking. While things go well at first, a series of unfortunate events changes Pound's worldview and social status forever.
As part of taking on the role, Bryce Dallas Howard also told The Wrap that social media has become such an important part of celebrity that she felt compelled to take the gig. The weight gain was part of showing the "insecurity" the character feels playing the 0-5 scoring game on a social scale. The hard work that Bryce Dallas Howard put into changing her appearance and playing the character paid off; it ended up landing her a SAG nomination.
As for Black Mirror, the series has a bigger budget now that it has headed over to Netflix, and it has attracted some interesting actors and unique stories during that time. A fifth season of Black Mirror was greenlighted by Netflix back in March, and filming has reportedly already begun filming on the new set of episodes. Netflix usually doesn't announce when shows will be back right away, but we'll let you know as soon as the subscription streaming service gets the new season onto the schedule. In the meantime, you can take a look at what else is heading to Netflix, or see Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which hits Blu-ray next month.