I attended the #PetesDragonEvent courtesy of Disney and all of my expenses were covered. However, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!
Interview With Bryce Dallas Howard on Playing “Grace” in Pete’s Dragon #PetesDragonEvent
If you have been following along on the social media this week or on the blog you saw that I attened the Pete’s Dragon Event in LA. During the event we attened the Red Carpet Movie Premiere of Pete’s Dragon and had a chance to sit down with 4 of the movies stars. We interviewed Bryce Dallas Howard – “Grace”, Wes Bentley – “Jack”, Oakes Fegley – “Pete” , and Oona Laurence – “Natalie”. Unfortunately we were unable to interview Elliot as he had to fly out after the premiere to visit his family.
The movie was phenomenal and is truly a must see. Disney has done an amazing job with this reimagining and I love the story of family that is so prevalent during the whole movie. I was super excited for our group interview with Bryce Dallas Howard because I wanted to hear her thoughts on the movie.
When Bryce Dallas Howard walked into the room on Tuesday morning she immediately filled up the room. She is such a warm and bubbly person that it is hard not to fall in love with her. She is very laid back and you can see a little of her fabulous personality in these “Bryce Dallas How-To” clips.
If you haven’t already figured it out, Bryce Dallas Howard is the daughter of (actor, producer and director) Ron Howard. Her most recent movie before Pete’s Dragon was Jurrasic World where she played Claire Dearing. Bryce is a mother to two children, who accompanied her to New Zealand where they taped Pete’s Dragon. She shared with us how she had accompanied her father to New Zealand (30 years ago) while he was taping Willow. She has fond memories of the time spent there and said it was just as beautiful as she had remembered it to be. She said the whole taping experience in New Zealand was so much fun. Wes Bentley also had his kids with him, Jim Whitaker (producer) had his kids and with Oona and Oakes there were always kids around. It reminded her of when she was with her father taping Parenthood. Listening to her talk fondly of her time spent with her father warmed my heart because you can see where it had a profound impact on her growing up in a positive way.
The original Pete’s Dragon (1977) was a favorite of her and her sisters so when she heard they were doing a reimagining, she sought out the script. She immediately was drawn to the new story that is told and it reminded her of the Disney films she watched as a child. Once her kids heard about the movie they were totally behind the idea because first she got to act with dinosaurs (in Jurrasic World) and now dragons. She just couldn’t say no to this amazing opportunity.
Bryce’s favorite moment during the filming of Pete’s Dragon was when she spent the day with Wes Bentley riding on the back of Elliot. She said they spent the whole day in hysterics. This was also Wes’s favorite and when we shared that with her she had this to say….
“Yes, we were just losing it the whole time because you know, we’re adults and we have kids and just like we’re on a dragon. And the way they set it up it was kind of like this rig where, you know, it was, it was like we had harnesses on and you had to climb up, you know, you were pretty high up like climbed up on a ladder and it would move around like a ride. So it was, it was nice that they kind of replicated the Disneyland experience in New Zealand while we were shooting. It was really fun.”
She recreated the image during the
Red Green Carpet Premiere.
Her favorite Disney movie of all times is The Little Mermaid and she shared how she would put on a leotard, tie the legs together and then throw herself in the pool to be a mermaid. She is pretty sure her parents don’t have any idea of what she did, until now that is.
One of my favorite things that she shared during the interview was her thoughts on the movie and filming the movie.
She shared with us how one day they were walking through the forest in New Zealand and it occured to her that are no predator animals there so you can truly enjoy yourself with fear. Plus because there is a lack of internet connection so you are able to totally immerse yourself in your surroundings. She shared that …
“I just remember looking up and it, it, it was just, it was just kind of perfect and it was idyllic, you know.”
She pointed out that Disney movies deal with loss and often use the loss to share a greater story or purpose. In Pete’s Dragon the main theme is finding your family. Even when you are without a family there is a family for you out there and you need to keep searching until you find out. Here is a brief quote from Bryce Dallas Howard….
“From Pete’s Dragon, I mean I think what, what has always occurred to me was that it’s like so many Disney movies deal with loss. I mean actually, like it’s like a mother can’t survive right? Like every movie it’s so crazy. And I think it is, I mean what’s really powerful about that. There’s this great Walt Disney quote that I’m just going to completely paraphrase here where he essentially was saying that you know, there can’t be light without shadows and that the Walt Disney films don’t shy away from that.”
Here is the full quote from Walt Disney.
The interview was a truly amazing time and you can just see Bryce’s personality shine. I can only imagine the fun they had while filming Pete’s Dragon. After the interview we were able to take a group photo with her and I am so happy to add it to my photo collection from the #PetesDragonEvent.
Make sure to check back next week to read about our interviews with Wes Bently, Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence.
Check out my review of Pete’s Dragon and make plans to see it in theaters starting today, August 12th.
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