Jurassic World Dominion star DeWanda Wise talks joining the Jurassic franchise so late in the game, and shares how she would calm down a dinosaur.
Jurassic World Dominion is headed for a successful opening weekend, as fans flock to the theaters in order to say a fond farewell to the cast of characters they’ve gotten to know over the last 8 years. The third film in the new batch saw the return of Jurassic World director and co-writer Colin Trevorrow, not to mention a reunion between Jurassic Park cast members who hadn’t shared the screen together in decades.
Claire Dearing and Owen Grady – played by Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt respectively – not only got to spend time with the legendary trio from the original trilogy in this film, they also welcomed newcomers to the franchise. In particular, Mamoudou Athie and DeWanda Wise joined as Ramsay Cole and Kayla Watts. Watts is an especially notable character, being an openly bisexual pilot in a story that previously lacked much LGBTQ representation.
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Screen Rant spoke to Wise about the fascinating experience of joining the franchise at this late stage, how she herself would calm down a dinosaur, and what surprised her most about the original film.
Screen Rant: First of all, I’m gonna need that arms routine.
DeWanda Wise: I do not recommend the arms routine. Every behind-the-scene footage is just me with resistance bands on set. Like, it’s so funny. It’s like everyone else is actually talking to the folks and in-camera, and then it’s just me being a creep. A super creep in the background, like, “Gotta get this pump. Gotta look like I could pull Chris Pratt out of the water.” It’s so lame. [Laughs]
Do you remember your first time seeing the original Jurassic Park? What stood out to you the most?
DeWanda Wise: It was 2019, the first time that I saw the original Jurassic Park, so I was a whole adult. And the technology stood out. It was like, “That’s why I didn’t see it as a kid, because it was terrifying.”
And then on the other hand, it was just one of those things where you can tell that it was the film that changed American cinema. It changed blockbusters as we know them today. I’m obsessed with the story that Laura tells, how she’s just like, “We were just in Hawaii shooting a little dinosaur movie.” Anybody who even asks me, “What’s gonna happen after this?” I’m like, “I don’t know!” We were all in this bubble truly, in every way, just making this movie in isolation.
In many senses of the word, it felt like making an indie. Because that’s how small we had to make it. I’m excited for it to be unleashed out into the world. But for a good long time, it was just us and it was just ours.
You say it’s felt like an indie, but also those dinosaurs are freaking huge. What was your most pinch-me moment on set?
DeWanda Wise: They’re huge. Enormous. They’re ridiculous. I’m so sorry, but the dinosaurs are ridiculous.
Every day, I was really annoying. Every day was a pinch me moment. I’ll try to go moment by moment. The first time I got to set, we were shooting on the backlot of Pinewood. They had turned the entire backlog into a crash site. So that ice lake scene, I was like, “That’s an airplane!” Someone built an airplane; the airplane goes into the ground – I don’t know how you did that. And it was just as far as the eye can see. The only thing that they really use blue screen for were the mountains in the background. So, that was crazy.
The fact that they put moss on so many trees in a forest? We were shooting in a forest. I looked up one day, and I was like, “There shouldn’t be moss here. That’s not real moss. Y’all put moss on these trees.” I turned to Chris, and he was just like, “Yeah, welcome to blockbusters.” He was kind of looking at me like, “Calm down,” and I was like, “Nope! Gonna video it.”
That was me every day. Just so much behind-the-scenes stuff.
I just want to know what the Dilophosaurus looks like when it’s not like being puppeteered.
DeWanda Wise: Yeah, then you’re just kind of like, “Do you want to be my pet?”
We know how Owen Grady calms dinosaurs. He’s got his hand thing going on. How would DeWanda calm down a dinosaur?
DeWanda Wise: Right! That whole thing. I just watched that video, because he was like, “Oh, you make yourself…”
I don’t know, man. I have a toy poodle, and I have no control over this toy poodle. I’m not gonna lie. I feel like I am a little too like, “I love animals!” to calm them down. I’d be like, “Just be yourself. Be yourself, Dinosaur. Just be who you are.”
“Stop, this isn’t you?”
DeWanda Wise: Yeah! “This isn’t your best! Are you hungry? Do you need a nap?” That would be me. I’d get eaten. In short, I would get eaten by a dinosaur.
Jurassic World Dominion Synopsis
The future of mankind hangs in the balance as humans and dinosaurs coexist following the destruction of Isla Nublar.
Check out our interview with Jurassic World Dominion stars Chris Pratt & Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Mamoudou Athie, Isabella Sermon and Jeff Goldblum, as well as director Colin Trevorrow.
More: Jurassic World Dominion’s Final Dinosaur Fight & Winner Explained
Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)Release date: Jun 10, 2022
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Ash Crossan is a Lead Content Producer & Host for Screen Rant. With nearly a decade of experience under her belt, Ash joined Screen Rant in 2021 as a lead interviewer. Based in Los Angeles, Ash is a fan of all things Star Wars, Marvel, DC, 90s Nickelodeon and rom-coms. Follow Ash on Twitter: @AshCrossan.
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