First check out these cute trailers she did for Pete’s Dragon. The first one is making a cat a dragon costume.
Could she be any cuter? Yes, she can. Wait until you see her eat Pete’s Face.
And now my exclusive interview with Bryce Dallas Howard
Bryce: You mommy bloggers are responsible for all my parenting choices. So thank you!
We loved hearing that!
Did your kids hang out with you in New Zealand?
Bryce: Yeah, they did. It was full circle because I hung out in New Zealand when my dad went there for Willow. So yeah my kids and I had a blast. It hadn’t really changed. It was just as I remembered.
I really watched a lot of Pete’s Dragon (the 1977 version) growing up. I sought out this script and it was so beautiful. It reminded me of the Disney films I watched as a child. It’s got great American values. I went from dinosaurs to dragons. That’s what my kids said to me. My kids haven’t seen the first one. I’ve read the board book to them.
What about your character are you most like?
Bryce: Watching Disney movies as a child, I identified as a child. But now reading the script I identify as the mom. So I was like how am I going to play this? I don’t want to create this complicated persona. You know kids just want to get to the dragon. I’ve not technically played a mom. I just infused this character with the relationship and the way you are with our kids. It just made it simple. It’s how I talk to my kids. Oakes reminds me a lot of my daughter. They have similar eyes and hair. It was good.
Did you meet with the kids before the movie filming began?
Bryce: We met when we got to New Zealand. We went many places and there was just a lot of kids. It was like when my dad made Parenthood I was on set with a lot of kids every day. So with all our kids there it felt like a family very early on.
What was it like working with Robert Redford?
So upstairs in this (Roosevelt) hotel where I stayed at last night is this picture. I came out of the elevator and was like helloo (his picture as a young man was hanging). He’s an environmentalist and he has just arrived with this peace that he carries with him. We had long awesome conversation. It’s more me peppering him with questions and him being so nice and answering them. He’s a family man and raising kids in this world. It was wonderful to just learn from him, be around him and admire him. He’s never dyed his hair. He has this great head of hair. His kids don’t believe that he’s never dyed it. It’s amazing.
Did you have a favorite moment or scene?
Bryce: It was getting to ride on the back of Elliot. I mean we’re on a dragon. It was so fun. Disney recreated the Disney ride experiece just for us on set. (Lots of laughter here).
Wes told us that was his favorite moment too.
What is your favorite Disney movie of all time?
I’ve not thought critically about this question but my first thought is the Little Mermaid. It came out when I was in second or third grade. I had red hair and it just was one of those movies that I memorized all the songs. I would put on a leo and tie my legs together and then throw myself in the pool. It’s dangerous. I have memories of me being underwater and looking up. It was really not good. My parents had no idea I did that. Now they’re going to know.
What message do you hope people walk away with from Pete’s Dragon?
So many Disney movies deal with loss. Like a mom can’t survive right? There can’t be light without shadows. Disney doesn’t shy away from the shadows. The power of these movies is that they bring you to a place where your telling the story after the loss and showing what it takes to find your family. There’s a family out there for you even whwen your orphaned. We all experience loss and it’s extreme loss when you lose a parent. Disney films are 50% entertainment and 50% therapeutic. They prepare you for what’s ahead. Seeing that journey of finding your family and in the midst of that having bonds that seem impossible (best friend being a dragon). It’s definitely a powerful message. Telling stories that integrate the blending of the magical or mystical worlds allows us to transcend our realities. It allows us to know there’s something beyond. There’s a sense of wonder and awe within us. That does something for kids. My favorite question is what was it like working with Elliot (from kids).
What was your response watching the movie?
We (my husband and I) were really emotional very early on. The first reaction was tears and his was too. I think the power of being in the movie and being able to still watch it and experience in the way it was intended to be experienced. I was really moved by it.
How did you feel enrolling them in the New Zealand schools and did they enjoy school there?
They go to international schools so they have the same curriculum. It was great. They’ve been to the same kind of schools in NZ, Hawaii, Toronto, etc. So you know I ask mom questions like “Tell me about school and your friends?” He doesn’t divulge a lot of information. A few weeks back we were lying in bed and he said, you know for the first two weeks I didn’t understand anyone. I thought it was a different language but it was a different dialect. There’s things like that which is unique to being taken to different schools.
In NZ there’s no predators. Nothing but a dragon in the woods(haha). So we felt safe wherever we went. Most places don’t even have internet connections. Those things worked together beautifully together. We were shooting in the forest and no one was on their phones, We were all innocent and just there in the moment. That’s such a priviledge. Our backyard is so tiny and I asked my daughter do you want to grow up in nature. I do grow up in nature. Girlfriend that’s astroturf. Being there in NZ it’s consistently ranked as one of the best places to raise kids in the world. It’s changed my priorities. I want that experience for my kids.
She was super sweet and so gracious and kind. It felt like we were having coffee at her breakfast table. I’m honored to have met her.
Check out this how to for dragon cupcakes with Bryce. It’s super cute and fun just like her!
Check out my other Pete’s Dragon posts!
Make sure you check out my other posts before you go! Pete’s Dragon trailers and my trip itinerary, coloring sheets, and mazes, dot to dot and other fun printable sheets My red Carpet experience and my movie review too! My Bryce Dallas Howard interview too!