2015’s Jurassic World was a huge smash success, bringing the Jurassic Park franchise roaring back to life. Now here comes Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the much-anticipated sequel. Set a few years after the original, the film finds Isla Nublar and its reptilian residents under threat from something even more powerful than the strongest dinosaur: a massive volcano, which will destroy the island and send the animals back into extinction. Can they be saved, and should humanity keep tinkering with science and nature?
Chris Pratt returns as Owen Grady, reluctantly tempted back to help save the creatures. Pratt remains one of the most popular movie stars around, known for charismatic performances in films as varied as the Guardians Of The Galaxy entries, The Lego Movie and Moneyball. Here, he talks about being scared on set, welcoming new cast members, and whether one of his dino co-stars has become a diva since the first film…
You’re back as Owen, so you didn’t have to find the character. Did you feel like you had more input this time?
Yeah, for sure. It felt very collaborative. It’s the same character, but he’s at a different stage in his life. I wanted to make sure that we weren’t repeating any of the lessons that he learned, and he’d grown a little bit from the previous movie. And it felt good like I was part of the collaborative team putting it together.
Did it feel different? There are a lot of animatronic dinosaurs this time, more so than last time.
We’ve got more this time around, so the process was different. As you’ll see when you watch the movie, the story is different, it’s a bit more contained, so it did feel different. We shot on stages in London versus shooting primarily exteriors in Hawaii – we still shot there, but not until the end. It felt like a different movie, and it is a different movie, it’s branching out.
World was action-packed. This one appears to be more intimate and the suspense level has been upped, with an added gothic horror element…
That’s right. It does feel as though there is more suspense. The set piece that fills the second half of the movie feels different. We’re also dealing with a new type of animal; you’re seeing just how dangerous it can be to push the science even further.
JA Bayona is a different director from Colin Trevorrow. What does he bring to the film?
I had the opportunity to watch his work beforehand; I think The Impossible was the perfect test case for a resume to shoot this movie. It’s a natural disaster movie, he had that giant tsunami, we have a volcano, it’s using CG to create a natural look for a giant natural disaster. We’re working with children and trying to find a personal, contained story within the reality of this insane, catastrophic event happening, so he felt like the right fit as director. He’s Spanish, which gives an international, diverse vibe to him as a filmmaker. He’s great to work with; on paper he was great, and in the process of making the movie, he was even better.
He uses music on set to set a tone. Was there a memorable moment while filming where he did that?
I don’t know what all the music cues were, but in the scenes where we were not talking, just slowly creeping around, waiting for the other shoe to drop, he played scores from previous movies and it would really set the tone. I’ve worked with a few directors who have done that, and it’s really helpful. JA also incorporated interrupting that music with loud, jump scare-type dinosaur roars! You always had to stay on your toes, because he would try to catch you off guard and scare you in the take so that your fear would be real. It definitely helps to ring that note that would hopefully sound through the whole scene and you’d be wondering if you were going to be scared.
There are new cast members for the movie. Did you get much interaction with the likes of Toby Jones, Rafe Spall and returning veteran Jeff Goldblum?
I didn’t work with Jeff, but I did get a little bit of the Goldblum experience. He’s so great, such a great actor, he’s so himself and really unique. There should be a shade you can paint your room, Jeff Goldblum – it’d be a multi-coloured, amazing, soothing, sexy, funny colour. I got to spend a lot of time with Rafe, I really like him, and a little bit with Toby as well. It was a good set, everyone felt happy.
What are you the most excited for people to see?
I think the new dinosaur, the Indoraptor, people are going to be excited and scared by her, and the relationship between Owen and Blue.
So, Blue is not a giant diva now?
Nothing like that yet! We’ll see in part three how big her ego gets!