As the women of “Jurassic World Dominion” reflect on the franchise’s feminist origins, the movie’s youngest female lead, 15-year-old Isabella Sermon notes the importance of having a powerful trio of women — Laura Dern’s Dr. Ellie Sattler, Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing and DeWanda Wise’s Kayla Watts — to look up to.
“It’s important to have these female role models,” Sermon says in the clip above. “Maisie, as a character has grown up with Claire as a mother who’s like really strong and fiery; Ellie who is so intellectual and clever and really powerful; DeWanda’s character Kayla, who’s a pilot is like super fierce and tough.”
The two-and-a-half minute clip begins with Ellie’s iconic quip, “Dinosaurs Eat Man. Woman Inherits the Earth,” and goes on to highlight all of the hard-hitting and high-flying action sequences Dern, Howard, Wise and Sermon will face in the franchise’s latest installment “Jurassic World Dominion.”
The clip also includes behind the scenes shots of Sermon laughing along with her older co-stars, as she adds: “It’s been really amazing to work with such strong independent women.”
Looking back on starting it all, Dern shares that she and “Jurassic Park” director Steven Spielberg had an awareness of the importance of Dr. Sattler as a “feminist female action character”, who was unusual in this type of film. But the payoff has been beyond imagination.
“That felt really exciting that that became a takeaway for people who loved the film,” Dern says of Sattler’s legacy. “She’s badass and physically strong and complicated and funny. I would say that for all the female characters in this franchise.”
Howard was one of those youngsters inspired by Dern’s performance when watching the original “Jurassic Park.” “Dr. Elliott Sattler was such an iconic character in such an important character because he’s a scientist and paleobotanist,” she recalls. “It was really important to see an inspiring character like that.”
Now working within the franchise over the last three “Jurassic World” films, Howard notes a major strength of these movies is the diversity of the women portrayed: “I adore that there are so many female characters who are different because we’re not all what would typically present a strong, feminine or a superhero in classic adventure films.”
Plus, she observes, “‘Jurassic’ is a very pro-female franchise. As it started, all the dinosaurs were female. They were women,” Howard quips, alluding to the premise laid in the original “Jurassic Park” that all of the dinosaurs were genetically engineered to be female. “And they’re inherent in the idealization of that female strength female power.”
Franchise newcomer Wise shared similar sentiment. “I feel beyond honored to join this franchise,” she declares. “From inception, it’s had great roles for women, that have a degree of character development and depth. And that’s what I saw in Kayla.”
Read more about the “Jurassic World” franchise’s evolution in this week’s issue of Variety.