When Bryce Dallas Howard signed her contract for the Jurassic World franchise, she didn’t get as big of a deal as her co-star Chris Pratt. This is not shocking news. At the time, Pratt was already an established star, whereas Howard’s résumé was much thinner. She’d played some unnamed roles in a handful of movies and portrayed supporting characters in two Twilight films and Spider-Man 3, but had yet to break out in a starring role.
Jurassic World changed all that. This prompted Pratt to step in for Howard and handle the negotiations for licensing deals related to the franchise, guaranteeing that he and Howard would be paid equally. Here’s how she put it: “What I will say is that Chris and I have discussed it, and whenever there was an opportunity to move the needle on stuff that hadn’t been already negotiated, like a game or a ride, he literally told me, ‘You guys don’t even have to do anything. I’m gonna do all the negotiating. We’re gonna be paid the same and you don’t have to think about this, Bryce.’ And I love him so much for doing that. I really do, because I’ve been paid more for those kinds of things than I ever was for the movie.”
Howard was paid $8 million for the first film, so it’s not as though she was in danger of becoming a pauper, but good on Pratt for his chivalry and good on her for accepting it, which seems to be more of a feature when it comes to Howard than a bug. Howard, as it turns out, isn’t afraid of being a slightly old-fashioned woman in a time in which that’s not something that’s celebrated.
I, however, still celebrate this. Women, particularly the old-fashioned ones — the dinosaurs, as Ricky Gervais calls them — are what makes the world go round, even if they’re not “yass, girl, slaying” on a day-to-day basis. And Howard seems to be living that truth in life as much as she is in her films, including Jurassic World.
For those who haven’t seen the franchise, her character, Claire Dearing, is known for several things. First, she’s a dedicated career woman, one who ignores her family while focusing on making sure the lab is developing brutal killing machines. Second, she’s a conservationist who wants to save the brutal killing machines they created in the lab. Third, she’s all about high heels, even while running from brutal killing machines.
The heels, as it turns out, were Howard’s choice. In an interview, she explained them, saying, “When I was coming of age, I remembered reading and studying the initial ideas within the feminist movement. There was this idea with my parents’ generation that in order to find equality, a woman would need to behave like a man… But I think where we are now, for me, it’s about embracing my femininity as my greatest strength, and a God-given strength.”
Doesn’t she know what year it is? Next, she’s going to tell us that she used her femininity to get her male co-star to negotiate a higher cut on licensing deals for her. Wait…
There was a time, starting somewhere before recorded history and only ending in recent years, when it wasn’t controversial for women to use their God-given strengths to their advantage, to admit that boys and girls are different, and to even recognize that the female of the species might be more deadly than the male.
As recorded history now only begins around 2008, we’ve forgotten most of that, but, thankfully, Howard has not. She’s out there strutting around in heels and getting the men around her to do her bidding. She’s even managed to do so while marrying young and bringing two children into the world.
If that isn’t the definition of a true queen, yass, girl or otherwise, I’m not sure what is. It’s an idea that more of her sisters should embrace, even if they choose not to try to outrun brutal killing machines while wearing three-and-a-half-inch stilettos.