Bryce Dallas Howard has taste. It’s abundantly clear from her just-released home tour for Architectural Digest, which showcases a one-of-a-kind ’80s retro-futurism aesthetic with a touch of Star Wars, to her impeccable looks that come with frequent red carpet appearances. All of these ensembles are 100% her own, by the way, making her one of the few Hollywood heavy-hitters that styles herself. Add to that the fact that she’s often walking red carpets for some of the biggest premieres ever, and it would be easy to assume she feels the pressure. But, the actress insists that she’s not about to stop her streak and outsource her style anytime soon.
Howard’s latest project, reprising her role in the Jurassic Park universe, is likely to be yet another megahit. When asked about why audiences continue to be enamored with something like dinosaurs, Howard says it’s all in the realism, the fact that they actually once existed. Even though the movies are set in the world of science fiction, it’s easy to imagine how Jurassic Park could become reality — there’s science behind it, after all.
“Other than the fact that dinosaurs are fun, terrifying, and awe-inspiring, especially when they look incredibly real, the stories themselves are very powerful narratives. And the characters created by Michael Crichton, and then obviously reinterpreted for cinema through David Koepp and Steven Spielberg, are these tremendous factors,” Howard says of the movie franchise’s longevity. “The characters of Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ian Malcolm and Dr. Ellie Sattler are just as legendary as the dinosaurs themselves.”
Most actors would be satisfied with a single hit, but Howard can proudly say that she’s starred in a string of blockbusters — among them are Spider-Man 3, in which she played Gwen Stacy alongside Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst; the Twilight saga with Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart; and a role with Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer in The Help. Don’t forget; she even has a few cult favorites in the mix, including a surprisingly saccharine but disturbingly scary episode of Black Mirror. Most notably, she’s headlined the second round of Jurassic Park films as Claire Dearing. Those dinosaur-filled epics come to a close with this year’s Jurassic World Dominion, which premiered on June 10. In it, Howard reunites with Chris Pratt (and a few other familiar faces) for one more spin among the velociraptors, tyrannosaurs, and, of course, all the action that goes along with having giant CGI dinos as castmates — though the much-maligned high heels are long gone.
“I have always been a fan first with everything that I’ve worked on, and it always feels like a fan who’s infiltrated the movie,” Bryce says of her roles. “I love movies that are inherently complicated because they are action-adventure films, like Spider-Man, Terminator, Twilight, Jurassic, Star Wars. I simply cannot get enough. And what’s really funny is I’ve never felt jaded by those experiences; it’s only intensified the fandom.”
Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum will be reprising their roles from the 1993 Jurassic Park in Dominion, and Howard is fully aware that bringing the gang back together holds a special meaning. Many fans still see the characters of Alan Grant and doctors Ellie Satler and Ian Malcolm as essential to the Jurassic Park DNA, no matter how many sequels arrive in theaters. Newcomers to Jurassic Park’s reboot, including DeWanda Wise and Justice Smith, are returning, too.
“It was really validating because, with the first Jurassic World movie, BD Wong came back, which was awesome. And then, in the second film, Jeff Goldblum joined. Now, with Sam Neill joining, it makes it feel like Jurassic Park 6,” Howard says. “It’s an extension of that original movie and the conclusion of that journey that we first endeavored upon 30 years ago. And so, it was something that we hoped for but never knew if it was going to be possible.”
But, when she’s not running from prehistoric predators or directing, Howard’s racking up credits behind the camera. Her work on Disney+’s The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett has some fans clamoring for her to get a full-length feature in the Star Wars universe. Howard is also making headlines for being outspoken about getting dressed for the red carpet. She’s been frank about purchasing dresses on her own (and re-wearing them) for big premieres and events, all while other celebrities rely on the connections and clout that come with working alongside high-profile stylists to craft camera-ready looks.
For the Jurassic World Dominion tour, which has taken Howard to red carpets in places like Cologne, Mexico City, and Los Angeles (including stops at CinemaCon and SiriusXM headquarters), she chose her entire wardrobe, which ran the gamut from an embellished plum Pamela Rolland dress to a strong-shouldered, black cutout column and plunging aquamarine gown, both by Alex Perry (“As a girl with curves, I’m super into it. Got great shoulders,” she says). And yes, she chooses everything, right down to the Irene Neuwirth jewels and Sergio Rossi pumps. Howard started styling herself in 2015 when the first Jurassic World was released, and clearly, she’s never looked back.
“I worked really close with my publicist, Alex Schack, because she’s the first person that really empowered me to do that because she saw I wasn’t fitting into the clothes that were being loaned to me. Because at that point, there were only sample sizes available,” Howard explains. “And she was like, ‘Let’s not play this game. Let’s not. Let’s choose a different path.’ And so, it’s really fun because it’s us texting each other, constantly being like, ‘What do you think of this? What do you think of that?'”
Choosing her own dresses means shopping for them. Howard explains that she heads to department stores and boutiques just like non-celebrities, frequenting Neiman Marcus and even Topshop and the RealReal, in addition to Rent the Runway for looks that have graced events like the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards.
“I never try to have a conversation with fashion. I’m never like, ‘Ooh, what’s the new trend?’ It’s just about what feels good, looks good, is within the budget,” Howard says. “That’s where the focus is. I don’t put any pressure on myself to be ‘fashionable.'”
In 2019, when she was promoting Rocketman, she pledged that her looks — Cannes Film Festival included — would be sustainable, meaning they’d be secondhand or consigned.
“For several years now, I’ve relied on the @therealreal religiously to both buy and consign my own clothes. So for this @rocketmanmovie press tour, I challenged myself to exclusively dress in consigned and previously owned pieces,” she shared on Instagram. “This is my first look: the dress, shoes, and sunglasses are all from @therealreal.”
And after Cannes, Howard has continued to champion sustainability and shopping secondhand. It’s a cycle she engages in, buying from The RealReal and selling pieces back that she doesn’t think she’ll wear again — though there are reasons to keep things around.
“If it’s a ball gown, it’s for a special moment. Then, I’ll save it or auction it off for an organization. You just donate it when you’re affiliated with an organization, or it’s a school auction or for a foundation or whatever, but it’s a great way to raise money,” she says. “Or, I’ll just consign it normally. For me, what I’ve also found over the years is I have a body that fluctuates. And so, it’s wonderful to also be able to have different sizes in my wardrobe so that I’m prepared, and I’m never having to change my body for my clothes. I just changed the clothes for my body.”
Howard won’t be changing her ways, either. She says that now that she’s approaching fashion in a different way, it’s finally become fun.
“Fashion becomes fun when it’s about celebrating your body and not about making yourself smaller. And so, I’ve had a lot of fun these last six years with it,” she says. “It’s certainly been revolutionary for me, especially because I’m not a big shopper in my life. Another thing is that if something is wonderful and works, I want to learn how to take care of it so that I can have it for a long time. And that’s been a journey for me as well in the last six years. Because before then, I would never buy nice things ever. Ever, ever. That’s been a fun, little grown-up exercise.”