Laura Dern, one of the stars of the Jurassic Park cast, has some strong praise for another of the actors in Jurassic World 3. In an interview with Variety, she compares DeManda Wise to Indiana Jones.
Wise is playing Kayla Watts, a former Air Force pilot who gets dragged into saving the world from dinosaurs by Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce-Dallas Howard). Being from the Air Force, she’s no stranger to rough situations, even if training probably never deals with prehistoric lizards that we cloned for an amusement park. The action movie heroes need all the help they can get is what we’re saying, and Dern is certain the right person was hired.
“When I read the script, it wasn’t about colour, sex or anything. It was about finding the actor who could be the next Indiana Jones,” Dern says. “And [Wise] happens to be the actor.” Dern’s comments are in reference to some racism surrounding Wise’s casting. The internet has had the usual reaction of seeing anyone non-white in the cast as some performative, political choice, rather than them just being who suited the role best.
“As soon as you put a woman, a Black woman, a woman of colour, or a person of colour on screen, it has, to whomever, a connotation,” Wise states on the pressure non-white actors can face. “Whether they know the story yet or not, I’m inherently politicised. I know that.”
We’d like to think this is a vocal minority who are especially loud, but sometimes these people do material harm to filmmakers. Kelly Tran, of Star Wars fame, was famously harassed off social media following The Last Jedi. There’s an unfortunate level of bravery needed for these actors to put themselves in these films.
We can’t wait to see what Wise does in Jurassic World: Dominion, which is directed by Colin Trevorrow. The dino-adventure movie roars into theatres on June 10, 2022.