Film , Interviews

DeWanda Wise On The 'Han Solo Vibe' Of Her 'Jurassic World Dominion' Character And A Shadow And Act Short Film That Led To This Moment

DeWanda Wise is *the* force to be reckoned with in Jurassic World Dominion, and she said the nucleus of this moment is due to a Shadow and Act film from Nikyatu Jusu.

She appears in the third installment in the Jurassic World franchise as Kayla, a character who assists Owen (Chris Pratt) and Clare (Bryce Dallas Howard) and gets all involved with their rescue mission, which also includes OG characters Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Alan Grant (Sam Neill).

“She’s a whole force! [laughs] But kind of a quiet force,” the actress told Shadow and Act recently when speaking about the role.” A lot of folks have been very astutely assessing that she’s giving a Han Solo vibe and she is very reminiscent of early-career Harrison Ford. So she’s kind of a combo of a Han Solo, an Indiana Jones– she just has this very classic energy. She’s the fireball, but she’s almost like a blue flame, which is more appropriate to me because I am an introvert. So my characters, even when they feel larger than life, there’s a level of groundedness and introspection to all of them.”

It’s a change of pace for Wise to be in the action genre, although we could always debate that the canceled too soon Underground on WGN was an action thriller– because it was! Wise told us about “Shadow and Act origin story” that actually played into her wanting to take roles like this.

“I have a Shadow and Act origin story that’s kind of the nucleus of this moment,” she explained. “I worked on this film called Black Swan Theory with Nikyatu Jusu. This was in like 2011 when Shadow and Act was like, ‘Let’s produce these short films from these young filmmakers.’ So they chose Nikyatu’s film and we shot it. It was the first time that I was like, ‘If this kind of characterization can exist in the action space, sign me up.’ She was also former military [and] had this kind of depth in that space. Even [for] the roles that weren’t action for me, they all have a level of athleticism to them. Nola [from She’s Gotta Have It] is on the bike, she’s in dance class. There’s like there’s a level of stamina that’s required to be a lead in general, and just like taking care of yourself [now] that you just have to do the job. But then, on top of that, I’ve just been manifesting [this role], and the fact that it kind of comes now under these circumstances with the legacy cast back…that’s just grace. Like capital G-level grace.”

And as far as what’s next after this big blockbuster film, she’s excited about access.

“For years I’ve been super intentional, and I’ve just had a lot of fortune,” she said. “I feel like my husband [Alano Miller] said this years ago– it’s never been a volume game for me. Like when something is mine, it’s always very clear, and it just comes at the right time. So that’s been the case. I’m sure it will continue to be the case. I’m just thankful to be here in the present and having this conversation with you about a character that I care a lot about.”

Check out the full interviews with Wise, Pratt, Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Mamoudou Athie and director Colin Trevorrow below:

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2022 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.