In a new interview with Collider, Jurassic World: Dominion star DeWanda Wise revealed more about the process of developing her new character Kayla Watts, and even confirmed an extended cut of Dominion!
Jurassic World: Dominion will introduce DeWanda Wise as Kayla Watts, a former Air Force pilot who becomes integral to the mission Claire, Owen, Maisie, and Drs. Sattler, Grant, and Malcolm find themselves on in the film. Wise spoke to developing her character’s backstory, saying:
“I gave Kayla a dialogue pass. I gave Kayla a full dialogue pass. She was already very clear on the page. I had a couple of touchstones that were nonnegotiable. Her background’s her background. She was always Air Force. I knew that there were certain moments in the script that I had to execute, so I knew that she had to have a certain physicality for you to believe that she could pull Chris Pratt out of the water because he is I don’t know how many times my actual size. So there were certain things that I wanted to ensure that were true, but also, we workshopped her. Truly like old school theater nerd, we both went to NYU and workshopped her for a couple of weeks to really refine and integrate her backstory.”
Wise also spoke to unseen past dinosaur missions that could have influenced her character, important costume design decisions, and perhaps even a future story we might see for her character:
“I won’t say because, you know, maybe there will be another thing. I’m vying for a prequel. Anyway, that’s not the point! Point is, I talked about it a lot funny enough. One of my co-conspirators with Kayla, which you can see very clearly in this film was [costume designer] Joanna Johnston in the construction of that character, so a lot of her adventures we built into the wardrobe.”
While she didn’t reveal any specifics, she did tease something to look out for in Dominion and perhaps beyond:
“She had this moment, and it’s probably gonna be in the extended cut, maybe, we’ll see, but she has this beautiful pair of brass knuckles and we have this entire backstory of this adventure that she had gone on in South Africa — [laughs] Girl, I love backstories! — where she procured these knuckles. Because a lot of Kayla has this kind of Indiana Jones, she’s been everywhere. Some of her travels are for work and she goes on them because she has to go on them, and some are just for her.”
Finally, Wise was asked about how the fall of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World influenced the person her character has become:
“She really makes a true hero’s call. There’s something that’s awakening inside of her when we meet her at the top of this movie and it’s because she’s in part very disillusioned, you know? She’s very disillusioned and disappointed at the folly of man. And she’s in this place when we first meet her that’s just like, ‘If you can’t beat them, join them,’ and she’s just made a living off the mistakes of the people who have come before her. So you kind of have this level of resignation, but there’s something that’s building in her that she’s come to the end of the line of herself where she’s just like, ‘There is something I can do though, actually.’ And that was really inspiring to me to be like, we can all be heroes in a way and that at any moment we can make those turning points for ourselves to stand up for something when we see something happening.”
You can read Peri Nemiroff’s full interview for Collider here, or watch in video form below:
All of this new information on the background of Kayla Watts is exciting and intriguing for Jurassic fans, not to mention what is seemingly confirmation of a forthcoming extended cut of Jurassic World: Dominion! What do you think of this news and the inspirations DeWanda Wise found for her character? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for the latest Jurassic news!