Why Does Bryce Dallas Howard Feel The Need To Lose Weight For Jurassic World?

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock.
Here's a question for you, Hollywood: Why do actresses have to alter their weight for roles? Or rather, when can we stop asking women to change their weight for the movies? In almost any other industry, it would be considered obscene.

Bryce Dallas Howard told Page Six that she's currently trying to "get more athletic" for the Jurassic World sequel, which begins shooting next month. However, Howard only needs to amp up her athleticism because she gained 35 pounds for her role in Black Mirror.

"I am doing a lot of training for [Jurassic World] because I gained 35 pounds for Black Mirror," she told the publication. This begs the question: Why did she gain weight for Black Mirror? In Netflix's sci-fi anthology, Howard played an insecure woman living "10 minutes in the future," in a world where a people-rating app reigns social interactions. While her character is meant to be insecure, her weight doesn't feature prominently in the episode.

So, once again, I ask: Why must actresses submit to these kinds of requests? Granted, it's not clear whether anyone asked Howard to gain weight for Black Mirror. It's possible the 35-year-old made the call herself, which would be her prerogative. But more likely, the request came from the higher-ups, a demand that an actress change her body for the screen.

The same demands are also made of actors — Christian Bale has practically made a career of it — but we rarely hear as much about it. (There's that sweet Hollywood double standard we love.) Jesse Plemons of Friday Night Lights told GQ that gaining weight for a role made him more sympathetic to actresses.

"Yeah, talking about it, if anything, makes me a little more empathetic — sympathetic? — to what women have to go through. My god! Men in general are just not held under the same microscope in that way," Plemons said.

If Howard wants to reach a level of athletic prowess, again, more power to her. But I sincerely hope that Jurassic World 2 isn't making demands of her weight. While we're at it, I sincerely hope everyone stops making demands of anyone's weight.
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