Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom - Daniella Pineda

In June 2017, I traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii to visit the set of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. This week, we have been running a ton of coverage from this visit. It began with interviews with producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley, director J.A. Bayona, and stars Bryce Dallas, Chris Pratt. and Justice Smith. Now, we’re bringing it to a conclusion with Daniella Pineda.

This roundtable interview was conducted alongside Eric Vespe from Rooster Teeth.


Yeah, we heard of how much of a coward [Justice Smith’s] character is and that made me really happy, especially when I found out that J.A. keeps screwing with him on set too.

Oh yeah.  He’s definitely the little baby minnow both on and off camera.  Uh huh.

Now he told us that you’re, the relationship between you two is like very brother-sister and he is always trying to catch up to you and you’re never like letting him.  You’re always giving him shit and never letting him like dish it back.

Yeah.  Both on camera and off-camera.  We do have very much a brother-sister relationship.  And the nice thing about having that real relationship with him is like on camera it with our characters, it just makes sense.  And yeah, normally it’s you’d have like a, I don’t know if this is a cinematic pattern, but like a wimpy girl and a strong guy and our dynamic is just completely the opposite.  It’s the younger, terrified male and the alpha female.

Yeah, perfect.


Did you guys have a past together or was it you just met, is the back story of the characters they just met in that Dinosaur Preservation Group?

We assume that Zia and Franklin have both met at the Dinosaur Protection Group.  But because of their on screen friendship it’s assumed that they have spent a ton of time together and know each other well and are as close as sisterly-brotherly co-workers can be.



They told us that he was like the IT guy but you’re kind of more of a vet and that’s why you go on the trip.

Yes.  I’m a paleo vet and I’m more the, he’s more the IT one and I’m more the biology science mind.  And my character has, aside from being a paleo vet, there are other additions to my character that are very new to the Jurassic franchise.  And it many of us have come to the conclusion that my character is one of the most original, when you find out why, one of the most original characters to be introduced to the movie.  Complex in that there’s so many different identities attached to her.  And yet more closer to real life.  So I’ll put it this way, as far as identity goes, I check all the boxes.  Yeah.

Now one thing that was really interesting to me that they said and I’m not sure, I think it was Frank that mentioned it, but it was he was saying that your character is like the one that knows the most about dinosaurs but hadn’t seen one until the adventure.


So your character had never gotten the chance to go to even like a Jurassic World or before?

It’s like an astrophysicist, you know everything about space and gas and stars and distance and time and yet you don’t have the privilege to actually go to space.  And I think my character is sort of the same thing.  It’s like she is the foremost intellectual of dinosaurs amongst all of them.  And yet has not had the privilege to come to Isla Nublar and actually be with the dinosaurs.

So that must then give you a like in an instant, just a character based chunk of meat the first time that you do get to see a dinosaur.  Because then you have all that back story where you know how much this would mean.


Is there a moment, do you get a moment like that in the movie?

I will say there is sort of a Laura Dern in the Jeep head being moved to the direction of where the goodies are.  Yeah.

Nice.  And then of course then you’re kind of in the shit with the dinosaurs.

Right.  Then I’m like with the dinosaurs.

Then it becomes a less hypothetical and like more like oh yeah, these are real animals and dangerous.

Totally.  But I think the nice thing about my character is she knows exactly what she’s getting into.  And even though she hasn’t had firsthand experience with the animals, she knows what’s up.  Yeah.

Were you a big fan of the franchise growing up?

Yes.  So it was one of the few VHS’s that I had that broke, ’cause I played it so much.  I had like four.  It was like Ace Ventura, Jurassic Park and a couple others.  True Lies. Jurassic Park was one of those movies that I was just so obsessed with.  And I remember being so jealous of the child actors.  And this was well before I ever even thought about being an actor.  Acting didn’t happen until adulthood.  But I remember being so jealous of those kids.  Like wow, what a fun job.  You get to scream in a Jeep while a T. Rex is trying to claw at you in between glass.  Like how cool is that?  So yeah, I’ve always been a fan.  And actually which is it’s so funny to think that I went to go see Jurassic World having no idea that I would even get to touch these movies.  But Jurassic World was one of the few movies that I was like oh I have to go out in theaters and see that.  I’m not really into big blockbuster movies personally.  Yeah, they just normally don’t do it for me.  But Jurassic World was one of those films that I was like oh I have to go with my friends.  We gotta go see this.  Yeah.

And how’d you come to this film?  Did you see that there was a audition for this or was it like just a random…?  Like when we were talking to…



Yes, what fancy answer did he give?

Well no, he said it was like a secret project with a different name and he was like acting opposite a bear.

Really?  Maybe lions.

Oh yeah, Grizzly bear was his. So you were lions?

Lions, yeah.  And it was funny because actually on the day I remember we had this one scene and I referred to the animal as a lion.  And Chris and Bryce looked at me like what are you talking about?  I was like, oh my God, it was when the, it was in the audition.  Like so ingrained in my brain.

And it was actually the same thing, but–

It was the same scene, but with lions.  And it had just been so embedded in my head to say lions.

So what happens then?  You get like does your agent like set it up for you or do you know you’re going in to Kennedy-Marshall?  Like what’s the…?

Oh.  Remind me to tell you a very funny story about Frank Marshall.

Okay. We wanna hear that.

It involves a cup of coffee.

Oh perfect.

Well I got the audition like I do any other audition, which is usually just an email from my agent he’s like hey, can you put this on tape?  And I saw it and it was sort of like yeah, oaky.  Like that’s never gonna happen.  So I wasn’t stressed.  I didn’t really care too much about it, because I really, truly just didn’t think that I would ever get it.  Because it’s like you’re not only competing with the United States, you’re competing with Australia and Europe and like the whole world, so the chances of you getting something like this are like one in 200 million or something.

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