Terminator Salvation star Bryce Dallas Howard has a dark side

brycedallashowardAlthough there is definitely something ethereal and otherworldly about Terminator Salvation star Bryce Dallas Howard, we never would've pegged her for a closet apocalypto. Apparently, she's really interested in end-of-days tales. What a cool mom!

Time Out New York: The summer brings out lots of film explosions.
Howard: [Laughs] Yeah, I wonder what that's about.

I don't know. I fully expect to have posttraumatic stress by the end of the summer.
[Laughs] Yeah, I suppose that will be the case. I actually just saw Angels & Demons last night, my dad's film, and it's all so thrilling! It's like the most exciting film he's ever done. So, yeah, even my mellow father is going to contribute to the adrenaline of the summer blockbusters.

I've never read that book. What're more terrifying, in your opinion: giant killer robots or giant killer demons?
[Answering patiently] Well, I think Angels & Demons, the title, is more of a metaphor for what Robert Langdon is facing in reality. I would say if it was winged demons [Laughs], that, personally, would be a little more terrifying for me, but the fact that he's actually battling human beings and in Terminator we're battling robots, I'll say Terminators are scarier. But you're not going to see Tom Hanks literally battling an angel or a demon.

Read the rest of the interview after the break.

Shucks. Have you noticed your dad showing an interest in the occult since he started directing it? Maybe wearing a robe to dinner and chanting in Latin?
[Laughs] No, no. He's a very mellow guy. He's very firm in his sort of Midwestern-Zen approach to life. I don't think he could be swayed in any particular direction. He's certainly most fascinated by this because of the storytelling element, and less about what it's trying to say. It is fictional. But it is exciting.

You were a big fan of the Terminator series before being cast in this film, weren't you?
Oh yeah. Big time. Yes sir.

Admit it! Wait, what?
Yes, I was. I'm really into sci-fi. I always have been. In addition to that, I've always had a tremendous fascination with the lure of the apocalypse or judgment day or the Mayan calendar, etc., etc. And this is kind of everything in one. It's robots and it's doomsday, and so that, to me, creates a really exciting landscape.

Pretty dark.
I love it. [Laughs] I love it! It is bleak. Are you kidding me? It's the end of mankind. It's a bummer. It's a bummer that we need to fight against! That's what this movie's about.

Killer robots are a bummer. Kind of puts the economic crisis in perspective when you see the remnants of humanity clinging to shreds of existence.
Yeah, well, the reason that I've always been fascinated with the idea of the apocalypse is that it's always in the back of our minds. And you could look at it metaphorically, that we're grappling with our own mortality and death, and therefore we explode that notion and make it larger. So I don't think this is only relevant now, but we're going through a phase where we're seeing changes in the climate and geopolitical changes and biological changes. So yeah, we're getting concerned about our own survival. So it's natural.

Inner fears are easier to face if you can face them with a machine gun.
This movie was actually very cathartic for me personally because my fascination with the apocalypse started to become slightly paranoid after I had my son, because all of a sudden I was much more concerned about the future. For whatever reason, being in this film helped me work through a lot of those fears. Because even though it's a pretty bad situation, people are still fighting. And my character is pregnant, so there is literal hope for the future. I'm very glad I was able to work through those anxieties, and so is my therapist.

You play the strong supportive type in this film. When is it Bryce Dallas Howard's chance to kick some ass?
I don't know. It's up to the filmmakers. I've been working out [Laughs]. I understood it because my character was enormously pregnant, and it is important to be responsible and protect the child. However, that didn't prevent me from going to an armory in my free time and shooting some machine guns and taking photographs of it and sending them to McG. Within two days after getting cast, I was at the shooting range. It was more fun than it should've been.

The NRA made a gift of an assault rifle to Sarah Palin.
[Laughs] Well, I'm not an NRA member, but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate shooting blanks out of a machine gun.

What SPF sunblock do you use?
I'm not going to lie. I rarely wear sunblock.

I'm not kidding. What I do is not go outside. My hobby is that I write, so if I'm not acting or being a mom, I'm writing. I'm also very modest in how I dress, so rarely is skin showing. I should really wear sunblock, though. But I don't have skin damage because I don't go outside.