Bryce Dallas Howard Discusses Spider-Man 3 and Playing Gwen Stacy

Bryce Dallas Howard in Spider-Man 3. © Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc/ Sony Entertainment

Bryce Dallas Howard got married three days after completing work on Spider-Man 3 and between wrapping up production and the press tour she delivered Theodore Norman Howard Gabel (nicknamed ‘Theo’). Howard credits Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire with being a huge help when it came to handling a new baby. Maguire’s own baby is just a few months older than Theo, and Howard loves the fact she's able to call up Maguire or his fiancée, Jennifer Meyer, and compare notes.

While it might be time to talk Spidey and not babies, Howard had a reason for gushing over her the new addition to her family when the subject was brought up. It was certainly easier for her to do that than to try and not give away anything that might be considered a spoiler to Spider-Man fans.

Trying to Keep the Plot a Secret: It’s been tough for Bryce Dallas Howard as she really wants to discuss what her character goes through in Spider-Man 3. “It’s tricky a little bit because I want to talk about it,” said Howard. “I want to talk about everything because I’m so excited to be a part of it. I’m still even shocked a little bit, that I was in it. It’s just so tremendously cool. But I also want to preserve the experience for audiences because there are so many expectations. I want to make sure that they go in there innocently and not jaded knowing this or that or the other, having feelings or beliefs about that.

The way that I’ve always thought about this, it’s almost like if a painter had a blank canvas and at the next canvas, they had a bunch of pots of paint in different colors. Somebody came up to it and said, ‘Oh, I don’t like those colors,’ or ‘I love those colors. This is going to be a great painting’.

Well, you haven’t seen the painting yet. Just wait till you see the painting then you can make your assessment. I try to protect that as much as I can.”

Bringing a Comic Book Character to Life on the Screen: “It’s not difficult because, primarily, this character was created in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s so there’s been so much analysis done since and so many almost like thesis papers written about her, so I wasn’t only reading the comic books. I was also reading what everyone thought about her and their beliefs about her. I got to have a lot of information from that, their interpretations of her.

What was a little tricky to navigate was, in the comic book, what’s she’s known as is Peter Parker’s first love. And, in this franchise, she’s coming in while Peter Parker in still in a very intense, important relationship with Mary Jane. So I wanted to make sure that, when I came in, I wasn’t acting like some kind of man-stealing tart (laughing). I was a woman that really, potentially could have that kind of future relationship with Peter Parker. Who knows what will ultimately happen? But that was the kind of tone that I wanted to create.”

Speaking of the Future…: Is there a possibility she’ll return for Spider-Man 4?

“Well, I don’t know if it’s happening but, if it is, I absolutely want to do it,” answered Howard. “I’ll do everything in my power to force them to put me in it. No, seriously, this was an unbelievable experience. In many ways, a life-altering experience. I want to work with these people as much as possible, and I hope that it’s on another Spider-Man film. That would be great.”

Bryce Dallas Howard on Her Favorite Scenes: “I have many wonderful memories. I loved the dance scene. I loved doing the crane sequence, which was so wild to do. I don’t know. Most of my memories from the set are my interactions and friendships with Topher [Grace] and with Kirsten [Dunst] and James [Franco] and Tobey [Maguire] and Sam [Raimi]. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any scenes with Thomas [Haden Church] which I was really bummed about because I just respect him so much as an actor.

I felt like I was back at college, just like with my friends hanging out. Then we’d go do our work and then we’d hang out some more. We had a really good time together.”

On Deleted Scenes: “This was a very big project and they had a lot of footage, but everything that they took was absolutely what I would want to see in the film. I couldn’t believe the scope of this film when I saw it; just how huge it was and how ambitious they were and how, in my opinion, they really had an unbelievable result. I love this movie. I think this is a really, really great film.”

Howard added, “I think the tricky thing with this film, probably for Sam and Laura [Ziskin] and everyone, was that they brought in these characters that were really known in the comic books and, at the end of the day, how long is the film? There’s two hours and twenty minutes to tell this entire story and you have three, four, five new characters. I don’t know if they brought us in with the intention of doing subsequent films or just have these characters in this film to enrich this film, we’ll see. But I think we’re all very, very satisfied with how we came off in the film.”

Getting Into the Action: Howard does get physical in Spider-Man 3, and she loved the experience. “With every single film, you have a chance to learn about different things and have different kinds of experiences. I just wanted to take as much out of this as possible and one of those things was the stunts, the physicality of this film. It’s safe. It’s totally safe.

The stunt team is not going to let you do anything that’s going to injure you, so I really just got to enjoy myself.”

The Universal Appeal of Spider-Man: Howard explained what she likes about the iconic comic book character. “What I like about it is there’s this seemingly ordinary character who has every kind of problem that a person could have - financial, romantic, familial problems and social problems. He gets these extraordinary powers and he uses them solely for contribution to others. I think it’s amazing, watching the movie and seeing him be Spider-Man and going and saving people. Everyone is writing these articles about him and all the headlines are about him. Then he comes back to his little, itsy-bitsy apartment. I think, in this day and age, where if someone has an ability, they’ll so quickly turn it into a commodity that can make money, it’s a very powerful message to send out to people. That, when you have something to give, give it and give it freely.”