Isabella Sermon is an actress in the film Jurassic World: Dominion. Jurassic World: Dominion takes place four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar. Dinosaurs now live–and hunt–alongside humans all over the world. Isabella portrays the character of Maisie Lockwood. YEM was able to speak with Isabella about the hardest part about playing Maisie, filming the movie during Covid, and what she thinks the biggest lesson from Jurassic World: Dominion is.
Young Entertainment Mag: Hi Isabella, thank you for taking the time to chat with YEM. I got to watch you on the big screen and it looked like you had a lot of fun filming.
Isabella Sermon: Hi – it’s my pleasure. Yes, I had the most amazing time filming Dominion
YEM: What was it like coming back for the third and final film in the Jurassic World Franchise after just finishing the second one?
Isabella: It was a really exciting experience as I got to work with many members of the old cast, in addition to the legacy cast and the new cast members, whilst being a that much older and much more able to learn things.
YEM: I’ll be honest, one of my favorite scenes from the entire film was when you and Claire (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) have that heart to heart right at the beginning. What was it like working with Bryce and can you break down that scene?
Isabella: The experience I’ve had working with Bryce was incredibly special, as she has watched me grow up from the age of 10 until now, when I am almost 16. Honestly, it was very hard to be mean to her, as she is such a genuinely nice woman and has helped and encouraged me so much in my work.
YEM: Did you learn anything from working with Bryce in terms of acting? Did she give you any tips?
Isabella: One of the main things Bryce taught me was when you have to channel an emotion, focus on the area in which the emotion stems from – so the place in your body where you feel it. Also that a lot of acting can just be done by using your eyes and by varying your breathing.
YEM: What was the hardest part about playing Maisie and how did you overcome it?
Isabella: I would say that Maisie and I are pretty similar, so it was easy for me to adopt her character. I did find that it was always difficult having to be scared on demand – but the amazing animatronic dinosaurs really helped me feel that fear.
YEM: What was the longest scene to shoot and what did you do to pass the time?
Isabella: The longest sequence for me was probably the sector when Grant, Ellie and Maisie are trapped in the amber mines. I think it took over a week to film, as we had to shoot part of it indoors, and another set was built outside for the end of the sequence. It was very dark on set during those days and I remember listening to a lot of music between takes.
YEM: From what I remember Jurassic World: Dominion was the model for how to film during Covid. I think you guys were the first. What was the most challenging for you during that time to film?
Isabella: We were the first production up and running during covid, yes. It was very hard to accomplish such a massive feat, as no film production has ever had to navigate the shoot schedule around something as big as the pandemic, so it was completely uncharted territory that we were in. It was very hard being away from my family and friends for such a long time, and I know that a lot of the cast and crew had to travel overseas away from their family to film this. That was definitely one of the biggest challenges for all of us, I would say, but I think as a team, everyone pulled together and hopefully succeeded!
YEM: Was there anything in the script that needed to change because of Covid?
Isabella: None of the actual story had to be changed, however the majority of the cast was meant to fly to Malta for some scenes, but about 5 days before we flew, it became a huge COVID hotspot, so the second unit very kindly went instead and everyone back in England did some movie magic!
YEM: Was there anything that you would have liked to see Maisie go through that wasn’t put on screen?
Isabella: I would have loved to see Maisie have a one on one face off with one of the biggest dinosaurs, but i did love the relationship Maisie was given with Beta, Blue’s daughter.
YEM: Did you get to keep anything from set? Anything dinosaur related?
Isabella: Unfortunately nothing dinosaur related, but I do have a pair of Maisie’s jeans, which are coincidentally my favourite jeans and so I wear them all the time. I actually went to see the film in a cinema the other day and realised i was wearing them – I was laughing so hard that I definitely disturbed some of the other people in the cinema!!
YEM: Do you see a spinoff for Maisie?
Isabella: I would love to see a spin off for Maisie, as I think that she has so much in common with the dinosaurs, given that they are both genetically engineered. It would be interesting to see if that similarity affects her relationship with them.
YEM: Who broke the most on set? Anything funny to happen off camera?
Isabella: Oh, definitely me. I remember one scene where I had to chop this piece of wood with a rubber hatchet, and I was hitting the wood so hard that I actually broke the hatchet. There’s also a scene where Maisie has to slam the door of a fire shut as well, and I’m pretty sure I broke the handle off. The props team and set designers loved that.
YEM: What do you think the biggest lesson from Jurassic World: Dominion is?
Isabella: I think the biggest take away from it would be that we need to learn to coexist, both with each other, and with the world that we live in, as if we don’t, then we will have to live and deal with the consequences and repercussions that come with it.
YEM: What’s next for you?
Isabella: I’ve just finished a huge set of exams, so I think a relaxing summer is what’s next for me! However, if an interesting job came along, I wouldn’t say no!