Arriving in theaters this week is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which was directed by J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, The Impossible, A Monster Calls) and stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Ted Levine, Daniella Pineda, Justice Smith, Toby Jones, and James Cromwell.

Fallen Kingdom takes Pratt and Howard back to Isla Nublar to try and rescue the remaining dinosaurs from an erupting volcano, only for them to realize that there are even more threats awaiting the previously prehistoric animals back in the United States. One of those threats includes Toby Jones’ character, the mysterious Mr. Eversol, a charismatic businessman who knows everything has a price—especially dinosaurs.

Daily Dead recently spoke with Jones about his role in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and he discussed the appeal of his villainous character, collaborating with Bayona, and finding a balance in his career with bigger studio films and the various indie projects he takes on each year. We also briefly chatted with Jones about Berberian Sound Studio as well, and he chatted about being immersed in the world of giallo filmmaking along with director Peter Strickland.

It’s great to speak with you today, Toby, and congratulations on Jurassic World. Did you enjoy that there was this air of mystery as to who Mr. Eversol really is, and was that a big part of why you wanted to take on this role?

Toby Jones: J.A. asked me to play the part, and asked if I had any ideas about who this man was coming into it. We talked about tons of ideas, and there were a lot of things that he talked about maybe trying to get into the film that in the end, we couldn't make them work. Because in a film like this, the dinosaurs are the central theme. Anything you can put in around the dinosaurs is extraneous, so we just did as much as we could with this idea that for this guy, business is everything. Deals are everything. It doesn't matter if you're selling clothes, stolen antiques, dinosaurs, or marmalade. Whatever you're selling, all that matters that the deal is good and he’s definitely a guy who has no real morals, either.

So, that was the basic idea. It’s also not a coincidence that Mr. Eversol will probably remind a lot of people of certain people who are in the news on a regular basis these days. That was intentional.

So, how was it working with J.A.? Because I think he's one of the most interesting directors out there these days. Between The Impossible, A Monster Calls, and The Orphanage, he's got a really interesting eye as a filmmaker, and he’s great at being able to balance spectacle with tragedy, too.

Toby Jones: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head. He's able to deal with intimate stories, emotional stories, but at the same time he’s able to switch between the micro and the macro really impressively. That's not so easy to do, but he does it extremely well.

You have worked on big films as well as these smaller scale, more intimately crafted films as well. When you’re on these bigger films that have more effects to them and these bigger sets, how much does that affect the way you approach your performance, if at all?

Toby Jones: Well, everything depends on scale. And also, CG has become part of the fabric of all filmmaking, where it’s being used on films of all scales these days. As far as doing something like Jurassic World, what's different here is that we had the time and money to use full-scale puppetry alongside the CG, which makes it so much easier to react off of than if you’re looking at a tennis ball on the end of a pole.

That can be challenging, but the thing of it is, it's always the same thing you're after, regardless of what you’re playing against. You're always trying to stay true to the reality of the situation, the rules of the story at that point, and to try to get the story across clearly. The tricky thing on big films is trying to keep it alive and in the moment, because the danger of technology is that it can slow the whole process down, which can affect your energy as an actor.

I'm curious, because you've been a part of so many different genres and films of all different shapes and sizes, what is it that keeps you going these days as an actor? Is there something in particular that you're looking for that keeps you motivated as a performer?

Toby Jones: Well, I suppose the great privilege of being an actor is that if you're lucky enough to be working, the next thing is to try and be working on different things to try and shift your scale. You never want to get stuck in one genre or with a type of character, either. So whenever that threatens to happen in my career, I always start looking to do something that contrasts with what I’ve been doing lately. Not just because that is a good career move, but also because it keeps me interested.

It's quite horrible now, though. It's a very picky time with filmmaking. There's a whole level of films that don't get made anymore. It’s either blockbuster films or these micro projects, but there’s a whole level of films—the mid-level budgeted films—that don’t ever get made anymore, so it becomes harder to do different things.

Before we go, I wanted to ask, because I'm a big fan of Berberian Sound Studio, which you did a few years ago with Peter Strickland—how was that experience working with him? I’m guessing he immersed you in a world that you probably hadn’t ever really experienced before.

Toby Jones: He did. And I thought it was a great film. I knew on about page four of reading that script that I wanted to be in that film. I had seen his previous work, so I could see that he was steeped in European art house cinema and in horror—especially giallo films—so I had all the confidence in him as a director.

But this was a world—giallo films—that I knew nothing about. And in a way, that suited the character, because Gilderoy does nature documentaries, and then he gets plunged into this nightmare world. And I found that idea to be a very funny and unique premise. There is an interesting world to explore when you mix comedy and horror, and that is something that I'm always very interested in exploring.


In case you missed it, check here to catch up on Heather's other interviews with the cast of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.