Bryce Dallas Howard knows that despite all of its tropical beauty, sun-soaked Hawaii isn’t entirely paradise for someone as fair-skinned as she is.
“Both my parents are redheads, so I’m basically like a mutant,” laughed the Jurassic World star, who shot the film on location on Oahu and recently revisited the island on a working vacation with her family to promote the summer blockbuster’s home video release Oct. 20.
“I’m so, so, so, so incredibly pale. And both sets of both grandparents are redheads, so my parents would joke about that they would bring all of us into the dermatologist’s office when we were kids to get moles checked and stuff, and it was like the doctors were drooling,” she explains. “Like, ‘Ha, ha, ha! The children of two redheads! You’re going to be in here for the rest of your life, getting things cut out and lasered off.’ ”
Her parents, actor/filmmaker Ron Howard and author Cheryl Howard “instilled some good, early protective measures,” she notes, “[But] I remember there was a school fair that I went to when I was in third grade, and I got second and third degree burns on my shoulders. I still have, like, crazy freckles from it! And it all blistered and everything. I was like, ‘Okay. Not doing this ever again.'”
Both during her time on the Jurassic World set and while taking in the sights on her recent trip visiting popular tourist spots like Pearl Harbor, the ivory-skinned actress remained mindful of the intense tropical sunshine, using “just all the things that you would assume: lots of sunblock; I stayed under things; I would walk according to the path where there were trees above me or shade or buildings and all of that.”
Unfortunately, on the current trip, her husband, Salem actor Seth Gabel, hadn’t yet learned from her SPF-heavy example. “He went surfing yesterday,” she said with empathy, “and the backs of his legs are so red.”
Things got looser after sundown on their getaway with their two children Theo, 8, and Beatrice, 3: the couple was able to indulge in a date night when they and Jurassic co-stars BD Wong and Ty Simpkins joined a group of international journalists for a fun-filled luau at Kahuku’s Turtle Bay Resort, where both were lured onstage to show off their moves with a native dance troupe. After running through the jungle dodging dinosaurs in those infamous stilettos, Howard was happy to kick up her heels with an enthusiastic hula.
After Gabel joined a group of male guests for a not-so-pretty attempt at replicating some of the professional dancers’ exotic choreography he even doffed his shirt at the dancers’ behest Howard also couldn’t resist when she was asked to give it her best shot, swaying her hips and swinging Hawaiian tassels with abandon.
Prior to this most recent getaway, Howard told PEOPLE she’d rarely gotten a chance to explore the island paradise, having visited Hawaii “hardly at all” outside of her Jurassic shoot and a childhood trip with her actor/director father Ron Howard and their clan. “I went when I was a young kid once with my family to Maui, and then hadn’t been back as an adult or anything like that, so it was awesome.”
She admits she’s fallen for “so many things” about the Aloha state. “Honestly, it’s so beautiful, it’s unbelievable,” she says. “It’s beaches and jungle, and the air feels so clean. It’s epically beautiful, and the weather is so awesome It’s unpredictable in some ways too because it can be sunny one minute and raining the next. But it just feels good: like, the rain feels comforting, even. And then with the culture, it’s so laid back. There’s this thing called island time. And coming here, I felt instantly relaxed.”