Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is almost ready to find a way into our cinemas as well as our hearts. One of the many new canon additions that this fifth installment will bring is the character of Dr. Zia Rodriguez, played by Daniella Pineda.
Yahoo recently released an interview that they moderated with the up and coming actress, mostly known for TV series The Detour and The Originals. During the interview, Pineda revealed a detail about her character that was left on the cutting room floor.
**WARNING: There are minor spoilers for Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom below. If you want to go into this film completely cold, then it's time for your life to not find a way into the rest of this article.**
Pineda's Dr. Rodriguez is a paleo-veternarian in the film, and she accompanies returning characters Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) on their mission back to Isla Nublar. The film originally contained a scene that revealed that Dr. Rodriguez was a lesbian, but this scene no longer appears in the film.
The scene would have happened fairly early in the film, when Zia and Owen find themselves riding together in a military transport. They are getting to know each other, and Zia gauges Owen, pointing out some of his handsome features. She then would have said, "I don't date men, but if I did, it would be you. It would gross me out, but I'd do it."
The moment was conceived by director J.A. Bayona and producer/co-writer Colin Trevorrow, and was eventually cut by them. According to Pineda, the movie was running way too long, and this character beat did not serve the larger story in any meaningful way. As she says, "it was a little glimmer into who she is."
Whether or not the movie was running long, this is another instance in a long line of instances where the notion of a character's sexuality is either cut, only given lip service, or given a "kind of there, but not really" treatment. Much ado was made over LeFou being gay in the Disney remake of Beauty and the Beast, but it's a very tiny moment. Thor: Ragnorok completely ignored the sexuality of Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie. And then there's the ongoing saga of Albus Dumbledore's sexuality in the Wizarding World— we've been told he is gay by J.K. Rowling, but we've never read about it or seen it in a film. In fairness to Rowling, she's got three more movies to write, so who knows if the lip service will turn into actual service.
Pineda recognizes that her character is a small part of a bigger picture, but does say that she liked the "insight" that the scene gave her character. If her character returns for the next installment in the franchise, she hopes that Zia's sexuality will find a way to make it into the movie.
Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom opens Friday, June 22. It will not contain any mention of Zia's sexuality, but it will contain dinosaurs. Adjust your expectations accordingly.