Hollywood actresses often feel pressure to bounce back into shape after having a baby – but Bryce Dallas Howard was actually encouraged to keep on the baby weight.
Howard had recently given birth to son Theo, now 2, when McG, the director of Terminator Salvation, offered her the role of Kate, the wife of the film's hero John Connor, played by Christian Bale.
"I had a pregnant body with no child in it," she told PEOPLE at the movie's Los Angeles premiere Thursday.
Howard, 28, says she was offered the part over the phone, so wasn't sure how to tell her director about her post-baby figure. "I was so excited, but then was just kind of waiting to tell him, 'I'm not in great shape right now,' " she says. But when she did break the news to McG, "He said, 'Oh, that's okay. [Kate's] really pregnant. That'll be even better.' " (read more)