Here's what Ron Howard learned on the set of ''Andy Griffith Show''
Andy Griffith's motto was "I don't want the public to laugh at us; I want them to laugh with us."
Child stars often get a bad rep in show business. Because their adolescence is shaped by Hollywood glamour that many of us can only dream of, it tends to affect younger actors, for better or for worse. Ron Howard is an example of one of the better child actors, forever remembered as sweet Opie and youthful Richie, but perhaps even better celebrated for his work as a director.
It turns out that when making the journey from child star to successful adult with little to no speed bumps, it's helpful to have a role model there to guide you through the change. For Ron, that role model, both on and off the screen, was none other than Andy Griffith. According to an article for The Los Angeles Times, Howard spoke at a Griffith tribute at the Mount Airy Mayberry Days Celebration in a series of pre-recorded statements. Ron Howard stated that Griffith had a lasting impact on him, speaking both personally and professionally.
Howard said, "Andy's impact on my life and my approach to my work really can't be measured." He continued, "The balance that he sustained between focused, creative effort and this overt, playful enjoyment that he got out of working hard with people that he liked, doing a show he loved, was something that I hope I'll always remember and emulate."
Howard also said that Griffith had a motto: "I don't want the public to laugh at us; I want them to laugh with us." Certainly helpful in the moves to get the audience to laugh with the show was the injection of real-life elements into the fictional town of Mayberry, along with original ideas from the cast, including little Ron Howard. Howard claimed that Griffith made him, then a young child on set, "feel safe, comfortable enough to participate and then to be able to witness and learn so much about the collaborative process — the value of originality, the discipline of form and the bursts of individual inspiration that good moments and scenes are built on."