Ron Howard explained why he decided to become a director

Howard was always interested in the production end of filmmaking, even during his time as Opie Taylor.

Image: Everett Collection

Changing your career path is never easy, but Ron Howard knew that it was worth it, even at a young age.

In a 1995 interview with Fresh Air, Howard explained that he'd always been interested in the behind-the-scenes aspect of television, a passion that was evident during his time on The Andy Griffith Show

Howard said, "I loved hanging around with the camera crew. They were fascinating people. I liked seeing how the cinematographer lit the set, what lenses were chosen, and why."

During his time on The Andy Griffith Show, Howard was able to get a taste of every facet of the filmmaking process, but it wasn't long before he singled one out as his favorite. He stated, "It didn't take me long to realize that the director was the person who sort of got to hang out and play with everybody...The job just always attracted me."

Moreover, there were certain gains to being a director that simply didn't exist for an actor, though Howard stated he discovered that later. He said, "I appreciated the potential for the autonomy. Actors are always waiting to get hired, and if you're not an absolute superstar, you're sort of at everyone's beck and call."

Howard added that during his time as an actor, he evaluated himself and his career thus far, and didn't quite picture himself on the verge of the superstardom so many actors crave.

He said, "I wanted to have a little more control over my career and the work that I'd be doing." In addition to control, Howard also expressed the desire for more freedom, something he felt would be limited as an actor. He felt that because of his previous roles, he'd be destined to be typecast, whereas after becoming a director, the possibilities of what he wanted to work on were potentially limitless because he'd be calling the shots.

He said, "As a director, there were all kinds of stories I felt I could get involved with."

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8 Comments

Wiseguy70005 1 month ago
Supposedly he left Happy Days partly because Paramount wouldn't let him direct an episode. Imagine having a Happy Days episode directed by Ron Howard. MeTV would certainly put it on their top 3 picks of the week!
SrLerxst 1 month ago
True but mainly because he can't act.
logicgrrl SrLerxst 1 month ago
In your opinion.
Avie logicgrrl 1 month ago
The lightweight parts he played didn't require much acting ability, so we really don't know what kind of an actor he might've been, his range, had he been cast in more demanding parts. In any case, the transition from child actor to adult is difficult, one that few former child actors negotiate successfully.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Being a director can definitely open up new doors for actors. Ron is a GREAT example of that (-:
SrLerxst Runeshaper 1 month ago
True, but but mainly because it is obvious he is not a good actor.
knightwing SrLerxst 1 month ago
In your opinion only.
kozwoman SrLerxst 1 month ago
he was a great actor. Have you seen the episode of TAGS where Opie accidentally kills the bird? Have you seen the episode of MASH where he was an underage enlistee? Both showed his acting skills.
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