Ron Howard on what it would take for him to return to acting

The former child star is happy behind the camera now, but there's one thing that would get him back in front of it.

These days, Ron Howard is a powerhouse of a director with two Academy Awards, four Emmys, two Golden Globes and a slate of movies that have been box office hits and critical darlings. It seems like he was always destined for success.

However, in the early days of his career, people were doubtful of a child star stepping behind the camera. Actors directing is nothing new, but an actor becoming a critically-acclaimed, Oscar-winning director is much less common.

"I don't know that it was actively frowned upon, but people were skeptical about that being my dream," Ron Howard said on the Variety Awards Circuit podcast in 2022. "It was like I was from anywhere in the country wearing that T-shirt, 'what I really want to do is direct.' Actors would direct once in awhile... but they wouldn't commit themselves to it. And they didn't come from TV sitcoms, and they certainly hadn't been child actors who then make this their career."

Since going into directing, Howard has appeared onscreen now and again, but mostly in small cameo roles that he doesn't really consider "acting." "I've only ever just played myself," Howard said. "I had to play myself in a couple episodes of Arrested Development. I was grateful that virtually all my scenes were with Jason Bateman, and he's such a cool customer, so hitting on all cylinders as an artist and a talent made it easy for me to make that mini-comeback."

Howard said that he wasn't opposed to acting, but his directing career and running the production company that he co-founded, Imagine Entertainment, keeps him busy.

What would convince him to take on a "real" role where he wasn't playing himself? "It would probably be Bryce [Dallas Howard]," Howard said. Bryce, Ron Howard's daughter, has made her own respectable career, collecting accolades for her work on movies like The Help, Jurassic World, The Village and Rocketman. Recently, she's been dabbling in directing herself, mostly in the Star Wars franchise projects like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

"It would probably be Bryce directing something and saying 'Dad, I really need you to come in and do this,'" Howard said. "[That would] get me in the makeup chair and in front of the camera."

It wouldn't be just any role, though. "She's very astute and meticulous, so unless I'm right for something, it ain't happening. I'm sure there would be an audition. I would be a little disappointed if she didn't."

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14 Comments

JohnnyWalker 9 months ago
Credit to Metv for not expanding time of the show to fit in more ads. Tv land turns what's supposed to be 30 minute shoe into 36 minutes just so they can shove more ads in. TV shows have 22 minutes of content that allows for 8 minutes of commercials. But TV land does 16 minutes of ads during Andy Griffith and they play the same shows over and over. "Opie and the Birdman" the "pickle" show..the ones w Ellie and a few others. They do the 36 minute shows at night too w King of Queens. Not so much w Raymond i guess but it's out of hand. Props to metv for not doing that...that I notice.
Wiseguy70005 JohnnyWalker 8 months ago
Are you sure they aren't showing the complete episode plus commercials in the extended time slot?
It's against FCC rules to show more than a certain amount of commercials per hour. By the way, MeTV shows Perry Mason at night in a 65-miunute time slot.
Suzies1952 9 months ago
I’ve been enjoying having mash on for two hours!, I hope it stays that way, I watch mash 6 days a week and never get tired of watching it also I love watching cartoons every morning with bill and toony and on Saturday mornings just wish you would show more tweety cartoons, he’s my favorite looking forward to woody woodpecker cartoons starting soon too hahahaha hahahaha!!
Runeshaper 9 months ago
It's amazing how children can get you to do anything! LOL
WordsmithWorks 9 months ago
I don't imagine Howard's daughter would make her dad audition. But you never know.
cperrynaples 9 months ago
Fun Fact: Bryce has said he would let her father direct her, but only if it was a role only SHE could play!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 9 months ago
She NOT he! Another slip of the finger!
Mblack 9 months ago
Get the whole family in a movie, if Rance is stiol around.

They could remake Parenthood
cperrynaples Mblack 9 months ago
Actually it has been remade...on TV! There was a sitcom version in 1990 and a dramatic version 20 years later!
rockaria Mblack 9 months ago
Rance passed away in 2017, but Clint is still around.
LoveMETV22 9 months ago
Excellent article - Thank You MeTV Staff:
A well liked and respected actor. Enjoy most all of the films he has directed. The last comment mentioning his daughter was very sweet and also respectful of her talent.
teire LoveMETV22 9 months ago
He’s long reminded me of the old school movie directors, does multiple genres well.
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