‘Happy Days’ Star Ron Howard Explains How He Was Inspired to Make His New Documentary

by Shelby Scott

Happy Days” star Ron Howard remains much beloved for his iconic role in the classic TV sitcom. However, he’s more recently used his skills as a producer to create a meaningful new project. Ron Howard’s brand new documentary “We Feed People” follows Chef José Andres and his nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen. Around the globe, they work to provide food to those affected by natural disasters. Howard believed Andres’ charitable work would make for a moving film upon seeing him for the first time. Now, he’s revealing what exactly about the organization inspired him to create the new documentary.

In a recent Twitter post, Howard wrote, “One of the first times I saw @chefjoseandres was in New York at the UN.”

Given the nature of World Central Kitchen, the “Happy Days” star said the chef’s “messaging was a call to action.”

“That’s when I started thinking … maybe I need to make a documentary about this guy!”

Variety states Howard saw further inspiration to make a film about Andres and WCK after seeing the chef featured in another National Geographic film, “Rebuilding Paradise.”

“I just realized [Andres] was operating in conditions large and small, and I began following him on Instagram and Twitter and understanding how much the organization was growing,” Ron Howard said to the outlet. “I began to believe it could be a film.”

Ron Howard’s New Documentary Explores the Effects of COVID-19 Globally

As he shared with the news outlet, Andres and WCK are most frequently found aiding populations struck by natural disasters. However, “We Feed People” signified a unique project for the nonprofit as the majority of the filming took place at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Ron Howard’s new documentary shifted in two major ways.

First off, given the rate of infection early on, the film crew had to be extremely cautious about their health.

Howard explained, “During the period where our filmmaking team was most available, or where NatGeo had given us the most resources to cover the events, it wasn’t a period of a lot of storms. World Central Kitchen was largely focused on the COVID crisis.”

Not only then did the film crew face all-new challenges; Howard also saw the new documentary head in an entirely different direction.

[F]or them,” the “Happy Days” star explained, “[there] was a new application of strategy that was ever-shifting.”

As to his work on the documentary, Howard said, “a lot of what I was doing was what we could capture in the field, but also the past, present and anticipating the future.”

“We Feed People” saw its streaming debut on Disney+ on Friday. Ahead of the new documentary’s premiere, Ron Howard shared to Twitter, “It was an honor to make ‘We Feed People’ and bring the origin story of WCK to even more people’s attention…It’s an inspiring example of what a difference we as citizens can make.”