Ron Howard Describes How His Parents Prepared Him to Be an Actor

by Blake Ells

Ron Howard and his brother Clint co-authored a memoir titled The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family. It’s a revealing glimpse into their lives growing up together and how they were raised. They’ve shared a lot about their parallel careers. We’ve learned about their relationships with their parents. Ron has shared how his parents prepared him to be an actor.

In one story about his youth, Ron recalls how his father would fake a boom mic “just so he’d be use to it” in case he was ever on a set.

“My very first audition, I was still only three-years-old,” Ron Howard explained to Seth Meyers. “And, you know, we learned the scene. Turned out he was incredibly gifted at basically teaching kids how to understand how to act. Not perform, but really understand what was going on in a scene. So I had memorized the scene, I had worked it out. It was for a movie called The Journey. He realized that for my screen test, there were going to be a lot of distractions. So he got an out of work acting buddy to come over and they hung a bucket from a string and he would move it around.”

Ron then demonstrates someone shaking around something overhead.

“‘Oh no. Don’t look up at that,'” he continued, referring to his father’s instructions. “‘Just look at the other actor.’ My mom had a cereal box, pretending to be a camera, that was kind of moving around. It was a little like Tiger Woods’s dad yelling in the backswing. But much kinder.”

Ron Howard Started Young

We all know that Ron Howard was just five-years-old when he starred on The Andy Griffith Show. But did you know he began his pursuit of acting as young as three? It seems pretty difficult to keep a three-year-old focused. Seth Meyers agreed.

“I will tell you this, I have a three-year-old and if there was a bucket in the room, forget it,” Meyers replied to everyone’s laughter. “If there was a bucket within eye sight, he’d be like, ‘What?'”

Ron Howard’s brother Clint chimed in.

“Mom and dad understood the distractions of the business,” Clint said. “Both the physical distractions and then the psychological distractions. And they were really good at heading those off, you know? They always – boy, they gave us so much confidence. Mom and dad gave us so much confidence. It was just – it was a beautiful life growing up. And also, it was a beautiful life being this guy’s little brother.”

Clint Howard placed his hand on Ron’s shoulder as the audience joined in a chorus of, “Awww.”

Ron Howard’s latest project, Thirteen Lives, is getting great reactions from fans of the filmmaker.