Ron Howard Names Who Can Get Him to Act Again

by Suzanne Halliburton
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

You loved Ron Howard as young Opie Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show. And he was the teenaged face of 1970s classic TV as Richie Cunningham on Happy Days.

But Howard, now 68, has impacted the large and small screen from behind the camera for the past four decades. Maybe he’d try acting again, but under very specific circumstances.

He told Variety what would get him in front of the camera. “If my daughter Bryce Dallas Howard wanted to hire me, that would be hard to say no to. Otherwise, it’s kind of hard to make time. It would be fun to act again.”

Maybe that’s not so far fetched. Read on.

Variety honored Ron Howard, Sunday, with its Legends and Groundbreakers Award. It was part of a brunch, Sunday, at the Newport Beach Film Festival Honors at the Balboa Bay Resort.

“I don’t think of myself in those terms, but it’s obviously incredibly flattering,” Howard said of the award. “To me, I think of the people who influenced me or mentored me.” 

Ron Howard Said Henry Fonda, George Lucas Influenced His Directing

Howard mentioned some big names who mentored him. About the whole time he was acting, he envisioned himself as a director. Legendary actor Henry Fonda, who portrayed Howard’s father in the series The Smith Family, discovered his TV son liked to write scripts. Fonda asked to see Howard’s work and the movies he shot on 8-mm film.

“He told me, ‘Whatever path you follow creatively, if you have the luxury to take real chances, do it. You better feel like you’re risking your career every couple of years or you’re not really honoring the medium or the audience or yourself,’” Ron Howard recalled of the advice Fonda gave him. “I was inspired by that. And I’ve tried to take on projects that took me out of my comfort zone.”

Ron Howard also gave credit to George Lucas. It was Lucas who discovered Howard from watching a pilot for what eventually became Happy Days. Lucas cast Howard in American Graffiti.

Howard released his newest project back in August. That was Thirteen Lives, which you can stream on Amazon Prime. It tells the story of the true-life Tham Luang cave rescue. This unfolded in 2018 after members of a junior-level soccer team became trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks. The soccer players ranged in age from 11 to 16. Their coach was 25.

Ron Howard said he’d consider acting again if his daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, offered him a part in one of her projects. California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Jurassic World Star Bryce Dallas Howard Acts and Directs

Variety asked Ron Howard if he wanted to revisit any past projects. He said he would be open to doing so, but “I’ve got probably more projects than I could ever manage to make that I’d still want to do.”

Meanwhile, his daughter is evolving from moving into acting. She was in a summer blockbuster, Jurassic World Dominion, which was released in June. And she’s also dipped into the world of Star Wars, directing episodes of The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian. She’s also directing the movie “The Flight of the Navigator.”

So maybe daughter will offer dad a part.