‘Happy Days’ Star Ron Howard Describes How He Chooses His Hollywood Projects

by Alex Falls

Ron Howard is certified Hollywood royalty. He’s come a long way from his humble beginnings as a member of the Happy Days cast. Now he’s a famed film director with several classics under his belt and multiple awards to his name. With so much experience in the business, Howard is a highly sought-after talent. But he makes his career choices entirely on the artistic merit of the project.

During a recent interview with US Weekly, Howard got a chance to reflect on the things he looks for when he’s choosing his future projects.

“It really begins with satisfying my curiosity, either creative curiosity, based on who I might be working with, or the themes of the story,” Howard said. “Maybe the problem, the crisis that the characters are facing in the world in which it’s unfolding. If my creative curiosity is satisfied, that’s very exciting for me.”

Even after a career spanning six decades, Howard still looks for artistic stimulation. He believes that’s the best way to connect with audience. Entertainment is important in film, but the audience also needs to sense the passion the filmmakers have behind the scenes.

“I have to believe that in sharing this with the audience, there’s something of value for them,” Howard said. “The entertainment, certainly. But also, a set of ideas that can be something that could be constructive, whether it’s celebrating a set of ideas or it’s a cautionary tale. I need to have that clearly in mind and sort of believe in the value of that aspect of telling a story.”

Ron Howard’s Biggest Career Takeaway

Howard has spent most of his career collaborating with producer, Bryan Grazer. Together, they founded Imagine Entertainment in 1985. He credits the people he works with as a major factor in the projects he looks for.

“And then, last but not least, just from a personal standpoint, it’s who am I going to get to work with and where,” Howard said. “I had a lot of fun working in Queensland on Thirteen Lives. It wasn’t the reason I did the movie, but I wound up having a fantastic experience there and we were able to accomplish a lot.”

The wealth of experience Howard has gained in his career is truly remarkable. But he wasn’t always the acclaimed filmmaker he is now. He used to be a fresh-faced actor on our TV screens. If given the chance to speak to his younger self, the biggest piece of advice he would offer is to never do things alone in this business.

“I would encourage my younger self to not feel intimidated by potential collaborators. No matter how esteemed or how powerful, but to recognize that at its very core, this is a collaborative business,” Howard said. “And if any of us as creative people or crew members, if we come prepared and we’re ready to work hard, then those who are more experienced, more established, will embrace that.”