Watch: ‘Happy Days’ Star Ron Howard Does Hilarious Impersonation of Tom Hanks

by Chris Haney

Back in 2015, legendary director and former Happy Days star Ron Howard graced the world with a hilarious impersonation of iconic actor Tom Hanks.

Howard stopped by the CONAN show in December 2015 to promote his movie In the Heart of the Sea. Host Conan O’Brien brought up Hanks during their conversation. The pair have worked together on numerous occasions, with the actor starring in five of Howard’s movies over the years. They worked on 1984’s Splash, 1995’s Apollo 13, and all three movies of the Robert Langdon series.

The two Hollywood stars have known each other for almost 40 years. So they obviously know each other well. O’Brien brought up Hanks describing the director as “very excitable.” The actor says when Howard is describing an action scene to his cast, he amusingly gets very wound up. Evidently, Hanks has his own impersonation of Howard in those moments.

“Look, he likes to do these bits you know, where he kind of does a version of me,” Ron Howard explains to O’Brien.

The director then shares a hysterical example of Hanks impersonating him on-set. Howard’s impersonation of Hanks’ impersonation is spot on, but he also thinks Hanks is laying it on pretty thick.

“I think he’s exaggerating. In fact, I don’t think that represents me at all. But then I find myself directing him and I start doing, you know, his version of me directing him. So now it’s kind of engrained,” the director joked.

Although Howard disagrees with Hanks’ assessment, another famous actor backed up the story. Chris Hemsworth, the star of In the Heart of the Sea, agreed with Hanks about Howard’s directing.

“I was complaining about [Hanks’ impersonation], and [Chris Hemsworth] said, ‘No, that’s true because you did it with me,'” Howard said with a laugh.

Ron Howard Reveals How He Deals With Issues On-Set, Says He’s ‘Not Really a Yeller’

Anyone that’s ever seen Ron Howard act in his early days or in interviews since becoming a world-famous director would probably describe him as being a mild-mannered guy. O’Brien brought up the fact that many directors can be short-tempered since they have so much on their plate while filming.

The host noted that Howard doesn’t come off as the type of guy that would lose his temper. So he asked the director if there is anything on-set that does anger him.

“I don’t know, I’m not really a yeller. But you know, if people aren’t prepared or if they’re late. If they disrespect the process and a pattern is brewing. But I don’t yell at them,” Ron Howard said of his directing style.

“They just see that I’m upset. They’ll just kind of see a different look and that seems to be almost enough,” he continued.

Conan O’Brien pushed Howard a bit further on the subject. The host wanted to see what an angry Ron Howard on-set of one of his blockbuster movies would look like.

“You just look tired. You look tired and like the sun’s too bright, that’s all,” O’Brien joked of Howard’s facial expression.

“That’s enough, that’s enough to shake people up,” Howard responded.