Ron Howard hasn’t appeared in a meaningful acting role since the 1986 TV movie Return to Mayberry, reprising his role of Opie Tyler from The Andy Griffith Show, preferring to sit in the director’s chair. It has worked out well for him, since he won Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for A Beautiful Mind along with directing several other popular films. But while appearing on Access Hollywood, Howard revealed when he would next appear on screen, as well as some advice for young actors from his decades of experience.
Not surprisingly, Howard’s first acting role in over two decades will involve a show he’s already intimately involved in. He confesses, “I would kind of like to act again — in fact, I don’t think I’m giving away too much to say I’m going to wind up on camera in the new Arrested Development episodes.” Howard served as the narrator during the initial 2003-2006 run of the critically acclaimed series, a role that he is reprising during the series’ return on Netflix.
Of course, Howard is a bit concerned about being rusty. He admits, “I’m a little nervous. I have to shoot my first scene [for Arrested Development] next week and I realized it’s been really a hell of a long time since I memorized any dialogue. I’ve become very used to being the one sitting [with my] arms folded in judgment and suddenly I’ll be back out there!”
But Howard has a secret weapon — his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard, who has grown up to be an acclaimed actress in her own right. Howard reveals that his daughter offered him her help, adding, “[Bryce] said, ‘You know, Dad, if you wanna run lines, come on by!'”
So if Bryce is willing to help her father get back into acting shape, when will Howard direct his daughter in a film? He clarifies that issues, pointing out, “People are always asking, ‘When will you direct Bryce?’… Of course I want to, but my joke reaction is to say, ‘I’ve never in my career had an actor or actress roll their eyes at me when they get directed.’ And I’m just a little concerned [eye-rolling] is hard-wired into our relationship!”
In addition, Howard refers to being in the spotlight since he started acting at five and through his teenage years on shows like Happy Days and movies like American Graffiti. Referring to the intense media scrutiny that today’s young stars are under, Howard says, “Let me just say, every so often something pops on the Internet and I am saying, ‘I’m glad it wasn’t around when I was 19 years old.’ It is intense and I think that you must be aware of it.”
Howard goes on to point out that while young celebrities might have dreamed about being famous, they likely didn’t dream about the price they would have to pay. He points out, “If you’re not sort of willing to understand that should I actually gain the profile that I’m dreaming of, along with it is going to come this other level of scrutiny.” He then adds that as much as technology has enriched our lives, it has also limited us. He says, “It’s a kind of funny thing of what technology has done. We didn’t need big brother to have ‘1984.’ We invited it into our lives because of all the other great things that come with it. And to me, there’s a tremendous irony that all of us face a measure, a level of scrutiny that we never had before.”