Bryce Dallas Howard on Pursuing an Acting Career: “I hedged my bets like crazy”

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Actress Bryce Dallas Howard

And my grandmother said to me, “Do you know what the rate of the average working actor in SAG is, in terms of how many auditions it takes for them to get a job?” – Bryce Dallas Howard

 

Being the daughter of actor/director Ron Howard and the granddaughter of actress Jean Speegle Howard and director Rance Howard certainly doesn’t hurt Bryce Dallas Howard‘s acting career, but it was no guarantee that she’d be cast in big-budget films like Jurassic World and Pete’s Dragon.

Speaking with Moviefone, Howard reflected on some advice she received from her grandmother about the challenges of an acting career that has since colored her perception of her career. She says:

I think because I’m a third-generation actor, I really knew to not expect success at all. I knew the statistics. I knew how difficult it is. When I was a teenager, my grandparents — my dad’s parents — brought me to Vegas when I was 16 years old, because I could walk the floor, and my grandmother loved to play the nickel slot machine. And she knew I was doing high school plays, I was going to apply to NYU. They knew that I was definitely going to pursue it in some capacity.

And my grandmother said to me, “Do you know what the rate of the average working actor in SAG is, in terms of how many auditions it takes for them to get a job?” The average working actor, which means they’re making a living as an actor. I thought maybe one in 10. It was one in every 64 auditions.

So, going into my career that way, knowing the very real odds, having seen the ups and downs with my family, and also knowing that theirs was actually a success story, I hedged my bets like crazy. I was always working side jobs and saving as much as I could. When I first started working in theater, but in particular when I got my first break in film with M. Night Shyamalan, and that being my first movie, I was like, “Oh my goodness — this is crazy!”

Then getting to continue to work — while also I’ve had times away, during pregnancies and after giving birth, and all of that — and the fact that I’ve been able to continue to work is really a serious privilege, and exciting, and moving to me. It’s incredible. It’s really, really incredible.

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About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

1 Comment

  1. Great article which highlights what most already know, that just because you have famous parents, doesn’t guarantee you anything in this business. Sounds like Bryce went forward with her acting career knowing the realities of her odds of success. But just maybe she gets that success is in the journey and not at the destination. Bravo Bryce Dallas Howard, I will be looking for more success in your future acting career.

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