Bryce Dallas Howard was born on 2nd March 1981 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Cheryl (née Alley), a writer, and Hollywood actor-director Ron Howard. Her paternal grandparents were actors Jean Speegle Howard and Rance Howard and her uncle is actor Clint Howard; her godfather is actor Henry Winkler, who co-starred on Happy Days with her father.
Bryce and her younger sisters, twins Jocelyn and Paige, and their younger brother, Reed, were raised away from the world of showbusiness. Their parents didn’t allow them access to television and instead encouraged reading, outside play, and hobbies. Nevertheless, all four Howard children can be seen as extras in some of their father’s films, including Parenthood and Apollo 13.
Bryce grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she graduated from Greenwich Country Day School in 1996. When she was in ninth grade at Greenwich Country Day School, she performed as Miss Adelaide in the musical Guys and Dolls, and in a variety show with her own unique version of Leiber and Stoller’s “I Am A Woman.” She later attended Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York, where she performed in a number of shows on their stage, and graduated in 1999. Howard also attended Stagedoor Manor, a performing arts camp in upstate New York, with one of her good friends, actress Natalie Portman.
After graduating from high school, Howard studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for three years, during which time she also attended the Stella Adler Conservatory, The Experimental Wing, and International Theatre Wing in Amsterdam. During her schooling, Bryce took part in the concept recording of the Broadway-bound musical, A Tale of Two Cities. She graduated with her BFA in Drama in 2003. Howard is also an alumna of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s prestigious School at Steppenwolf in Chicago and The Actors Center in New York City.
Bryce appeared in several of her father’s films as an extra before her feature film début came in director Alan Brown’s 2004 drama, Book of Love. She also appeared in numerous productions on the New York stage, but her breakthrough role came in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, which she was cast in without having to audition after Shyamalan saw her in a Broadway show. Following that, Howard was cast by Lars Von Trier to replace Nicole Kidman as Grace in Manderlay, in which did her first nude scene.
She collaborated again with Shyamalan in the 2006 release Lady in the Water, in which she plays Story, a type of water nymph called a “narf.”
In 2006 she starred as Rosalind in Kenneth Branagh’s film version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, opposite David Oyelowo as Orlando. The film played theatres in Europe, but went directly to cable. Bryce was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance.
Later in 2006, Bryce married Seth Gabel (Dirty Sexy Money) in Hollywood, Florida, whom she had met at New York University and dated for five years. They currently live in Hollywood. Bryce and Seth Gabel welcomed their first child, a son named Theodore Norman Howard Gabel, nicknamed Theo on February 16, 2007. In May, Howard introduced her son by sharing a photo of him on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In May 2007 she appeared as Peter Parker’s new love interest Gwen Stacy in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. She dyed her naturally red hair blonde for the role (while the naturally blonde Dunst’s hair is dyed red for the role of Mary Jane Watson). Howard won the role and beat out Elisha Cuthbert and Sienna Miller for the part. This is the first role Bryce took home a $1million pay check.
Until recently, she had been a devoted vegan since Joaquin Phoenix, her The Village co-star, showed her a documentary on animal cruelty called Earthlings, for which he had provided the narration at the request of Nation Earth. However, in August 2006, Howard announced that she had switched her diet from vegan to vegetarian in order to help her boost her amino acid levels in preparation for pregnancy.
Bryce starred in the lead role in the 2009 film, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, co-starring Chris Evans, Ellen Burstyn and David Strathairn. She landed the role after Lindsay Lohan dropped out. Bryce later played the role of Kate Connor in 2009’s Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. In 2009, Bryce landed the role of Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and was released in 2010. She considered Victoria to be an “incredible character” and was a fan of the book series beforehand.
In late 2009, Bryce was cast in Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, released in 2010. When Bryce first read the Hereafter script, she was “hooked on it.” “It’s personal for me because a lot of my family members actually have that ability. It’s kind of wild.”
In January 2011, Bryce became the celebrity ambassador for designer Kate Spade. She starred in the 2011 film, The Help, and received critical acclaim for her performance. Bryce was nominated for many Best Supporting Actress Awards and won awards that were shared with the entire cast. Bryce later teamed up with her father to help produce Gus Van Sant’s Restless. In 2011, she had a supporting role opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the dramedy, 50/50. The film was based on a true story and Bryce stated about 50/50‘s take on its heavy subject matter, “it’s viewing that experience through a very truthful lens of humor.” Also in 2011, Bryce announced that she would be directing a film, The Originals. She co-wrote the screenplay with her brother-in-law Dane Charbonneau and this would be her feature directorial debut. Bryce directed the short film When You Find Me, a social film that was developed through a collaboration with Canon.
Bryce recently starred as Claire in the 2015 American science fiction adventure film, Jurassic World. She has been praised for her performance in the film. Bryce is now currently filming the upcoming 2016 film, Gold, with Matthew McConaughey. She will also be starring as Grace in Pete’s Dragon (2016).
In her free time, Bryce loves to write. In 2006 she wrote and directed a short film, Orchids, starring Alfred Molina as part of Glamour magazine’s “Reel Moments” series funded by Cartier and FilmAid International.
Throughout 2008 Bryce has been spending time with her son, Theo and Husband Seth and working off her pregnancy weight in preparation for filming of Terminator 4, beginning the end of the year.
“I’ve learned to think in terms of having a long career. Actors can have very long careers that last until the day we die, but there will be moments when you’ll feel like you’re a failure or when you’re disappointed in yourself. I’ve learned from my dad that those feelings don’t mean you should stop what you’re doing. They mean you should try even harder; you should push even further. Perhaps because of failure, you’re getting even closer to your ultimate goal.”