Bryce Dallas Howard is the daughter of a very famous man in Hollywood — director Ron Howard, but she is becoming an industry heavy-weight in her own right.
Howard, who was married last August and gave birth to her son Theo in February, stars in the box-office smash “Spider-Man 3” as Gwen Stacy — Mary Jane’s rival for Spider-Man’s affection.
The film required Howard, who grew up in Greenwich, Conn., to do some risky stunts – like falling out of a building. A crane blows through her office building and she ends up suspended over Fifth Avenue. All this happened during the very beginning of her pregnancy — before even knew she was carrying a child. She found out soon there after.
“Well, I was really scared,” she told Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. “At first I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I should have known.’ I felt so irresponsible. But it was O.K. He was very — he was like practically just conceived, so thank God, it was okay.”
Theo is doing well, Howard said. He sleeps through the night and eats well. He has also taught his mother how to be flexible.
“You have certain expectations and things that you want to be just a certain way,” she said. “And then you realize that it can’t be the way that you expect it…I would be hard on myself or really disappointed, and then you just — if you just kind of let go of all that and really be present with your child and just do the best you can at every given moment, then, you know, then things usually turn out, hopefully.”
Her director father loves being a grandfather. Howard said the director, a father of four, is very nurturing and having an infant around has brought out a “youthful side of him.”
“I mean, he’s behaving almost like a kid again,” she said.
Howard, who studied drama at New York University, said that playing Gwen Stacy was fun because she completely changed her look from a red-head to bleach blonde to play the flirty and devious Gwen Stacy.
“I never really dyed my hair anything significant from my natural hair color,” she said. “I was bleaching it every 10 days because my roots were like, ‘I’m a redhead, please, I’m a redhead!’ It was unreal. My husband was just like, hmm, ‘I kind of like this.'”
Category: Spider-Man 3
Being the daughter of Ron Howard, Bryce Dallas Howard could be considered Hollywood royalty, but you would never know it. In person she is probably one of the most down to earth people you could ever meet. Howard, who plays Gwen Stacy in ‘Spider-Man 3’, was thrilled to take on the role. “I was so excited. I love this franchise. I was a huge fan of the first film. When I saw the second film I was completely blown away. I liked it better than the first, which I didn’t think was possible. I became one of those people who started going on the Internet seeing what are the rumors and what’s going on. When I found out they were having another female character I was all over that.”
Howard did a great deal of prep for the role, but in her research of the character she found a few surprises. “When I did start doing research and a picture popped on the Internet, I thought, are you serious? They really want to cast me? She has a specific look and I never envisioned myself doing or being able to do. There were a lot of hair and make-up meetings.” Howard who is a natural redhead had to go blonde for the film. So do blondes have more fun? “Well I feel comfortable as a red-head because that what I am naturally, but I had fun getting to do it. I got a lot of attention at grocery stores, like a lot of people coming up to me saying do you need some help ma’am.”
In the film there is an intense action sequence that Howard had to prepare for, that took months to shoot. “That was so much fun to shoot. They built a three or four story structure inside a sound stage that would just collapse and they would set it all back up again. They put a harness on me, but they really let me fall. I was scared so there was no acting involved in that scene literally.”
The natural redhead goes blonde and reads comics to ensure an accurate performance in the new superhero film.
In the world of SPIDER-MAN comic books, Peter Parker’s first love was Gwen Stacy. Gwen met an untimely death at the hands of the Green Goblin, and at some point after that Mary Jane Watson became the love of Peter’s life. In the movies, director Sam Raimi chose not to introduce Gwen in the first film, so as not to confuse younger fans who only know that in the comics Spider-Man is married to Mary Jane. Two movies later, Raimi finally introduces Gwen Stacy played by Bryce Dallas Howard in SPIDER-MAN 3. iF MAGAZINE talked to the natural redhead about joining such a tight ensemble cast, having fun as a blonde, and dangling from a harness for weeks at a time.
iF MAGAZINE: How excited were you to join this project?
BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: I was so excited. I’m a huge fan of this franchise. I loved the first film and I saw the second film and was completely blown away because I felt like it was better than the first, which I didn’t know was possible. I became one of those people who was going online to see what rumors about the third one were, and when I saw that they were talking about having another female character, I was all over that.
iF: When you researched Gwen in the comics, she is most famous for her death. Were you expecting to die?
HOWARD: I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, and the script did change a lot, but there was never an incarnation where that actually occurred. I have to say when I did start doing research and I found a picture of her on the Internet, I thought, ‘Are they sure they want to cast me as this character?’ because she had such a specific look and it wasn’t anything I ever saw myself doing or being able to do. There was a lot of hair meetings and make-up meetings.
iF: Do blondes really have more fun?
HOWARD: It was a lot of fun. It really was. Obviously, I feel more comfortable as a redhead because that’s what I am naturally. I got a lot of attention is grocery stores as a blonde, though. People would come up and offer help all the time. [Laughs.]
We had a chance to catch up with Bryce Dallas Howard and talk to her about playing Gwen Stacy in Spiderman 3. She most recently starred in the M. Night Shyamalan film Lady in the Water opposite Paul Giamatti, followed by Kenneth Branagh’s forthcoming adaptation of the Shakespeare classic “As You Like It” for HBO Films, in which she stars as Rosalind opposite Kevin Kline and Alfred Molina. Prior to that, she appeared opposite Willem Dafoe and Danny Glover in the Lars von Trier film Manderlay, the filmmaker’s follow-up to Dogville. Manderlay premiered at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Howard made her feature film debut starring in the M. Night Shyamalan film The Village opposite Adrien Brody, Joaquin Phoenix, and Sigourney Weaver. After leaving the Tisch School of the Arts program at New York University, Howard immediately began working on the New York stage. Her stage work includes the role of Marianne in the Roundabout’s Broadway production of “Tartuffe;” Rosalind in the Public Theatre’s “As You Like It;” Sally Platt in the Manhattan Theater Club’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s “House/Garden;” and as Emily in the Bay Street Theater Festival production of “Our Town.”. Here is what she had to say:
Q: You looked great as a blonde.
Bryce: Oh, thank you. They worked very hard in the make-up trailer.
Q: Do blondes have more fun?
Bryce: Is blonde more fun? I don’t know. I was only a blonde for six months and the entire time I was working, but I had a great time working.
Q: You had to read the comic books and take the character from the pages. How hard is that with a comic book character?
Bryce: Not difficult because, primarily, this character was created in the late ‘60’s, early ‘70’s so there’s been so much analysis done since and so many, almost like thesis papers written about her, so I wasn’t only reading the comic books. I was also reading what everyone thought about her and their beliefs about her. So, I got to have a lot of information from that; their interpretations of her. What was a little tricky to navigate was, in the comic book, what she’s known as is Peter Parker’s first love and, in this franchise, she’s coming in while Peter Parker in still in a very intense, important relationship with Mary Jane. So, I wanted to make sure that, when I came in, I wasn’t acting like some kind of man-stealing tart [laughs]. I was a woman that really, potentially could have that kind of future relationship with Peter Parker. Who knows what will ultimately happen? But, that was the kind of tone that I wanted to create.
A few Spider-Man 3 clips are up here. They are very short scenes from the movie, some of you might consider them spoilers, so if you do, don’t watch them. I will add some caps to the gallery later.
Thanks to John over at Kirsten-Dunst.Org we have some Premiere details:
Tokyo on April 16th
London on April 23rd
Rome on April 24th
Berlin on April 25th
Madrid on April 25th
Stockholm on April 26th
Moscow on April 26th
Paris on April 27th
New York on April 30th
I’m afraid we have no confirm details on which ones Bryce will be attending… we will let you know as soon as we do!