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We chat about Santa Monica, where I’ve lived for years and where Bryce and her family have recently moved from the posher Hollywood Hills. I didn’t want people to say I’d got a role because of my dad, but then later my parents asked me, “Aren’t you proud to come from our family? ” And I was like, “Omigosh, no, I am so proud of you guys!
‘We lived in a five-bedroom house and it didn’t feel appropriate for a couple with one kid; also it was too expensive in the recession. It was a big downsize and we’re much happier.’Acting was an obvious choice for Bryce, who dropped her surname at the start of her career because of concerns about nepotism, just calling herself Bryce Dallas (the Howard children have middle names after the places where they were conceived). ” She doesn’t deny the advantages of family connections, though.
The popular and upbeat 1970s/80s show about family life in the 50s ended when Bryce was a toddler, and Ron went on to become an Oscar-winning film-maker.
But when we meet for lunch to discuss Bryce’s own blossoming career – she has a romantic encounter with Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood’s powerful supernatural drama Hereafter – I can’t resist asking her what it was like growing up with the former child star. ‘Schoolfriends used to say, “What did you think of your dad in the show?
A serious Oscar contender penned by British screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen and Frost/Nixon), it tells three separate stories dealing with love, loss and the afterlife that converge towards the end of the drama.
When Chace (a redhead too) started bawling, Bryce offered to take care of her and joked that she was ‘adopting her’ because of the family resemblance.
‘There’s an inherent curiosity about “Ron Howard’s kid”.’ Whatever the impact of the Howard name, it was Bryce’s skill in nailing Rosalind in a New York production of As You Like It, aged 22, that kick-started her career, leading to her role in The Village, followed by Lars von Trier’s Manderlay, M Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water and Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of As You Like It. He has so much energy it is infectious and – this may seem completely obvious – he has a devout passion for Shakespeare.’ But it was the popcorn hits that placed her centre stage: Spider-Man 3, Terminator Salvation and her splashiest role so far, as the evil vampire Victoria in last year’s Twilight instalment Eclipse, opposite Kristen Stewart and heart-throbs Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, who were mobbed in Vancouver where they were filming.
‘The fans are very passionate,’ she says, ‘but Rob is totally humble and embarrassed about all the attention.’ She agrees that he is gorgeous.
‘It’s really hard, obviously, to go to work and leave Theo.
Sometimes I get the sense that it’s harder for me than it is for him because he is definitely a daddy’s boy, but juggling is something that I’m in the process of coming to terms with.’ Bryce comes from Hollywood royalty.
Despite a role opposite Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood’s latest film, she’s wonderfully unstarry with down-to-earth tastes and refreshingly old-fashioned views on marriage Bryce Dallas Howard is unmistakably her father’s daughter.