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Bryce Dallas Howard (born March 2, 1981) is an American film actress, writer and director. The daughter of director Ron Howard, she made her acting debut in her father's film Parenthood (1989) and went on to have small roles in films and make stage appearances for the next several years. During this time she also attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, later getting a BFA and went to drama schools. After she came to the attention of M. Night Shyamalan, he cast her in what would be her breakout film, The Village (2004) and then in Lady in the Water (2006). Her performance in As You Like It (2006) earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination.

Howard became more recognizable to audiences as Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3 (2007) and as Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010). Those two projects, as well as Terminator Salvation (2009), are among her most financially successful movies, but all three garnered mixed reviews from the press. Her most recent films are The Help(2011) and 50/50 (2011), both of which were critical and box office successes.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Conceived in Dallas, Texas – the source of her middle name[1] – Howard was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of writer Cheryl Alley and actor-director Ron Howard, on March 2, 1981.[2] Her paternal grandparents are actors Rance Howard and Jean Speegle Howard; her uncle is actor Clint Howard;[2] and her godfather is actorHenry Winkler,[3] who co-starred on Happy Days with her father.[1] Howard and her younger sisters, twins Jocelyn Carlyle Howard and Paige Carlyle Howard (born 1985), and their younger brother, Reed Cross Howard (born 1987), were named after the places they were conceived.[2] All of the Howard children were raised away from the world of show business. Their parents did not allow them access to television[1] and instead encouraged outdoor activities and hobbies. At the age of 7, however, she was allowed to be an extra in her father's movies.[4] In an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Howard mentioned that she and her siblings were babysat by family friend Tom Cruise on several occasions.[5] She was raised in WestchesterNew York and on a farm in Greenwich, Connecticut.[1][4][6]

Howard attended Stagedoor Manor, a performing arts camp in upstate New York, with actress Natalie Portman.[2] After graduating from high school, she studied at New York University's (NYU) Tisch School of the Artsfor three years, during which time she also attended the Stella Adler Conservatory, The Experimental Wing, and International Theatre Wing in Amsterdam.[7] During her schooling, she took part in the concept recording of the Broadway-bound musical A Tale of Two Cities.[8] She graduated with her BFA in Drama in 2003.[2] Howard is also an alumna of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's School at Steppenwolf in Chicago, and of The Actors Center in New York City.[7] During her time in New York, Howard was also a member of downtown theater company Theater Mitu, in residence at New York Theatre Workshop, who are known for their exploration of theatrical forms.[7][9] When she had applied to drama schools she dropped her last name to avoid special treatment because of her father. She later had second thoughts because she felt her first and middle name combined made her sound like a porn star.[2]

Career[edit]Edit

1989–2006[edit]Edit

[1][2]Howard with Shyamalan in 2006

After her film debut, Parenthood, as an uncredited extra,[4] Howard played an extra in her father's critically lauded Apollo 13 (1995) and the 2000 holiday live action Universal Studios film How the Grinch Stole Christmas.[10] While on her father's film sets, she would often socialize with the crew rather than the actors.[1] For the next several years, Howard appeared in New York plays. Among these were House and Garden, a 2002 Alan Ayckbourn production held at the Manhattan Theatre Club, in which she portrayed a disdainful, flirtatious teen.[10] While performing as Rosalind in the critically acclaimed 2003 William Shakespeare comedy production As You Like It, Howard caught the eye of director M. Night Shyamalan.[10] Howard was not familiar with the play and was cast just one day before it started.[11] She then starred in the Alan Brown-directed 2004 dramaBook of Love, about a young woman having an affair with a lonely teenage boy, destroying her marriage. It was generally ignored by critics and movie goers alike.[12]

Her breakthrough role came in Shyamalan's fantasy thriller The Village (2004).[13] When Kirsten Dunst could not commit to the schedule,[9] Howard was cast without having to audition two weeks after Shyamalan first saw her onstage.[1] Its story is about a "turn-of-the-20th-century" village whose residents live in fear of the creatures inhabiting the woods beyond it. She plays the female lead, the chief's blind daughter and love interest to Joaquin Phoenix's part. Her performance was applauded by critics and Howard was nominated for several awards, mostly in the category of "Best Breakthrough Performance".[6] The Village did well commercially, but had a mixed reception.[14][15] Following that, Howard was cast by Lars Von Trier to replace Nicole Kidman as Grace Mulligan in Manderlay, the 2005 sequel to Dogville (2003). Set in a plantation, the director said that it is "quite clear" his movie can be seen as an allusion to the Iraq War.[16] Manderlay was a box office bomb, making only $674,000 of its $14.2 million production budget.[17]

Howard reunited with Shyamalan for Lady in the Water, in which she acts as Story, a type of water nymph called a narf. Howard wore minimal clothing for the part.[13] The 2006 fantasy film release also stars Paul Giamatti as the co-lead. Shyamalan's project follows the story of Giamatti's character rescuing what he thinks is a young woman (Howard) from his pool. Once he discovers that she is actually a character from abedtime story who is trying to get back home, he teams up with his tenants to protect her from creatures that try to keep her in their world. It underperformed at the box office, falling short of its $75 million budget, and got largely negative reviews from critics.[18][19] When asked about what message she hoped viewers would get from the film, Howard said "I would say it's very simple - it's that if you have faith, all that is meant to be will happen."[13] Next, she once again played Rosalind in Kenneth Branagh's 2006 film version of Shakespeare's As You Like It. It played in theatres in Europe before going directly to cable in the United States, premiering on HBO.[11] Howard was nominated for a Golden Globe Award at the 2008 ceremony.[20] The project got soundly negative reviews from the British media,[21] while American reviewers gave it more favorable notice.[22] Writing in USA Today, Robert Bianco observed: "As Rosalind, the show's leading lady, Bryce Dallas Howard is a bit uncontrolled, particularly compared with such more precise co-stars as Alfred MolinaDavid Oyelowo and Brian Blessed. But she's incredibly appealing, and that in itself sells the love story."[23] That year, she wrote and directed a short film, Orchids, as part of Glamour magazine's "Reel Moments" series funded by Cartier and FilmAid International.[24]

2007–present[edit]Edit

[3][4]Howard at the WonderCon 2009

In 2007, Howard starred in her first blockbusterSpider-Man 3 as Peter Parker's classmate Gwen Stacy, a fan favorite.[25] A challenge that came with playing Gwen was reminding fans of the good-intentioned character who was Peter's first love in the comics, yet came off as "the other woman" in the movie.[25] Howard dyed her naturally red hair blonde for the role and performed many of her own stunts, unaware that she was several months pregnant.[26] Grossing $890 million, it is her most profitable movie As of 2013.[27][28] Terminator Salvation was her next project.[29] Cast in June 2008, she replaced Charlotte Gainsbourg as Kate Connor.[30] Howard was already a fan of the series.[31] It grossed a total of $370 million,[29] but was not well received critically.[32]

Howard starred as the lead character in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond in 2009. Based on a 1957 screenplay by Tennessee Williams, it did not play at many theaters.[33] A big career point for Howard was playing the role of Victoria, a vampire seeking revenge, in the Twilight series' third installment The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.[4] She landed the part after Rachelle Lefevre was dropped due to a scheduling conflict and filming started in August 2009.[34] Howard had already been a huge fan of the books and considered Victoria to be an "incredible character".[33] Released on June 30, 2010 the film made nearly $700 million[35] and although reviews were mixed,[36] critics did take a liking to Howard in her role.[37][38] In December 2009, Howard was cast in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter (2010),[39] as a burgeoning love interest of Matt Damon's character.[40] When Howard first read the script to Hereafter, she was hooked on it, having been attracted to its central character (Damon) – a reclusive man with the ability to speak to the deceased. "It's personal for me because a lot of my family members actually have that ability. It's kind of wild," Howard said.[40]

In early January 2011, Howard became the first celebrity ambassador for purse designer Kate Spade.[41] Her first film of 2011 was The Help, a movie adaption of Kathryn Stockett's 2009 best-selling novel of the same name.[42] Howard then teamed up with her father to help produce Gus Van Sant's Restless, a dark coming of age movie about a teenage boy and girl who are engrossed with death.[43] She had a supporting role opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the cancer dramedy 50/50, which was based on a true story. "It’s viewing that experience through a very truthful lens of humour", she stated of 50/50's take on its heavy subject matter.[44] Both films had September releases. Also in 2011, she announced that she would be directing a film called The Originals. She co-wrote the screenplay with her brother-in-law Dane Charbonneau and described it as "a Breakfast Club for my generation". This would mark her feature directorial debut.[45]

Howard has recently finished directorial duties for the short film When You Find Me, a social film developed through a collaboration with Canon. The film was developed under the premise of gathering inspiration through images selected from a photography contest. 96,362 entries[46] were accepted, while only eight final images were selected to be utilized for the production of the film.[47]

Personal life[edit]Edit

Howard became a devoted vegan when Joaquin Phoenix, a co-star in The Village, showed her a documentary on animal cruelty called Earthlings.[2] However, in August 2006, Howard announced that she had switched her diet from vegan to vegetarian in order to help boost her amino acid levels in preparation for her pregnancy. Due to a rare medical condition she developed after her pregnancy, she now eats meat.[48] She is also slightly superstitious.[49]

During her senior year of high school, Howard learned of and fell in love with existentialism. "I was like, 'This is it! This is my religion.' I had never felt a connection to any sort of spirituality before that. It was very basic - you're responsible for the choices that you make - but it was mind-blowing at the time."[1] Her hobby is writing[31] and she is good friends with Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal.[2] Howard has said that she gets "freaked out" by "the Hollywood scene" and has never had a sip of alcohol in her entire life. She credits seeing the negative effects of alcoholism in her family as the reason behind the decision. "When I was in high school, I would never go to parties because I would be embarrassed to say no. Consequently, I had almost no social group," Howard recalled.[1]

Marriage and family[edit]Edit

[5][6]Howard at the Spider-Man 3 premiere

On June 17, 2006, Howard married actor Seth Gabel,[25] with whom she now lives in Hollywood, California.[50] The two met at New York University[11] and dated for five years.[2][25] She had only one previous boyfriend and claims to have pursued Gabel vigorously after first meeting him.[4][51][52] They had planned to start a family together in their 30s.[4] However, seven days after their wedding, she learned that she was expecting their first child.[53] Howard gave birth to their child, a son named Theodore Norman Howard-Gabel, nicknamed Theo, on February 16, 2007.[2][49] Theo's godfather is actor Josh Gad.[54] Howard openly discussed having experienced post-partum depression. Howard had difficulty breast-feeding, which she found to be more painful than experiencing natural child birth and would often cry in the shower.[53] Rather than refer to her son by his name, she would call him "it". Feeling overwhelmed and unable to make decisions, Howard also felt not only disconnected from her husband and baby, but herself as well.[4] With the help of a physician and a therapist she recovered from the depression,[53] which lasted for about 18 months.[4] Howard said of the depression in 2010,

Do I wish I had never endured post-partum depression? Absolutely. But to deny the experience is to deny who I am. I still mourn the loss of what could have been, but I also feel deep gratitude for those who stood by me, for the lesson that we must never be afraid to ask for help, and for the feeling of summer that still remains.[53]

Howard gave birth to the couple's second child, daughter Beatrice Jean Howard-Gabel, on January 19, 2012.[55]

Filmography[edit]Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Parenthood Redhead girl in audience Extra
1995 Apollo 13 Girl in yellow dress
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Surprised Who
2004 Book of Love Heather
The Village Ivy Elizabeth Walker
2005 Manderlay Grace Margaret Mulligan
2006 As You Like It Rosalind
Lady in the Water Story
Orchids Short film

Co-writer, director

2007 Spider-Man 3 Gwen Stacy
2008 Good Dick Kissing woman[56] Cameo
2009 Terminator Salvation Kate Connor
The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond Fisher Willow
2010 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Victoria
Hereafter Melanie
2011 The Help Hilly Holbrook
50/50 Rachael
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Victoria Archive footage cameo
2013 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film TV film

Director

2015 Jurassic World Bethany "Beth"

Awards and nominations[edit]Edit

Year Award Category Film Result
2005 Online Film Critics Society Awards[57] Best Breakthrough Performance The Village Nominated
Empire Award[58] Best Actress Nominated
Best Newcomer Nominated
MTV Movie Award[59] Best Breakthrough Female Nominated
Teen Choice Award[60] Choice Movie Scary Scene Nominated
2006 Robert Award Best Actress in a Leading Role Manderlay Nominated
2008 Golden Globe Awards[20] Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television As You Like It Nominated
2010 Teen Choice Award[61] Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure Terminator Salvation Nominated
2011 MTV Movie Award[62] Best Fight(shared with cast members Xavier Samuel and Robert Pattinson) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Villain Nominated
Black Film Critics Circle Best Ensemble The Help Won
Black Reel Award Best Ensemble Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Ensemble Won
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Ensemble Nominated
Hollywood Film Festival Ensemble of the Year Won
2012 MTV Movie Award[63] Best Cast(shared with cast members Emma StoneViola DavisJessica Chastain, and Octavia Spencer) Nominated
Best Jaw Dropping Moment Nominated
Best Villain Nominated
NAACP Image Awards[64] Outstanding Supporting Actress Nominated
National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Best Acting by an Ensemble Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Supporting Actress Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Award Best Performance by an Ensemble Nominated
Satellite Award Best Cast – Motion Picture Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards[65] Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award Best Ensemble Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award Best Ensemble Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle Best Ensemble Won
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