Actor, director, and producer Ron Howard sits down to chat about his IMDb page to see just how many of his credits he can actually remember.
- May 07, 2018
- 370k Views
STARRING: Ron Howard
DIRECTOR / WRITER: Jake Szymanski
WRITER: Dan Abramson
WRITER: Ryan Perez
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Brian Toombs
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Kate Lilly
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Luke Esselen
PRODUCER: Hans Sahni
COORDINATOR: Jack Bradley
ASST TO JAKE: Janey Feingold
DP: Matt Sweeney
1st AC / CAM OP: Matt Krueger
DIT: William Maxwell
GAFFER: Jay Carey
KEY GRIP: Jó Gutierrez
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Almitra Corey
SET DECORATOR: Madison Steigerwald
MAKEUP: Brenna Haukedahl
SOUND MIXER: Alex Dawson
POST PRODUCER: Alex Parks
EDITOR: Kia Reghabi
GRAPHICS: Joe Humpay
GRAPHICS: Bryan Wieder
May 07, 2018
- Hey, I'm Ron Howard and
we're gonna go through my IMDB page.
How long we gonna be here?
- [Interviewer] It's gonna take a minute, just a minute.
A lotta people, especially today,
they think of you as a director.
Let's start off going through the acting credits.
Do you know your first acting credit on IMDB?
- It might be Frontier Woman.
- [Interviewer] That's correct.
you were two years old.
- Well, Frontier Woman was this grade-C western.
My dad was cast as the bad guy.
They needed a crying baby, so,
they rolled the cameras
and they gave me this little tomahawk toy
and then like yanked it away and it made me cry.
Funny how that'll work.
- [Interviewer] You know, while we're talking about acting
we made some hats over here.
- Oh, yeah, we have a,
well I wear hats, I wear multiple hats.
It still fits.
I haven't done any acting in while,
and yet the actor hat fits.
- [Interviewer] The Journey 1959.
- When I did the audition,
in order to prepare for that screen test,
my dad got a buddy of his
and sort of pretended to have like a camera or something.
And then another guy came over
and hung a tin can on a string
and held it over my head and was like shaking it,
and then I would learn to do the scene
and not be distracted by all that stuff.
So it's little bit like Tiger Woods' dad
yelling at him on the back swing.
- [Interviewer] You did an episode of Lassie.
- Lassie was no longer living with the family.
Lassie was freely roaming
the United States of America
solving different people's problems from week to week.
- [Interviewer] Wait, that's
what the plot of Lassie turned into?
- Yeah, it became like Route 66.
She was a drifter.
They made the show so fast.
They just did one take and if you got the lines out.
They moved on.
It really didn't matter.
I had one emotional scene.
I'm standing there and I'm holding Lassie.
I gotta sort of cry,
my horse, oh God.
Oh God, that was so fake.
I said, Sir, please, I know I can do better.
Just let me have one more take.
"No, no kid.
"We got it."
Now I'm thinking, the way it's been staged,
I happened to have my hand on Lassie's collar.
So what's the next shot?
It's a close-up of Lassie.
I'll just kinda like tense up with my hand a little bit
and sell the emotion.
But all of a sudden I hear this bellowing,
The director comes running up to me and he said,
"Don't you ever fucking
"try to steal Lassie's close-up again.
"Now let's do another one and keep your hands still."
So, that was the only helpful direction I got
on that little shoot.
- [Interviewer] I have a question about Music Man.
Can you finish this line?
- Sister, sister, isn't this the most scrumptious
solid gold thing you ever saw?
- (with movie self and lisp)
I never thought I'd see anything as scrumptious
as this solid gold thing, oh, sister.
- [Interviewer] Nailed it.
- You know what?
It takes a lotta work to get a six-year-old kid
to remember a line like that.
So, I think I must have gone over that one
about a thousand times.
- [Interviewer] American Graffiti.
That was your first time meeting George Lucas.
- In those days he was really, really quiet.
And he was so tired and so exhausted
trying to make this complicated ambitious movie
all in nights, and he was editing during the day.
He actually sort of said, "Action," and the scene was over.
Everybody looked around waiting for George to say cut.
The poor guy, he'd literally fallen asleep
watching this take.
We all lived at this Holiday Inn.
Paul Le Mat and Harrison Ford were kinda rowdy guys.
Paul and Harrison probably
had never really stopped drinking beers from Saturday night.
Laughing and telling stories.
I was laughing with them.
And, suddenly, they just start pitching bottles
into the parking lot.
I look up and they're out on the balcony
and Harrison yells down,
"Dance Opie, dance!"
And he starts firing beer bottles down there
and I'm bobbing and weaving outta there
and they never hit me,
but they were certainly laughing their asses off.
- [Interviewer] Grand Theft Auto.
- Grand Theft Auto was my first directing opportunity.
- [Interviewer] That's both hats.
- Oh well, yeah, that's both hats.
Hang on, I'll just do this.
And that's kind of the way I felt.
Only time I've ever done that.
And probably the only time I ever will.
And I pitched a lot of ideas to Roger Corman.
Sci-fi idea. A noir.
He heard them all and he said,
"Ron, when we were testing titles,
"we had wonderful success with Grand Theft Auto.
"If you can fashion a car crash comedy starring yourself
"that we can correctly entitle Grand Theft Auto,
"that's a picture I would wanna make."
So about 36 hours later, I had an outline
for a movie we could call Grand Theft Auto.
- [Interviewer] Then we have Splash.
We couldn't get that movie made.
There was a competing mermaid movie.
It was supposed to star Warren Beatty.
Jessica Lange was gonna be the mermaid.
We couldn't get any studio to say yes.
Finally, Disney said yes.
That terrified me.
They'd never made anything that wasn't a G movie.
I can cover her breasts with hair.
I can make sure that she's mostly covered,
but, you know, it has to feel organic and real,
and she's of the sea.
It wouldn't be sexy otherwise.
They had to invent the division Touchstone.
And we were their first PG movie.
- [Interviewer] '88 Willow.
- What an adventure making it.
My favorite scenes were in the Nelwyn village.
In order to shoot this,
it was the biggest collection of little people
aggregated for a movie since Wizard of Oz.
Culturally, those people are partiers.
On the day when we had like the biggest collection,
I walked by for lunch, and I saw this Citroën
and it was kinda rocking,
and I thought, wow, they're doing it in there.
Somebody's there, there's a couple in there that
they don't, instead of eating lunch,
that's what they're doing.
Okay. God bless them.
And I came back and it was like a clown car.
I'm telling you.
It was an orgy. (laughs)
- [Interviewer] Oh, wow.
- It was great.
- [Interviewer] You know, IMDB also
lists traits for everyone.
- And if you could read us your IMDB traits
and let us know what you think of them.
- Accorded final cut on all of his feature films.
Well, nowadays, yes.
George Lucas was the first one
to give me final cut on Willow.
Frequently casts brother Clint in supporting roles.
As frequently as I possibly can.
I love directing my brother Clint.
I haven't given away very much as it relates to Solo,
but, when I let slip
that Clint Howard had a pretty nice little cameo,
the fans were pleased.
They won't be disappointed.
Known for making films based on real-life events.
But I learned a lesson on Apollo 13,
which was the first movie that I did
based on real events.
And we were doing preview screenings.
Not a lotta people knew about the story of Apollo 13.
People really enjoyed the movie.
There was one Poor, you know people rate it.
Excellent, very good, good, fair, poor.
Just didn't like it.
No, hated it.
I flipped the page over and it said,
please comment on the ending.
Terrible. More Hollywood bullshit.
They would never survive.
And I realized of course, that to him it was corny
'cause he had no idea it was based on a true story.
- [Interviewer] Do you know your top-grossing movie
and lowest-grossing movie?
- That would be The Grinch.
- Lowest-grossing movie,
probably Frost/Nixon, I would think.
- [Interviewer] Yeah, that's right.
It was such a good movie.
- Well, I'm so proud of that movie.
It was nominated for five or six Academy Awards,
including me for best director.
The movies take on a life of their own
and they find their audience.
- [Interviewer] You're the narrator on Arrested Development.
- That I am.
I had this sort of aesthetic that was sort of
born out of the internet, and reality television.
That more unexpected, a little more like the Simpsons
Dense, use narration, use flashbacks, jump around.
We had discussed narration.
Would we have it, would we not have it?
And then Mitch thought,
would you just lay down a temp track?
Mitch called me back and he said,
"Well, the show tested really well.
"The narrator was the highest-testing element.
"They'd like to pick it up.
"You have to do the series."
So, I signed on.
- [Interviewer] I believe you're in a
Jamie Foxx music video.
- Ha ha ha.
Blame it on the alcohol.
Hype Williams is directing.
There's this scene where myself,
Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker,
we're driving up in this Rolls Royce,
I think I scared the director a little bit
because he sort of said, "Now, Ron.
"When you come into this, you know,
"we want you to have your party face on."
I want some clarification 'cause, you know,
my party face is, hey guys, how are you?
He's, "No, no!"
As we're driving up and "the cameras are rolling,
"and, no smiling Ron,
"three, no smiling Ron,
"two, Ron, no smiling,
"and Ron, no smiling. Action!"
(somber piano music)
But he just didn't trust me.
- [Interviewer] All right, now we're coming up on a big one.
But before I get there,
what's the deal with these MasterClasses?
I see so many ads for these Master Classes,
and then I see you in one
and I said I'm finally gonna find out what the, these are.
- (laughs) They're very legitimate opportunities
and attempts to give these people
who've dedicated their lives to a particular discipline
to share what they know.
- [Interviewer] All right, let's talk about Solo, I guess.
- (laughs) Okay.
When you're about to go do this movie,
do you call George Lucas?
- I did.
He basically said, "Follow your instinct.
"Don't worry about rules."
He had produced Willow.
He knew that I had kind of an affinity
for that kind of fantasy adventure
that's also character-driven.
J.J. did such a great job
and Rogue One was an interesting experiment.
To me that's opened up a channel, an invitation.
I wish more directors could have the opportunity
to be directing a scene that includes Chewbacca
and be able to say, hey, great job,
and then have Chewbacca pick you up and hug you.
More people should have that.
That's, man, that's love of a director.
My wife, Cheryl, has to, you know,
she's the good luck charm.
I put her in one scene
that I was sure I would never edit out.
We did edit out her scene.
I turned around to the people at ILM and I said,
you know, it's hard for me to cut that scene out,
because she's my good luck charm.
And they said, "We'll greenscreen her in."
We shot a plate and the magicians of ILM
made sure that the good luck charm is in a scene.
I hope fans get as much enjoyment out of it
as I've had making it.
I can tell you one more thing.
- [Interviewer] Yeah.
Comes out May 25th.
That's a long frickin' IMDB list.
I ain't done yet though.
Onward and upward.
(theatrical cartoonish music) No no!