LOS ANGELES: She grew up around movie sets watching her father direct Hollywood greats, yet Bryce Dallas Howard still has her moments of giddy fandom.
The 35-year-old actress recalls her somewhat undignified first meeting with Robert Redford on the set of her new film, Disney’s remake of its own 1977 classic Pete’s Dragon directed by David Lowery.
“There was this big empty road and we were supposed to run towards each other and reunite. It’s an emotional thing,” she tells AFP.
“I knew he was at the other end and I was very far away from set and David yelled action. We were running towards each other and I kind of picked up speed because I was so excited, and totally barreled into him.”
Howard says the 79-year-old Redford was still robust enough to take the hit, if somewhat taken aback at an actress coming at him “like a cannonball.”
It is a neat anecdote because it encapsulates rather well Howard’s self-effacing charm.
The eldest of four children of Ron Howard, the actress divided her childhood between film studios and having adventures around the family home.
Going on her own, Howard’s career almost literally fell into her lap when, as a 21-year-old stage actress, she was spotted by The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan. He invited her to lunch and tossed the script of The Village in front of her. Without having to go through the formality of an audition, she landed a lead part.
A Golden Globe nomination in Kenneth Branagh’s As You Like It was followed by Spider-Man 3, the beginning of Howard’s association with big studio blockbusters. She then appeared in Terminator Salvation,Twilight:Eclipse, The Help and Jurassic World.
Back to the current large predator in Howard’s life, observers have noted that Pete’s Dragon is coming out just as the Disney juggernaut has hit a bump and critics are wondering aloud whether the public is beginning to tire of Disney’s live-action remakes.
“I personally am not yet fatigued. There has been so much time between the films. I was ready for there to be a ‘Cinderella,’ I was ready for there to be a ‘Jungle Book. I was like ‘what are they gonna do?’ There are always ebbs and flows,” says Howard.
Pete’s Dragon appears in US theaters from August 12.