The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
Dec. 13, 2022

Ron Howard Reveals The Best Advice He Ever Received!

Ron Howard Reveals The Best Advice He Ever Received!

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Ron Howard is a director, actor, screenwriter and producer. From dramas like A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Apollo 13 (1995) to the hit comedies Parenthood (1989) and Splash (1984), he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films. He joins Chris Van Vliet to talk about his new movie "Thirteen Lives" and tells CVV the best advice he was given as an actor that he now applies to directing.


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You're so good at creating tension in all the movies that you have directed and you have done it again here. What's the key to creating tension in a scene?

"You know, in thrillers they sometimes call them human interest stories, or tick tocks. When you combine those 2 things with beat for beat, what does it feel like to be involved in something that is so pressurised? Even if you have a broad sense of what the outcome is, you don't know what people endured to try and achieve what was achieved. In this case, I thought it was exponentially dense with acts of heroism, large and small. There was so much volunteerism here, these weren't trained firefighters doing their thing, or astronauts trying to get themselves home, soldiers in battle. These were people who did not have to be there. There was no guarantee that there was going to be a celebration at the end of this, in fact, it was most likely heartbreak. And yet they did it, they engaged, 5,00 of them, becasue they knew that it was the right thing. I admired that, and I wanted to celebrate it, but not in a sentimental way. I wanted to let audiences know that this is kind of what a miracle looks like, this is what the practical side of what it takes to create a possibility of a miraculous outcome."

I'm curious Mr. Howard, do you have any advice that you were given as an actor by a director that you now employ as a director?

"Truth, always build on the truth. Understand the logic of it. Even if you are going to turn it into a comedy moment, or have to manipulate it in some way to make it achieve some goal in the story or the narrative. Start with the truth, and build some link between your head, your psyche, and what the character is doing. You might not agree with what the character does, but if you understand it and connect enough of yourself to it, then you are offering audiences something that is relatable. In this case, when Thai cast members started arriving, I relaized how vitally important it was to get it right, that this was there story, and I was an outsider wanting to tell their story. I wound up having a great creative experience, and an artistic one, working with these talented people. Some highly experienced, some newbies. Yet trying to find that truth and wanting to share it with audiences."

Apollo 13, Thirteen Lives, 13 is a lucky number for you!

"I'm looking for another story with 13 attached. It seems to work for me, me and Will Chamberlain."