Bryce Dallas Howard (images -- some very NSFW | Web site | Twitter)
Hometown: She was born in Los Angeles, Calif., and raised in Greenwich, Conn., according to her Wikipedia profile and, well, the tiniest iota of pop culture knowledge. Bryce's father is Ron Howard, the child actor from The Andy Griffith Show turned top-flight film director. Her mother, Cheryl Alley Howard, is an actress and writer.
Best Known For: Bryce may be the first entry on this list who has not a single TV appearance to her credit, excepting a voice bit on an episode of a cartoon I don't watch. She headed straight into silver-screen roles, mixing artsy films such as Manderlay (of which more will be said later) and The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond with blockbuster films such as Spider-Man 3 and Twilight: Eclipse (of which more, again, will be said later).
Moon Bloodgood), Kenneth Branagh's film of Shakespeare's As You Like It, and two of M. Night Shyamalan's films, The Village and Lady in the Water. And she's a producer for the upcoming Gus Van Zant film Restless, starring 21-year-old Australian wunderkind Mia Wasikowska -- but Bryce does not appear in the film itself.
But Bryce had the bug, appearing in Guys and Dolls as a high-school student and attending arts camps with her friend Natalie Portman (of whom little is known). She might have appeared in the 1989 Steve Martin dramedy Parenthood, a movie that incidentally inspired not one but two TV series, and she appeared in Apollo 13 and the live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Of those three, only the last came out when she was an adult.
Everwood star Gregory Smith, fellow celebrity crush Ari Graynor, actress Frances O'Connor and a pre-Mentalist Simon Baker. Her dad wasn't involved in that project, as far as I can tell, and she's been working steadily ever since, including some roles that are pretty damn far from the Mayberry of her dad's TV youth.
Manderlay also was at the center of an animal rights controversy that led actor John C. Reilly to quit the film during its production. (Bryce is now a vegan, though that stance apparently came a bit later, after Joaquin Phoenix showed her an animal-rights documentary for which he'd done narration.)
Also, she had a supporting role in an indie film titled Good Dick, about a relationship between a video store clerk and a woman prone to renting porn movies.
|Natalie Portman, having gained |
psychic powers after shaving her
head in V for Vendetta, is happy
to prophecy her childhood
friend's entry into some dude's
celebrity crush hall of fame.
(Shame about the watermark.)
Why Ye Olde Podcaster Likes Her: Bryce seems determined, in her adulthood, to get roles that aren't based solely on her startling beauty or her family name. Among the things that most disappointed me about Spider-Man 3 -- besides the obvious -- was that the introduction of Bryce as Gwen Stacy in that chapter didn't lead anywhere, what with the film franchise ending at that installment and heading into reboot mode. Kinda a missed opportunity for Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and company, but again, that third movie had many other burdens to bear.
|As Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man 3.|
Voice work: Family Guy, season 7: "We Love You Conrad" (Amazon | iTunes)
As Writer and Director (Not Actress): Orchids (2006 short) (Amazon | iTunes)
As Producer (Not Actress): Restless (2011) (Amazon | iTunes)