"I was proud of her but a little terrified because the business is so much tougher for women than it is for men," said Ron.
Ron Howard quips that it was a "complete assault" on his mind as a father to see his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard act in a college play while nude. During a recent edition of In Depth with Graham Bensinger, the 69-year-old remembered watching his daughter Bryce, now 42, perform in a college play without realizing the ensemble would be naked for the majority of the performance, per PEOPLE.
"Within seven or eight minutes into the show, nobody had any clothes on," said Ron. "It was experimental theater. And I was sitting next to my dad — I wasn't sure what he would think. When it was over, he turned to me and he said, 'I think that's just great. That's what college is all about. She's never going to be afraid onstage again.' That's just the way he viewed things. So he was proud of her, of her courage as an artist."
Ron was questioned by host Bensinger if he had any reservations about attending the show, but the director responded with a smile, "No, because first of all, I knew there was nudity. I didn't realize it was full-body, nonstop." Howard then joked, "It was a complete assault on a father's psyche."
But the proud dad added, "It was quality. But it was bold."
Although it was a stipulation by Ron and his wife, Cheryl, that their daughters couldn't act until they were 18, Ron told Bensinger that he first realized Bryce could act professionally when she was only 13. "I saw that she could do it," he said. "I was proud of her but a little terrified because the business is so much tougher for women than it is for men, and I dreaded the fact that she was gonna have the talent to really be able to make a run at it."
Bryce, who recently graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2020, shared once that she didn't use her father's name so as to escape the family's shadow and make something for herself, per PEOPLE. "I was insecure about that when I was younger," she said at the time. "When I went to NYU, I wouldn't tell anyone my last name and I was like, 'No, Dad, you can't come see my play because people might recognize you'."
However, Cheryl and Ron are "exceptional" parents who one shouldn't take for granted and she realized this pretty quickly. "For me to be weird about something that, honestly, really doesn't have anything to do with me — I just realized, that's just shortsighted," she said. "So many of my peers at NYU had parents who were really not supportive of them being artists in any way, shape, or form, which totally made sense because they were scared for them. I had parents who were emotionally supportive of me. There wasn't a lot of baggage that I inherited from them in that way."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez