Skip to content

Health & Parenting

Bryce Dallas Howard on Acting, Mothering, and Staying Healthy

With two highly anticipated movies and baby No. 2 on the way, the young actress claims her place in the A-list spotlight.
Font Size
A
A
A
By Lauren Paige Kennedy
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Bryce Dallas Howard may be starring as the villain in two current films, but she's merely acting the part. Off-screen she comes across as the friendly, easygoing mom you might meet at the playground, coffee in hand. With a 4-year-old named Theo at home and another baby on the way, this isn't much of a stretch.

But when it comes to her health, Howard is no stranger to taking a darkly dramatic turn. During her first pregnancy she gained 80 pounds (double her recommended amount), then battled a prolonged postnatal depression so severe she "felt like I was in a deep pit, and I couldn't get out of it." She credits her family with recognizing her stark emotional withdrawal during this painful period, then pushing her to seek professional help.

The rising star is, and always has been, tight with her parents. Her dad is the legendary Ron Howard, who was once known the world over as "Opie" and "Richie Cunningham" for his TV sitcom roles and went on to achieve Oscar greatness as the producer/director of such films as A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13. Young Bryce grew up in Greenwich, Conn., far removed from Tinseltown's trappings. She was aware of her father's fame, she says, but was never snared in its spotlight.

Instead, she paid her dues on Broadway and for years shined in quieter films such as M. Night Shyamalan's spooky Lady in the Water and Clint Eastwood's reflective Hereafter. (Supporting roles in Spider-Man 3 and Eclipse, the third installment in the Twilight saga, are mega-budget exceptions.) Her early work is impressive, if a bit low-key, much like Howard herself. But get ready, because the flame-haired actress, 30, is about to cause a stir.

Bryce Dallas Howard's New Roles

In addition to being named Kate Spade's latest muse for the designer's chic advertising campaign -- now in the pages of fashion magazines everywhere -- Howard's peaches-and-cream visage is also ubiquitous at the nation's cineplexes. First out is The Help, one of this summer's most anticipated movies. Based on Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel about racial tensions in the South, it opens in August. Come September, Howard supports the bittersweet comedic stylings of A-listers Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick, and Anjelica Huston in 50/50.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow