The Advice Ron Howard Gave Bryce Dallas Howard Before Directing The Mandalorian
Spoilers below for the fourth episode of Disney+'s The Mandalorian, so be sure to check it out before reading through.
Despite those who thought The Mandalorian would just be a retread of Star Wars' big screen adventures, the Disney+ action-drama has defied many expectations across the board, thanks in part to the emotionally viable relationship between the masked protagonist and the innocence-oozing Baby Yoda. Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian has employed several high-profile directors to bring its mystery-filled episodes to life, and Gina Carano's big Episode 4 introduction was helmed the Jurassic World franchise Bryce Dallas Howard.
As the daughter of Hollywood icon Ron Howard, who brought his directing chops to the Star Wars universe to pick up the reins on Solo last year, Bryce Dallas Howard has shown interest and promise in the world of directing, with The Mandalorian's battle-ready installment serving as her most prominent project to date. (And not only because of the Baby Yoda soup meme.) CinemaBlend's Mike Reyes spoke with Howard ahead of the episode's airing, while she was promoting her work in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, and here's the advice she told us she got from her father upon entering the Star Wars universe.
Ron Howard's point there is basically that there isn't anyone on a Star Wars set who is there out of spite, or because they're only in it for the money, and that's not the mindset that directors should enter the projects with. Not that a big-budget Star Wars project would ever pull in a random filmmaker off the street to tackle a movie or a TV episode, but the notion still holds strong. To work in this universe, you have to live and breathe this universe. (And probably shouldn't listen to trolls.)
What a joy that must be to experience on a daily basis. How many of us can say that we work in a place where all of our coworkers have dreamed about their occupation since children? Positive motivation like that goes a long way, and when you're working on a project that's in a galaxy far, far away, experience can be more valuable than money (or quarter-portions). Would Apollo 13 have been as good if Ron Howard, Tom Hanks and the rest had only a passing interest in NASA and space exploration?
Here, Bryce Dallas Howard continued talking about the pleasures of working on a project where everyone involved is part of the same creative hivemind that only seems interested in putting out a quality project. In her words:
A lot of credit has gone to both creator Jon Favreau and showrunner Dave Filoni (of Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels fame) for creating a work environment where everyone could freely get giddy about bringing The Mandalorian to life for Disney+ subscribers. This was a project that was important enough for even the merchandizing masterminds at Disney to balk at spoiling the Baby Yoda reveal, so you know it was important to the producers that everything on the set work out in the the most positive favor possible.
Bryce Dallas Howard is only the second female director to get behind the camera for a Star Wars project, with pioneer Deborah Chow having helmed Episode 3 (as well as the impending seventh installment). Chow will be the lone director putting together the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series for Disney+, and her Mandalorian episode was a great sign that big things are coming for Ewan McGregor's doomed Jedi. Perhaps we'll next soon hear about Howard taking on another role behind the scenes in a new Star Wars project.
Rian Johnson Wants To Direct The Mandalorian In Season 2 And That Needs To Happen
It sounds like she would be into it, especially if Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni were some of the people in charge. In talking about the ways that The Mandalorian differed from other Star Wars projects, Bryce Dallas Howard credited their willingness to listen to everyone else on the creative team, and the fact that all of the directors worked together to bring forth a more unified vision, as opposed to each episode feeling completely different. In her words:
So long as that whole boom mic mistake gets blown over without too much social media chatter, everything should go smoothly.
The Mandalorian hits Disney+ with new episodes every Friday at 3:01 a.m. ET. To see what other shows are on the way in the future, head to (and bookmark) our Winter and Spring 2020 TV schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
By Nick Venable