Bryce Dallas Howard: My mom was vigilant that we not become entitled

Bryce Dallas Howard at Pete's Dragon Premiere in Hollywood

Bryce Dallas Howard has a new interview in People to promote her role as a park ranger in the Disney movie Pete’s Dragon, out now. She’s 35 now, which is hard for me to believe, and has two children with her husband, actor Seth Gabel: son Theo, 9, and daughter Beatrice, 4. Bryce reflects in People about her somewhat unconventional upbringing, for the daughter of a Hollywood director. She has twin sisters and a brother and she said that her mom used to buy them clothing three years ahead so that they could grow into it.

On her childhood with her dad, director Ron Howard
“A lot of folks have asked me, ‘Was your dad not around?’ It was the opposite. We traveled with him and my mom everywhere. He’d be directing with all four redheaded kids hanging on him.

She grew up in Connecticut and her mom kept them humble
“My mom was vigilant about ensuring we didn’t become entitled just because we grew up in privileged circumstances,” Howard says, explaining that Cheryl had a “policy” of only buying new clothes for the kids every three years. “She’d get them really big and hem them, and as we grew she’d let them out. Our school actually had a conversation with her about it because there was a dress code. They were like, ‘Things are getting kind of tattered.’ And my mom was like ‘What’s wrong with that? They’re kids.’”

She doesn’t have a trust fund
“My parents didn’t want me to grow up in a situation we couldn’t maintain as adults. There’s no trust fund.”

[From People Magazine, print edition]

That’s admirable that she doesn’t have a trust fund and that her parents tried to keep things as down-to-earth as possible. She’s trying to explain that she wasn’t as privileged as we might assume, but she’s not claiming that she’s self made or that her father’s celebrity wasn’t a huge advantage, which I appreciate. Bryce told People that she strives for that same upbringing for her own children. Also, you rarely hear about Ron Howard and his wife, Cheryl, but they’ve been married for 41 years, since their early 20s.

In terms of the hand-me-down and too-big clothes, is this one of those stories from childhood that gets more exaggerated every time you tell it? Like in reality her mom would buy them clothing one size bigger so they could grow into it, but over time it became “three years ahead” and clothing so tattered the school sent a note home? The basic story is probably true, but she grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. I used to live near there and it’s one of the richest places in the US. “Tattered” in that community is probably extremely relative.

Celebrities at BBC Radio 2

photos credit: WENN and FameFlynet

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30 Responses to “Bryce Dallas Howard: My mom was vigilant that we not become entitled”

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  1. Snowpea says:

    She is a very beautiful woman.

  2. Greenleaf says:

    She is a striking woman but this a little Gwenythesque to me.

    • Loo says:

      I have seen nothing about her that reminds me of Paltrow. She and her father seem relatively normal for Hollywood people. Being rich does not mean that you automatically have to be an out-of-touch A-hole. I commend her parents for raising her right.

    • Lucy2 says:

      She seems like the anti- Gwenyth to me! She seems low key, down to earth, and not at all entitled.

      It sounds like Ron’s parents were very smart in how they handled his career and childhood too.

      • greenleaf says:

        The anti-Gwenyth would be someone who didn’t grow up with a silver spoon. I just think that claiming how un-entitled you grew up when you had more than 99.99999% of the world’s population is out of touch. I can’t wait for a celeb with famous parents to actually own their privilege.

      • kai says:

        I like Bryce a lot as an actress, but I tend to agree with greenleaf.

  3. Donna Martin says:

    is the interview portion missing on this post?

  4. Babsie says:

    I really like her! And she’s beautiful. From everything I’ve read Ron and Clint Howard were raised the same way. Ron gave an interview where he said at one point he
    Was worth close to a million dollars as a child actor and his dad made him wait for his birthday for a bike because they lived on the parents’ income, not the kids.

    Sounds like being down to earth is a Howard family trait. Bet she’s doing the same with her kids. There are a lot of celebrity families who could learn from them

  5. The Great Bazoo says:

    Ron Howard’s parents were also adamant that Ron not be spoiled as a child. Andy Griffith has said this in many interviews. They also insisted he and his brother do chores around the house and have as normal an upbringing as possible.

  6. Donna Martin says:

    I don’t know if I believe there is no trust fund, maybe they call it savings.

    • Brittney B. says:

      I believe they didn’t give the kids a set amount of funds to be dispensed at a certain age… but yeah, I’m sure there have been big gifts through the years, especially as they bought houses and started families.

      Also, I love that I’m replying to Donna Martin’s comment about trust funds.

    • Christin says:

      I think what she’s saying is that her parents didn’t start routinely doling out money to her. That’s not saying there is no inheritance at some point (which would be the assets and savings of the parents).

      • Donna Martin says:

        I get it, I guess I find it hard to understand what “normal” is to them you know? Seeing as their “normal” is probably quite well off to the average person.

  7. Esmom says:

    Yeah, “tattered” probably meant a thread was hanging, lol.

    I can sort of relate…I used to buy my kids’ coats too big thinking I’d get more than one winter out of it. We joke about how much mileage we got from a single North Face Fleece — my one son wore it for three years, then my other son wore it for three years and now a friend’s son has been wearing it for a couple years. But I did make sure their pants and shirts fit ok!

    I can believe they lived a fairly normal existence, Ron Howard has never seemed like a Hollywood type.

  8. Christin says:

    I believe this, because of how her grandparents raised her father and uncle. Ron is one of the few child stars who grew up without excessive drama and problems.

    I think he and Cheryl were teenage sweethearts. They were married during the early seasons of Happy Days.

  9. nicegirl says:

    What a lovely lady. Love BDH. I am always happy when I see her in a film.

  10. hey-ya says:

    …when you think of some of the roles shes got…whos shes starred with…well…an easier path than even the Smith kids I’d say…

    • Evil Queen says:

      Was thinking the same thing I like her. Aaand yet the un-entitled just happened to become a movie star. Good for her, but a little out of touch. I have also seen her dad pull a “Don’t you know who I am” in a restaurant. Your a wonderful actress sister. Just embrace your entitlement.
      I get really tired of this schtick from the children of celebs. Just own it already. Most (if not all) would kill to be able to give so much to our kids.

      • SugarMalone says:

        I agree. I interviewed her a few years ago at TIFF for 50/50 and while she was nice enough, it was the condescending sort of nice that someone who sees themselves as better than you doles out as though they’re doing you a favour. She was also very pregnant with her daughter at the time and doing a long day of press so I tried to cut the attitude a little slack.

        I still really like her as an actress but that 20 minutes has definitely coloured my view of her a person.

  11. thaliasghost says:

    But still none of this will take away the safety net. She never for one second had to fear to find herself without being able to cover the basics with nobody to turn to. Not for a second in her life. Imagine what kind of amazing security that gives you in life.

    • Melissa Melissa says:

      It’s not her fault. Let’s not hate on her for it.

    • Miss M says:

      Don’t we all wish we had a safety net? Why this is a problem? Her family worked hard to give their kids a good life. Isn’t it all we want to do too? I don’t see her acting entitled or ungrateful…

      • Lille says:

        They might not have bailed her out. I come from a wealthy family, and people always assume my parents bailed me out, and they didn’t. They will give me their time, and a listening ear, but no money. So if I did something gutsy, I did it on my own.

  12. Miss M says:

    I really like Bryce Dallas Howard! She does seem grounded.
    As for the tattered clothes, I believe her. I lived in that area for 2 years .

  13. EreISawElba says:

    I’ve never heard one bad thing about this woman. Her parents did a wonderful job raising her.

  14. Anners says:

    I can’t hate on her. None of us choose the circumstances were born into. She shouldn’t be penalized for her father’s success. He, and his wife, seem to have gone out of their way to ensure their children learned that there ain’t no free lunch. That RH’s connections helped BDH get a leg up is not a question, but then I also benefitted from my father in my current role. And most of the people I work with are there due to a family or friend connection. It’s how the world (often) works and believe me I’m very grateful for my opportunity.

  15. Clairej says:

    She is looking super gorgeous

  16. Kat says:

    It’s true! My kids went to school with the Howard kids……they did not stand out as privileged in any way. Yes, it was a private education, but in my observation they were great parents and thus great kids. That says a lot from a community that prides (disgustingly) itself on keeping up with the Jones’. Meanwhile, I flew from NYC to LA on JetBlue when she was in height of her career (The Help, etc)… She was on that flight, with the rest of us. Totally low key. I hope she continues to do well! Seems like a good egg!