Ron Howard Explains Why He Forbade Daughter Bryce from Acting as a Child: 'Going to Be Unfairly Compared' (Exclusive)

The Oscar-winning former child star says the entertainment industry was full of "landmines" he couldn't protect Bryce from

<p>Daniele Venturelli/WireImage</p> Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard

Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard's dad, Ron Howard, has always been looking out for his daughter.

Bryce, 43, recently told PEOPLE that if she had the choice, she would've launched her acting career at a younger age. (She got her start in Hollywood with M. Night Shyamalan's The Village in 2004.)

"My parents were very firm on that boundary, that they were not going to support anyone who wanted to be a child actor," the Jurassic World star said.

Bryce Dallas Howard/instagram Ron and Bryce Dallas Howard in the '80s
Bryce Dallas Howard/instagram Ron and Bryce Dallas Howard in the '80s

Related: Bryce Dallas Howard Celebrates Dad Ron Howard's 70th Birthday with Adorable Throwback Polaroid: 'I Love You'

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Ron, 70, explains why he and his wife Cheryl Howard didn't want their oldest daughter to be a child star, as he was when he played Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show from 1960-1966, beginning when he was just six years old.

"It's possible for child performers to really find a lot that is positive within it, but it's fraught with landmines," Ron says of navigating Hollywood at a young age.

He adds that both his father Rance Howard (who died in 2017 at the age of 89) and his mother Jean Howard were actors who knew how much supervision they had to provide their actor sons, Ron and Clint Howard, on sets. Jean took a break from being in front of the camera to support her sons's aspirations, Ron recalls.

The Happy Days star says he decided to protect Bryce from the spotlight for another significant reason.

"On top of everything else, because the characters that I played as a child were so well-known as to almost be iconic... I also thought, 'Hey, if one of our kids tries to act as a child, boy or girl, they're going to be unfairly compared,'" he says, noting that The Andy Griffith Show had already become "mythically significant in TV history."

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Bryce Dallas Howard attends the 2024 EE BAFTA Film Awards

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Bryce Dallas Howard attends the 2024 EE BAFTA Film Awards

Ron says he and Cheryl didn't want Bryce to face the inevitable comparisons if she followed a similar career trajectory.

Related: Bryce Dallas Howard Is 'Hyper Alert' as a Parent After Coping with Kidnapping Threats as a Child (Exclusive)

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Looking back, Bryce told PEOPLE she is grateful that her parents encouraged her to find other avenues to earn a paycheck.

"I'm really glad that they did that because when I did start acting, it took a while to make a living. To be able to be like, 'Oh, okay. I can actually support myself with this,' " she explained

Currently, Bryce said that she and her father Ron have a great relationship and "love to talk about the movies."

"But it's usually admiring people's work and kind of gushing about things, or sharing crazy stories that turned around, or just fun things," she added.

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