The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Ron Howard, who just released the Netflix film Hillbilly Elegy, an adaptation of the JD Vance memoir that describes his rise from a hardscrabble Kentucky upbringing to become a Yale Law Student, unable to leave the chaos and obligations of home behind. Howard has been acting in and directing movies and TV for over 60 years, counting a few parts the child actor landed before the role of Opie Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show in 1960. As he grew up in front of the cameras in an acting career that included Happy Days and the film classic American Graffiti, Howard became more interested in what happens behind the camera. He eclipsed his onscreen accomplishments when he began directing films starting with Grand Theft Auto to Night Shift and Splash, the latter of which launched his filmmaker star and fused him to Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer. He won the Oscar for Best Director for A Beautiful Mind, and his stellar list of directing credits include Apollo 13, Rush, Frost/Nixon, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Cinderella Man, Cocoon, Parenthood, Backdraft, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and the documentaries The Beatles: Eight Days A Week –The Touring Years, Pavarotti and Rebuilding Paradise. He’ll next direct Thirteen Lives about the harrowing rescue of a boys’ soccer trapped in flooding caves in Thailand in 2018. Here, he explains the influences that led to such an enduring and prolific career.
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