Bryce Dallas Howard chose for her directorial debut film to make a movie about dads. But at first, her own father, Ron Howard, didn’t want to include their own family story.
That changed halfway through the filming of her documentary “Dads,” however, when her brother discovered that he and his wife would be expecting their first child.
“I also pitched maybe that I could integrate some of my own family story, and my dad was like, ‘No. No. You’re not allowed to,” Howard told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven. “The whole time, I kept being like, we need to profile a dad who is an expecting dad, who hasn’t had a kid yet. We need to capture that before and after. And as filming was progressing, we just kept not finding him. And when I learned that, I was like, hmm, we’re going to be in this movie.”
“Dads” profiles famous funny men like Judd Apatow, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris, Kenan Thompson, Jimmy Kimmel and Ken Jeong about their experiences as fathers. But Howard also toured around the world to profile non-famous dads in Brazil, Japan and the United States, even partnering with a Brazilian institute that wants to change the way dads are often viewed in the media.
The institute focuses on “non-violent masculinity, breaking down gender stereotypes and specifically around really tackling the stigma of fathers being caregivers,” Howard said.
“I love talking to dads about their kids. Within 15 seconds of our conversation, it’s always, ‘how are they doing, what’s going on,'” Howard added. “Wouldn’t it be awesome to talk to stand-up comedians who view the world through a lens of comedy who are fathers themselves, and they can be our Greek chorus.”
“Dads” made its premiere at TIFF and was acquired by Apple as part of its Apple TV+ streaming service, where it currently can be seen. Watch TheWrap’s interview with Howard above.