These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous "insiders." After a while, it's easy to forget that stars are real people. That's why HuffPost Celebrity decided to launch its all-new #nofilter quick-fire question-and-answer series. Because how well do you know someone until they've shared their guiltiest pleasures?
Bryce Dallas Howard has grabbed the attention of people around the world, starring in hit films like "The Village, " "50/50," "The Twilight Saga" and "The Help." But what a lot of people don't know about the redheaded mother-of-two is that she's extremely interested in directing and recently advised actresses Brittany Snow and Octavia Spencer on the set of Lifetime's "Call Me Crazy: A Five Film." (She must get it from her dad, you know, Ron Howard).
Currently, the 32-year-old actress is playing a huge role in Canon U.S.A's “Project Imaginat10n” Film Contest, enabling filmmakers of all skill levels to have the chance to take the director's seat alongside five other celebrities, including Eva Longoria, Jamie Foxx, Biz Stone, Georgina Chapman and James Murphy. Bryce, who took the challenge last year, will mentor the stars and the other participants as they tackle short films inspired by 10 winning photographs. The contest launches on June 4.
"It’s been great. I’ve gotten to be a cheerleader for these very, very extraordinary and creative individuals," Bryce tells HuffPost Celebrity of her experience with "Project Imaginat10n". "Getting to come up with a story really based on eight photographs was a fantastic exercise [for me] and something that I really hope to apply to everything I do moving forward."
On the day of our interview, Bryce's car broke down and she ended up getting locked out of her house. Still, she answered all of HuffPost's #nofilter questions from her front stoop, warning me, "I live by an airport so every once and a while we're going to have to stop while the plane is flying by overhead. This house is a real bargain, let me tell you!"
So, what's Bryce's guilty pleasure? You'll have read it to believe it!
Do you find that people judge you because of the sometimes-evil characters you play?
No, I actually never have. I think because I have a really obvious dorky personality [laughs] and those characters, they're villains and they’re quite aloof. Like in high school, I won most spastic. So I’m pretty dorky and spastic and so it sort of ... there’s no way I could come off like a cool customer, like any of those characters.
Which female star do you admire?
There’s A LOT. I mean they’re the obvious ones, like Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett, Glenn Close, but I have so much respect for so many of the actresses in my generation. And there are a lot of young actresses right now, like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone, who I just think are powerhouses and I worship. I just feel really lucky, as an actress it’s a very full, creative time, especially with television -- there are so many remarkable female protagonists. I’m just soaking in all the work of all these incredible ladies.
What’s your go-to excuse?
I know I’m an actor, but I’m a pretty horrible liar. I’m, like, a very dopey person. So even if I try to make an excuse, inevitably in like 30 or 60 seconds, I’ll be like, "You know what? To be honest I just didn’t wake up early enough or to be honest the baby was throwing up all over me" or something like that. Just knowing that I’m sort of incapable of that, I try not to get myself into situations unless they are real genuine emergencies. One of my friends once said, "You know, you don’t have to tell everybody everything!"
What’s the last song you downloaded?
The truth probably is, I directed a video for M83 called "Claudia Lewis," so I’m going to say “Claudia Lewis." That might even be the truth, I think!
Do you have any tattoos?
No, I don’t.
How many telephone numbers do you have memorized?
Countless, and I’ll tell you why, I don’t know how to program a number into my phone. It’s really pathetic. I’ve been with my husband [Seth Gabel] for 12 years and at that point cellphones were just coming out, so I would rely upon him to program numbers in, and when he couldn’t, I would just memorize it. I freak people out all the time because I’ll meet up with a friend from college and they’ll just be like, "Call me sometime, I have my old number, do you still have it in your phone?" And I’ll be like, "Oh yeah, that was 855-9774," and they’re like, "WHAT?" So yeah, it’s weird!
If you could give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Trust your instincts and don’t question yourself as much because I always have trusted my thoughts and then I would spend five days questioning my thoughts. Like, is this the right thing? Should I go through with this? Let me ask 20 of my closest friends. And I feel like all of that anxiety really doesn’t go with me, so I would just say trust your gut and go with it and don’t look back.
When's the last time you cried?
I actually cried earlier today talking about a moment in “Life of Pi" that I found very moving.
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
“Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” I had never watched it, and then when I was super-pregnant I was overdue and I actually had a pretty bad injury and I got put on bed rest and I couldn’t move. And I asked my friends, "What should I do?" Because I just wanted to be productive. They’re like, "Listen, you got a 5-year-old running around, on bed rest, you just need to do what you want to do most. What is that? Do you want to read magazines? Like what do you want to do?" And I was like, "I just want to watch the Kardashians, I never watched it before! I just really want to see what this is all about." And I have since watched every single episode. I love it ... I love it.
So, if you could ask Kim Kardashian one question what would it be?
Oh my gosh. What would it be? I would probably go a little deep and say, "How do you keep yourself sane?" You know, it’s a lot. There’s a lot of attention and criticism. I would say, "What are your strategies, what are your tips? Do you just not go on the Internet or do you have a perspective that just really grounds you? Or do you kind of have a light philosophy?" I would probably go there and ask something like that because whatever your opinion is of their family, they’ve kept their family together and they love each other and stay very strong and seem to stay very united. I’m just very interested in that because what they’ve been through is something that not a lot of people have gone through.
That brings up a great point, how do you feel about the criticism that comes along with Kim these days ... dealing with things like celebrity pregnancies and post-baby bodies?
I don’t know what a solution is, but I really wish that people wouldn’t do that because it’s genuinely bullying. And for some reason people are accepting that form of bullying and it doesn’t just affect celebrities. It’s online and kids with one another on Facebook. It’s just not acceptable. It’s cruel, it’s malicious and if saying that out loud to a person’s face wouldn’t be tolerated, then it shouldn’t be tolerated when it’s done anonymously. I think it’s kind of a shallow side of our culture and our society and I hope at some point we evolve beyond that because it hurts a lot of people.
And if you were on a reality show, what would it be called?
“Hypomanic.” That’s a sensationalized version of me to really draw in viewers.