Bryce Dallas Howard Talks ‘DADS’ and the Many Facets of Modern-Day Fatherhood

Jurassic World actor, Mandalorian director, and all-around delight of a human being, Bryce Dallas Howard, is going all out for Father’s Day this year with a love letter to dads everywhere in the form of a documentary. The feature-length film, appropriately titled, “DADS,” features several fathers from a variety of cultures and backgrounds in an attempt to answer one overarching question: What does modern-day fatherhood look like?

Howard takes a multifaceted approach in finding the answer – interviewing vibrant celebrity dads like Will Smith, Judd Apatow, and Conan O’Brien, but also following a diverse group of stay-at-home fathers who describe what it was like finding their new fatherly identities. Not afraid to get personal, Howard also interviews her own dad, Ron Howard, as well as her grandfather, Rance Howard, and younger brother, Reed Howard—the latter of whom is a brand-new father.

Clearly, this is a topic that’s right up our alley here at The Dad, so we were thrilled when Howard agreed to chat with us via Zoom about her 1-hour 20-minute documentary, which is now available globally on Apple TV+. Once again, she was willing to get personal as we discussed topics like the film’s impact on her perception of fatherhood, her relationship with her own dad, and whether or not Will Smith is actually cool. 


JORDAN: So what do you want audiences to walk away with from this film? What do you want them to have learned, to have garnered, to take away?

BRYCE: Well, I think on the simplest level, this movie is being released Father’s Day weekend—the weekend where we’re meant to celebrate and acknowledge the dads in our lives, and I would love it if this movie aided in that endeavor. So whatever that means to them—if it makes them appreciate their own father, if it makes them appreciate their partner, if it makes them feel inspired and empowered as parents themselves, or as individuals… I hope it’s positive.

Yeah. I can tell you right now that it definitely paints fatherhood in such a good light. I mean, whether it’s reflecting on your relationship with your own father, or on your relationship with your children, it really is something that you walk away feeling it’s a breath of fresh air. Dads are okay, they’re doing it as best as they can, and it’s something truly special.

They’re doing great. Thank you.

At The Dad, one of our foundational goals is to provide not only an entertaining space to share stories and to talk about fatherhood, but create this community to come together. Where people know it’s normal to be tired and scared and not really sure if you’re doing this right, because once you normalize that, then it’s like, “Oh God, I can finally breathe again. I’m not ruining my child.”

Yes. I remember after having my son… I mean, it’s ridiculous to think about this, but I was just like a handful of weeks into it, maybe a month, maybe six weeks. And I went somewhere and I was talking to a group of moms and I was so apologetic, and this mom took my hand and she’s like, “It’s a really long road. You can pace yourself. This is a long journey. You have so much time.”

You were giving yourself a report card a week into the semester. It’s like, calm down, you have plenty of tests and exams to pass, okay…

Yes, yes. And that was so comforting to me, but it took another parent giving me that perspective because how else are we supposed to have perspective?

Right. That’s a lot of what we do. We try to entertain and a lot of that is through comedy because you have to be able to laugh at yourself. You said it in an interview with CBS, you said, “Every day as a parent is a comedy.” Can you elaborate a little more on that?

I mean, it’s so absurd. Being a parent, it’s such a ridiculous thing.

Right, like, what adult is going to ask you what your third favorite jungle cat is? That’s just not going to happen. That’s not going to be a question you get at work.

[Laughing] Yeah, no, not at all. Not one tiny bit. And it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. It’s something that is like the highest stakes in the world and you have to take it so seriously, but then also it’s so funny because you’re taking it so seriously, and the whole thing is so absurd. I think that I was really influenced as a kid being around the set of Parenthood. I mean, that was me hearing the stories of my childhood. I was seven and seeing it come to life and it was through the perspective of the father and it was a comedy. And so, from the get-go, I wanted this [film] to be something with humor and heart.

Growing up, did your dad have any dad jokes or classic dad-isms that he would use as a crutch or a line that you heard all the time?

You know what? He wasn’t, believe it or not, he wasn’t that corny. My dad is so earnest. He’s not trying to crack jokes, he’s just super earnest and sweet. I mean, he’s funny, he’s got a great sense of humor. It was so funny [in the film] to hear Will Smith say that his kids think that he’s corny. You know?

Right, Will Smith is the coolest person I know of on planet Earth.

Yeah. Will Smith. He’s cool, he’s not corny. But I think it is this thing that kids see… They just see this other side of their parents. And I think because my dad has never, ever been someone who’s been cool, we just see him for who he is.

That’s every kid though. People are just like, “Oh, your dad’s cool.” And you’re like, “No, he’s not. You don’t know him like I know him.” Right?

Yeah. But it’s almost the opposite. It’s because he’s so not trying to be cool or anything like that. Like he’ll do something or say something and I’ll be like, “Pretty with it, dad. Oh, yeah, you can kick it with us. You’re good with the youngins.”

Did this whole filmmaking process inform you of anything when it comes to [your husband’s] role as a father? How do you approach that now?

Yeah, you know what I would say is that I’m probably even more protective of him now because I see how the ways in which fathers are simply not included in their children’s lives or in the endeavor of raising people. And it’s assumed that the dads are taking a back seat and that’s just not the case at all… like, at all. Not even close. And so, with Seth, if someone comes to me and doesn’t go to him, doesn’t include him, I’m offended, I’m offended for him.

I just don’t like rude assumptions about men who are remarkable. I mean, listen—he’s been on the front line of our family raising people. And so, since we started, folks have been like, “Wow,” pretty struck by Seth and what an involved parent he is. And so I’m not having to like protect him very often because everyone is like, “Oh yeah, you’re…”

He’s not a babysitter, he’s a father.

Yes, exactly! Exactly. Isn’t that so weird?

Awful, when you hear that, right?

Yeah, it’s so mean! It’s like, what do you say to the dad? Like, what?

What can you say about that evolving relationship [with your dad]? A lot of the film is looking at fathers with young children, but you’re an adult now. What does that relationship look like? Has that evolved? Does it become more of a friendship?

I would say what I have with my dad is definitely a friendship, but it’s kind of always been that way. He really treated me from a very young age, like an equal, not like from a disciplinary perspective, like, “Oh yeah, you can just do whatever you want,” but just an intellectual equal back when I was five. I think that it was because he himself was working at that age. And so he has memories of being a conscious person with responsibilities, making a living, all of that. And so it’s like he projected that onto us or saw that within us. He’s just always treated me with so much respect. And so being an adult is just a continuation of that. And I’m like a very demanding child. I call my parents, it’s too late. I call them, it’s too early. I call them multiple times a day. They’re like, “We’re busy.” They’re still very involved, both of them, so I appreciate it.

What the hell are you getting your dad for Father’s Day, besides this feature-length documentary about how great dads are?

I’m probably going to write him something. I’ll do a card, but not like a lame card, like a legit something he can keep, but…

Something he’ll probably cry over, right?

[smiling] Mayyybe.

Yeah. I mean, we’re not giant gift-givers in our family. We’re very, like, it’s the breakfast in bed thing. It’s that we get to see each other, that kind of thing.

A quality time family.

Quality time, yes.

The Rock Refuses Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious Invitation

Sometimes, even family, fall out. Even the Fast and the Furious family.

That’s what happened with Vin Diesel and The Rock, who very publicly dislike each other and stopped teaming up on Fast movies. The Rock showed up for Fast 5, 6, 7, and 8, then had enough, did his Diesel-free Hobbs and Shaw spinoff movie, and said sayonara. But Diesel, perhaps after Fast 8 and Fast 9 weren’t quite as furious as he’d hoped, finally saw the light and asked The Rock to return for Fast 10 to wrap up the series. To which The Rock said: Nah.

A few months ago, Diesel posted to Instagram:

“The world awaits the finale of ‘Fast 10,’” Diesel wrote. “As you know, my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don’t send well wishes… but the time has come. Legacy awaits. I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo. I swore that we would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10!”

Diesel took to Instagram to essentially beg The Rock to return. The Rock has finally responded. Not in the way Vin Diesel wanted.

In an interview with CNN, the DC’s Black Adam laid it all out:

“I told [Diesel] directly that I would not be returning to the franchise. I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return.”

He directly addressed Diesel’s social media post asking him back: “Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding.”

There are no hard feelings, of course.

“My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible franchise with gratitude and grace. It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. Regardless, I’m confident in the ‘Fast’ universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience… I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”

And that’s that.

Belfast Star Wishes Dad Was Around To See His New Movie

Not every star makes it big early. Some spend long careers grinding, never quite getting that big break, or fully realizing their potential, until later in their lives. It’s not easy waiting for recognition, or for finally delivering the project they’ve always wanted to make, especially when the people who would be most proud of your accomplishments aren’t around to see them.

For actor Jaime Dornan, that person is his father.

Dornan was a model who hit it big when he was cast in the film adaptation of the hugely popular book series, Shades of Grey. He’d become a star, and was very successful, but it’s his latest project that is getting the most attention. He stars in Belfast, an autobiographical tale from writer/director Kenneth Branagh, about a young boy growing up in Northern Ireland. The movie is an Oscar favorite, and Dornan is proud to be a part of it. He just wishes his father were still around to see it.

Dornan’s father, Jim, was a renowned obstetrician and gynecologist and was considered a pioneer in the field of women’s reproductive rights. He passed away from Covid-19 last March while Dornan was on quarantine while filming in Australia.

“For my dad not to see Belfast really hurts,” he told the Sunday Times. “I take comfort from the fact that he knows I did it. Some people go their whole lives without being told they’ve made their parents proud. My dad told me every day.”

Dornan says his father was the one who encouraged him to explore his creative side – rather than end up a working stiff.

“I didn’t want to become an estate agent in Belfast and play a bit of club rugby at weekends — with the greatest respect to estate agents in Belfast,” he added. “I just felt I had a wee bit more to offer than that… even though it is lunacy to try to be an actor. Only 4 per cent of actors are employed — who in their right mind would pursue that?”

His dad encouraged him, and Dornan has made his way quite well, and his dad knew it.

Peter Dinklage Says Fans Need to ‘Move On’ From Game of Thrones Ending

Game of Thrones was an incredible show. Groundbreaking for HBO and it absolutely deserved all the good accolades that came its way. But that last season…Season 8 of the show will always be the asterisk that drags the show down from being one of the best ever. But, star Peter Dinklage has a message for fans; “Move on.”

Dinklage, who was truly fantastic as Tyrion Lannister, gave a wide-ranging interview to the New York Times recently about new projects he’s working on. Late in the interview, he was asked about the ending.

He said he thought people were upset with it because “they wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together.”

“By the way, it’s fiction. There’s dragons in it. Move on,” he laughed. “No, but the show subverts what you think, and that’s what I love about it.”

Dinklage thought it was the perfect time to end the show, and thought the ending was brilliant in how it wasn’t about who ruled after all.

“Everybody had their own stories going on while watching that show, but nobody’s was as good as what the show delivered, I think,” he said.

He does make a strong case for how the show frequently went out of its way to set up a fantasy trope and then cut it down. It’s what kept the show interesting and kept viewers on their feet. HOWEVER, The fans have some legit gripes with how sped up the creators made that last season. Author George R.R. Martin thought the show should’ve been two seasons longer (of course he did, he can’t finish anything) and he’s probably right. At least another season would’ve allowed them to set up the finish better.

Still, the destination was the destination, no matter how bungled the pacing was. And people…were not going to like that destination. It’s unseen if that’s how Martin plans to end things (although he clued the creators into other major moments that aren’t in the books yet, so I can’t imagine he veers off course with the ending), but Dinklage is right in that everyone had a different story. And no matter what, many of them were going to be mad with how it ended  (and just the fact that it actually was over).

But if the ending actually was as good as he thinks it was, the show would still be spoken about reverently in culture. Instead, most people have moved on. And that’s the biggest sign that things didn’t work as well as possible.

Laura: So Lucky

“We have 2 under 2, about 14 months apart. Covid has become increasingly difficult with being in lock down and stay home orders (we’re in Ontario).

My husband has worked around the clock to be able to provide for us, as we’ve felt the financial ramifications just like so many. He works two jobs to cover our expenses and comes home always so present and involved with the kids. Always there to give me a break when I’m on my mental tipping point.

He’s always the first to say, “go for a drive, or go have a nap”… he does so much for us and never asks for anything in return. We’re so lucky.”

– Laura Fleming

Teen McDonald’s Employee Jumps Through Drive-thru Window To Save Choking Woman

A Minnesota teen served up more than just burgers and fries during her Saturday shift at McDonald’s. Throughout the seven months 15-year-old Sydney Raley spent working at the McDonald’s in Eden Prairie, her biggest challenges consisted of handling the daily lunch rush. That is, until a seemingly-typical day at the drive-thru turned almost catastrophic.

The hard-working teen was in the midst of her weekend shift, taking orders and handing customers their food through the drive-thru window. Working in food service can be incredibly hectic, but Sydney’s attentiveness and quick thinking meant the difference between life and death for one customer. After handing a woman and her daughter their first bag of food, Sydney turned to check on the remainder of their order. When the 15-year-old went to update her customers, she noticed something was seriously wrong.

“She was coughing like crazy, and I noticed she was gagging.” Sydney told CNN. “Her daughter was in the passenger seat and she looked so freaked out. I immediately knew ‘Oh, no, she’s choking.'”

Sydney learned the Heimlich maneuver from a Red Cross class for babysitters years before, and almost automatically, her training kicked in. After instructing both her manager and the customer’s daughter to call 911, Sydney leaped through the drive-thru window to do whatever she could to save the woman’s life.

With the help of a bystander, Sydney dislodged the chicken nugget from the choking woman’s throat. Though the customer was still in a state of shock, her immense gratitude was evident. The heroic teen received a reward from the Edina Police Department for her heroism, and well-earned praise from her community as a whole.

Kingsman Director Wants To Put Henry Cavill in a Fun Superman Movie

Of all the ways DC has botched their movie universe, from their painful attempt to match the MCU’s team up with a hastily-assembled version of their own, to Wonder Woman 1984, to the Snydercut, no character has gotten shorter shift than Superman.

The most iconic superhero of all got one controversial movie in which he utterly betrayed his most fundamental principles, and then didn’t even get a sequel of his own. He was immediately thrust into Batman v. Superman and then the Justice League, for which he was largely absent. And in none of those movies did he live up to the promise of his comics, or of the first two Christopher Reeve films.

Someday we’ll hopefully get a worthy follow-up, and maybe it will be directed by the Kingsmen’s Matthew Vaughn. The director is currently doing press for The King’s Man, his Kingsmen prequel, and he revealed to The Wrap that not only does he want to make a Superman movie, but he also pitched one before Man of Steel.

“I was desperate to do a Superman film. Desperate,” Vaughn confessed. “I pitched a big Superman movie before they made ‘Man of Steel.’”

He didn’t get that chance, but he’s still pining. And after having worked with Henry Cavill, he wants the Man of Steel star to reprise the role. With a slightly different tone than Snyder’s pompous, gray-toned take.

“I just got to work with Henry Cavill, which was lovely, on ‘Argylle’ and he’s unbelievable in it. I still think there’s room for a new Superman film, but a proper Superman film. A colorful, fun Superman movie. Not a dark one.”

He explains that he wishes the character had gotten his own sequel before he joined Batman’s world, which has a very different tone – especially since the Nolan movies reinvented the character for modern times

“I just thought it was a mistake putting the Batman vibe into the Superman world,” Vaughn said. “I just think they’re two separate — they’re just not relatable in any way, in my mind. It should be fun. I mean, look, ‘The Dark Knight’ was obviously different, and it made sense and it was brilliant, as a film and as a comic. But Superman was always… I loved the [Richard] Donner ‘Superman’ movie, and I think ‘Wonder Woman’ worked because, I think, ‘Wonder Woman’ was basically remaking [Donner’s] ‘Superman’ in a weird way. Yeah, I love Superman.”

I love Superman too, and that all sounds good to me. There are plenty of ways to make the character work without going the angsty, conflicted route. I’d love to see Vaughn, or someone else with the right mindset, make it work.

Either way, the character will endure. But hopefully, we’ll see him soar again soon.

An NFL Player Surprised Two Dozen Kids With New Bikes for Christmas

In the world of great seasonal content, few things will rank up there with “famous person surprises kids with cool presents.” One of the latest was fantasy football standout Joe Mixon, who has been tearing it up for the Bengals on the gridiron. And the impact he’s leaving off the field is proving to be just as big.

Mixon surprised 28 kids from the Boys & Girls club to a local arcade for a few hours of unlimited video games and pizza. They even all got Icees for dessert. The biggest surprise was saved for last, as Mixon made sure each kid would have a Christmas to remember as he gave everyone there a brand new bike and helmet. The kids were floored and started testing them out right there in the arcade.

Mixon posed for pictures with the kids and went out of his way to make their day special. It’s cool to see pro athletes giving back in a real way. It wasn’t just a staged photo where the player pops in for some good press, Mixon was there for those kids the whole day. And the bikes were the icing on the cake.

“This community has embraced me and become a second home for me, so to be able to give back and inspire these children is the least I can do,” he said. It’s not even the first time Mixon has gone this route, as he’s pulled the arcade/bike surprise in the past as well.

The Bengals have exceeded expectations this season and were close to being even better if not for a few very close losses. Mixon has been carrying the backfield for Cincinnati, while star QB Joe Burrow has been one of the best in the NFL throwing the football.

Even above his play on the field, Mixon can at least know he has 28 new fans after putting some magic into their holiday season.

Rumor: Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus May Helmet up as MCU’s Ghost Rider

Despite their reluctance to recast T’Challa after Chadwick Boseman’s death, the MCU is no stranger to recasting roles – they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle after the first Iron Man, and they launched Tom Holland as their new Spider-man. Now that the Infinity Saga has ended and taken some fan-favorite characters with it, the MCU is bringing in some new heroes that have previously been onscreen.

Mahershala Ali is in the process of taking over as Blade, the role Wesley Snipes made famous, and now rumor has it that the MCU is going to bring Ghost Rider into the fold. Nicolas Cage, unfortunately, won’t be reprising his role as the fire-headed motorcyclist, but who is?

The latest rumor is that Walking Dead star Norman Reedus will suit up, replacing Cage’s non-MCU version of the popular comics character.

According to CBR.com industry insider Charles Murphy announced, in a since-deleted tweet, that the MCU had signed an actor fans would be happy with but didn’t say whom. Then Reedus himself began liking fan tweets speculating that he would be the new Ghost Rider, fueling the rumors.

There’s been no actual confirmation from Reedus or anyone on the Marvel side of things, so this is still very much fancasting at this point. Reedus has a lot of fans from his days as a zombie-killer on AMC’s long-running show, not to mention his role in the cult-favorite Boondock Saints. But he’s not necessarily suited to all of the various incarnations of Ghost Rider…

The comics have seen plenty of different people inhabit the Ghost Rider alter-ego, including Johnny Blaze (Nic Cage’s version), Danny Ketch, Robbie Reyes, Alejandra Jones, or Kushala. Once we know which Ghost Rider the MCU plans to use, it will be easier to pick an actor to fill that helmet, but until then, Norman Reedus is as good a guess as any. He’s definitely got a “made a deal with the devil” sort of vibe to him!

The Rock Gave His Mom a Car With a Big Red Bow For Christmas

The Rock is a superstar. He took the wrestling world by storm, kicked the Fast and Furious up a notch, stars in Netflix’s biggest movie ever, is prepping to reinvent DC’s superhero hierarchy with his role as Black Adam, and recently won the People’s Choice People’s Champ award, for good reason.

But none of that compares to making his mom happy.

That’s exactly what Dwayne Johnson did this Christmas when he bought his mom a new car.

The actor, who lost his father, wrestling pioneer, earlier this year, took to Instagram to share a video of the moment he delivered the car to his mother, with some help from his adorable daughters.

The Rock captioned the video – and the accompanying photos of his mother beaming inside her new ride – with a heartfelt message of love and thanks:

“This one felt good.

Surprised my mom with a new car for Christmas today 🎅🏾🎄

She was shocked.
She got a few good ugly cries in.
Then once her grand babies joined her inside the car.
She was overcome with pure joy joy.

Hell, even Hobbs, my dog wanted to peep the whip with his new Christmas chicken 🐓🤣

I’m so grateful I can do this kinda stuff for my mom, who’s had one helluva life.
I don’t take any of it for granted.
Neither does she.

Merry Christmas ma, enjoy your new ride!!! 😊🙌🏾
And your Elvis records 🎶🕺🏽
We love you.
You deserve a lot more 🙏🏾”

 

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This video, along with the gesture and the star’s clear gratitude for the privileges his life affords him and his family, are a large part of the reason he is one of the most liked superstars in the world.