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Capone grills Ron Howard on FROST/NIXON, Obama, Dan Brown, and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!!!

Hey folks. Capone in Chicago here. I've been following the FROST/NIXON project since before there was a FROST/NIXON project. A couple of years back, I interviewed Michael Sheen for THE QUEEN. At the time, he was at the tail end of performing Peter Morgan's penetrating play on the London stage and preparing for the inevitable Broadway run. Just reading about the subject matter and the talent involving in putting on the theatrical version made me think it would make for a perfect film, and apparently I wasn't the only one. Ron Howard also thought it would make for a great movie as well, something he was able to tuck into his schedule between THE DA VINCI CODE and next summer's ANGELS & DEMONS, and it's great to see him get back to a project where he can cut away the fat and get down to some gritty storytelling. Howard has given us more enjoyable films over the years than most directors can dream of. Yes, I'll go back as far as GRAND THEFT AUTO and NIGHT SHIFT as examples of some of his truly entertaining beginnings. But works like COCOON, SPLASH, WILLOW, and PARENTHOOD are a huge part of my cinematic upbringing. To me, APOLLO 13 marked a turning point in the way people perceived Howard's movies and his abilities as a director. Not every movie after that was great, but the anticipation level for each new Ron Howard film was always high. RANSOM, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, CINDERELLA MAN, and, yes, even THE DA VINCI CODE were "event" movies. FROST/NIXON feels like there's less riding on its success, which makes it all the more significant. The film features perhaps the greatest collection of acting Howard has ever assembled. There's also a subtlety and depth to the story that Howard hasn't given us to the this degree before. Sure, this is a movie about a legendary, although nearly forgotten series of interviews, but it also dives in to how much every player has riding on the final product. Sure that element would have been in Morgan's screenplay, but Howard makes sure it isn't lost in the army of great performances. Over the years, Howard has been described as a director with no style. I contend that his style is being able to adapt to the material and not forcing a style on a film. It opens him up to find great stories, rather than try to find stories that suit an established way of making films. It explains why one of his best works is 2003's THE MISSING, a movie few people saw but works extraordinarily well in its brutality and stripped down style. One of Howard's most recent masterpieces was something he did in an effort to get Barack Obama elected. If you haven't seen his endorsement video, check it out since it's the first thing we talk about. Enjoy Ron Howard!
Capone: Hi Ron. How are you? Ron Howard: I'm good. So which guy are you on Ain't It Cool News? Capone: I'm Capone. RH: Capone, okay. Great. Capone: I know you have some history with our site and Harry. RH: Yeah, I've met with Harry a couple times, going back to THE GRINCH and again on THE MISSING, I think. And I bumped into him in San Antonio once, and that was fun. I've got the site bookmarked. Capone: That's good to hear. RH: Sometimes I don't like what people have to say there, but what the hell. [laughs] Capone: So how does it feel to be the man who single handedly got Barack Obama elected president? RH: [laughs] Man, I dreaded doing that. I got the idea at about five o'clock one morning, and I went "Oh, fuck!" It was the last thing in the world I wanted to do; I've never publicly endorsed a candidate. I've given financial support and maybe in a couple of interviews, maybe acknowledged who I was going to vote for. But I've never orchestrated anything like that. But I started living with the idea and I knew it wouldn't go away. It would cut through in some way. And when I talked to Henry [Winkler] about it, and then most importantly Andy [Griffith], and I realized they were both big Obama supporters and they were looked for the right way to express that. I decided to go ahead with it. Meanwhile, I'd talked to Judd Apatow about it, just tested it on him. He thought it was really funny and thought it would be really effective, and he said, "You've got to talk to Adam McKay who's really political." Adam was a huge advocate of it, and he said, "We've got this tiny little infrastructure here at Funny or Die that can support this on a production side. So if you choose to do it, we'll do it and put it on the site." I pitched the idea to him, and he said, "I'll write it up." So he wrote it up, but then I wasn't going to do it. Obama was doing much better in the polls, and all of the sudden things shifted again, and I just said to myself, "If on November 5, he wasn't elected, and I had this idea and didn't do it, I'm always going to be disappointed in myself." And that was the litmus test. And I understand when people say celebrities should stay out of it. I've said that. [laughs] And as I said in the piece, I hope I never feel compelled to do another endorsement, but I felt strongly enough about this. Capone: I spoke to Michael Sheen about two years ago when he was in the midst of the London run of FROST/NIXON, and getting ready to move it over to Broadway. What was your first connection with this material? RH: I was talking to Peter Morgan while I was mixing DI VINCI CODE in London. No, I was there for the Hans Zimmer scoring session. And I met with Peter on another project, and ultimately he turned out not to be able to write it. But I said, what else are you working on, and he mentioned THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL. And he told me about THE QUEEN, which hadn't come out yet and that sounded pretty interesting to me. LAST KING OF SCOTLAND sounded great. And then he said, "I'm going to do this play about Frost-Nixon interviews," which I remembered because I was one of those 400 million people glued to the set at the time. But I think my eyes glazed over at the time, because I remember thinking, "Hmm, a full play? Maybe a one act, but what else would it be?" I didn't think anything of it until it was written and running in London, and I had a chance to read it, and I thought it was great. I was so surprised by it, by how funny it was and how tense it was and how fascinating and cool all the behind the scenes machinations were. And I also realized that other filmmakers were getting ready to bid on it. So I talked to Brian [Grazer, Howard's production partner and co-founder of Imagine Entertainment], he seemed really intrigued by it--I'm not sure if he'd read it at that point or not, but he liked what it was about. And my wife Cheryl and I literally jumped on a plane to London so I could see it. I literally was so enthralled by the production, very theatrical. But even as I was watching it, I was beginning to sort of develop a point of view of how the adaptation could work and how we could make it more cinematic. And I walked out of the theater onto the sidewalk, called Brian, called my agents and said, "I not only want to bid on it, I'll make it my next movie." I just had faith that Peter and I could sort out the adaptation and agree on that. And whatever the casting decisions might be, I felt like I could make a really compelling movie with Michael [Sheen who plays David Frost] and Frank [Langella, who plays Richard Nixon]. So I made that commitment, Peter decided to send it to me at Imagine and Working Title. Capone: So was there ever a question in your mind about having Frank and Michael not play these roles? I have to imagine there was some degree of pressure to go in a more high-profile direction in terms of casting the leads. RH: Oh yeah. Well Michael quickly came out in THE QUEEN and was fantastic, and he was great in the play, so he became a pretty obvious choice to go with from the beginning. I think the studio always hoped that we could find a big established movie star name to play Nixon. And I was open to that conversation, but again I felt like it had to be right. At one point, Frank called me and said, "I hear the studio really wants to go in another direction, and I'm a big boy, but should I audition for this somehow? Should I put myself on tape? Is there some way for me to throw my hat in the ring?" And I said, "Well, you're on my list, Frank. And I think you're auditioning every night, and I think you're best play here is to just take it to New York. I think you're going to get all types of acknowledgement when you're on Broadway with it. You don't need to compete by putting yourself on tape." He was incredibly gracious. And in the end, that's how it all worked out. All the conversations just stopped, and it became so clear that even on some sort of karmic level, it was the right thing to do, to have Frank do it. And the studio asked me knock a few more millions off the budget, but they at least supported the idea. And I was glad I was able to gain their support. Capone: Obviously FROST/NIXON didn't cost nearly as much as the film you did before and the film you did after… RH: Right [laughs]. Capone: …but was this a nice palate cleanser for you between the two Dan Brown projects? RH: Absolutely, without a doubt. In fact, it was really invigorating, and it was creatively so right for the movie. I mean, I never want to spend a nickel more than we need to. Of course, a lot of the cuts in the cost of production for this project started with my salary [laughs], so that was a step in the right direction right off the bat as far as we were concerned. And it was great to use the same team. Salvatore Totino is the cinematographer, Todd Hallowell was the line producer, same editors and production gang. We brought FROST/NIXON under budget and under schedule. It sort of invigorated everyone, and I think the fact that we were working with Michael and Frank also made things incredibly efficient and tight because they had such command of these characters. Everyone tried to live up to their standards. The style that I envisioned for this movie and developed with Sal was to just not rehearse at all but just set up a couple of cameras--either hand held or long lens on a dolly track--and just start shooting. And let the camera operators discover the scene in a very spontaneous, organic way. And it was my job to then work from there to sort of build the bridge pieces together, so that we would get something that would build dramatically and create the suspense. It was incredibly liberating. I broke and bent a lot of axioms and rules that I tend to follow in films, and it was really refreshing and exciting. Capone: Oliver Platt mentioned to me earlier today that you gave each actor research to do so it was possible for them to improvise as well in an educated fashion. RH: A lot of improvising. My idea was, plays tend to be presentational. And my idea was to make this experiential for the audience as possible. You weren't going to have that excitement of sitting in the theater with the actors, so I wanted to make the cinema of all this to try to draw the audience into an intimate relationship with the actors and what was going on. I wanted it to feel very spontaneous and very organic and yet there's the great piece of writing that you want to fully utilized--Peter Morgan script. So I got Oliver and Sam [Rockwell], I cast them because they are improvisational actors, and I said, "Here's the great writing, but feel free if you see a gap or a moment, make a comment, throw it in, whatever." So it was very loose, and it was there this sense of discovery and freshness in every take, and even a little danger. And when it came to the political stuff, they did do so much research that when we did those training sequences [a dry run for the interview where Platt takes on the Nixon role as Frost lobs questions at him], that was all improvised. It wound up being so smart and so edgy and funny and biting that I had expected to just use a few seconds of it, and I ended up making a whole sequence out of it. I was really proud of those guys; they breathed a lot of life into the story, and a lot of what they did helped move the project away from something that felt more like a play that was being filmed and toward something that felt vibrant and immediate, like a movie. Capone: A lot of your "Arrested Development" actors have had quite a bit to say about the possibility of a big screen version happening. What's the update? RH: Yeah, we're closer than ever. Mitch [Hurwitz] is really focused on it, the cast seems really interested, the studio [Fox Searchlight] seems to be on board, and God know they've got a narrator who's just chomping at the bit. [laughs] So we don't have a script yet, but we all want it and we want it to be good. We're pushing in that direction and all really pushing together for the first time in ages. So, I think we've got a very good chance of it happening. Capone: That's great. Was it nice to go back to a filmmaking style driven almost entirely by dialogue? RH: Well, I love actors, and I love making all kinds of films, and I never want to impose a style or a stamp on any movie. I want to always discover what I think the story needs in order to realize its possibilities for the audience. In this case, it was so much about the acting, and that was exciting for me. If I had to choose one thing in my life, only one kind of movie you could make and one kind of theme you could direct, it would always be a powerhouse acting opportunity. So for me, every day was like that. It reminded me of BEAUTIFUL MIND in that regard. And the scenes were always challenging enough and intricate enough that you could never ever go on some sort of autopilot--let's do a master and a couple over-the-shoulders and we've got it [laughs]. Plus, I just didn't want to stage it that way. I wanted it to have its own kind of feel. I didn't want it to look, again, like it was being presented too much. Capone: You just said something that opens up a whole new avenue of questioning. I'm not sure we have time… RH: Go ahead, ask. Capone: You said a couple times that you don't like to impose a style on your films, and that has been something that has been said about you in the past. You could watch five different Ron Howard films and not know they were all directed by the same person. You seem to strive for that and seem proud of that accomplishment. RH: Very proud of, because who cares who directed it? [laughs] To me, you're sitting there watching the movie, and is it effective or not? Is it memorable? Actors who can adapt to different tones and styles are characterized as chameleons and are respected for that. So I suppose I've tried to think of myself as a filmmaker in a similar way, but even that is a little more self-conscious than is true. Really, I just want the movie to be effective. Because of when I was acting on television series for 17 out of 20 years there--from 1960-1980, you're basically doing the same things over and over again in slightly tweaked, slightly repackaged ways. And as soon as I realized I was going to get to make more than one or two movies, the one conscious thing I did was say I don't want to be typed, and I don't want to type myself. I want to use this as a way of exploring the medium and world. I want variety. And if I'm going to do that, I can't be trying to impose myself on it. I've got to sort of check that at the door and work on behalf of the story. But I've never be critical of directors who put their stamp on all of their movies because I'm a fan of that too and sometimes appreciate that, but it's just not my approach. Capone: Ron, thank you so much for talking to us. RH: My pleasure. Take care. Bye bye. -- Capone

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 1, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Love Ron Howard

    by mrfan

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Dropped the ball: No Willow Question!!!

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Somebody needs to ask him why the fish boy action scene (the one that was filmed that was going to take place when Willow was bringing Fin Raziel back to shore) was cut, and if it will ever be reinstated. Give us the third acron!

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    What a cool guy.

    by Mysterious Bones

    He seems like the sort of person you could hang out with, have a couple of beers and talk about anything and he'd have an informed view on it. I certainly feel that he loves to educate with his films that aren't just made for pure fun, but does it in that brilliant way where you are being entertained in the same stroke. Wish there'd been a question around his thoughts on organised religion considering the subject matter of the Dan Brown books. Can't wait for Frost/Nixon so I can be educated & entertained again.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Quick proofing

    by Teko

    Poles = polls. Palette = palate.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST

    no no...the questions to ask is...

    by Bouncy X

    when's he gonna return on The Simpsons? i just love how much of an asshole he plays himself as on there, he needs to go the Sideshow Bob route and come back now and again.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 1:17 p.m. CST

    I never saw the actual interview

    by BobParr

    I'm sure I will have plenty of opportunity to see the interview after the movie is released. I hope the depiction is accurate and not complete bullshit. I've seen a lot of dramatic interpretations of actual events and they usually aren't even close. I don't want to see Nixon look like a fool in the movie and then see the actual interview where maybe it got a little awkward. He could get away with it in A BEAUTIFUL MIND because t was the life story of a somewhat obscure figure to anyone outside the academic world. If he overblows a singular, recorded event there should be a lot of blowback.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST


    by IAmLegolas

    One only has to view a few seconds of Richard Nixon in action to know that Frank Langella is NOT portraying him very well. His affected speech (in the previews at least) makes it hard to watch, let alone plumb the depth of his characterization.<P> Furthermore, the actual Frost/Nixon interviews were fairly bland fare. There was some mild excitement regarding the initial Watergate questions (Frost's first question of the interview was, "Why didn't you burn the tapes?" and represented the question that was most on people's minds). But Nixon handled those pretty deftly and soon steered the interview towards the minutiae of his China visit.<P> Which means that in order to amplify the drama of the interviews, they had to create drama where there was none. Nixon's admission that "when the President does it, it is not illegal" was not, as the trailer showed, at the climax of a shouting match. It was delivered as a perfectly logical explanation of the extra-legal activities of his administration. Frost barely reacted to the line in the real interviews, just going along with Nixon's flow. Similarly, the "did you do any fornicating this weekend?" line wasn't dropped by Nixon just before the cameras rolled in a game of one-upsmanship to catch Frost off-guard. It came during a pause in taping while the former president was trying to make small talk--a task he was painfully bad at.<P> "Frost/Nixon" can be enjoyed and praised only by those who know precious little about the reality of those conversations. For the most part, they are a dry and very boring discussion of foreign policy that don't contain even a fraction of the drama hinted at in the trailers.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Opie Taylor just said "Oh, fuck!"

    by KnightShift

    That is a juxtaposition that I never believed was conceivably possible, much less would actually happen. That's all I got.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Ron Howard is just too cool

    by antonphd

    I can't wait for Frost/Nixon

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Seems like a nice dood

    by Dancingforever

    Although I don't give a fuck about this film, Ron seems to be a well adjusted child actor who is at peace with himself and his films. A good mate of mine worked on the set of a Beautiful Mind and has told the same story several times that Ron would call everyone behind a dressing trailer and smoke fantastic weed with the whole crew but would never par take with the actors. Ron is known on the set as a blue collar guy who seems intimidated by some of his talent, this might explain his lack of imprint on the films he directs. Regardless, I will forever be jealous I was not there to smoke pot with Richie Cunnigham. That could only be topped by tripping acid with the Fonz.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:22 p.m. CST


    by antonphd

    What the fuck?

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:26 p.m. CST

    I can't wait to see this

    by My Mom Is A Whore

    I never thought I'd say that about a movie based around a television interview.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Did he really say "bye bye"?

    by Geekgasm

    That's it. That's all I got.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Ron Howard is beyond dull......


    Take a fucking risk once in awhile dude. Jesus Christ. <p>

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:44 p.m. CST

    should have told him to come clean about Lucas directing Willow.


  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:49 p.m. CST

    That would explain ...

    by Geekgasm

    ... why Willow sucked.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    look at any set photo for Willow....


    ...and you will see Lucas directing Warwick.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 3:14 p.m. CST


    by IAmLegolas

    You are a "McGovernite" who just wants to tear down this country.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST

    I Loved the Missing

    by DKT

    Definitely an under-appreciated movie. And I agree it's one of Ron Howard's best.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Nice one Capone!

    by PotSmokinAlien

    I've never seen a Ron Howard movie that I've liked, but this interview is great. You really get a sense of what a genuine and nice dude Howard is. Man, if only everyone in Hollywood appreciated their lives as much as he seems to.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Boo yeah!

    by batman713

    "Why go to a banana stand when we can make YOUR banana stand."

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 7:38 p.m. CST


    by CherryValance

    He's got a pottymouth. lol. Anyway, when I see the trailer for Frost/Nixon all I can think about is how bad the hair looks. What is it with Hollywood and bad fake hair? Anywho, I'll probably see it. I never saw the interview either and I don't know if I'll get the significance but I've heard the performances are great.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    the story services the story.

    by imageburn13

    i like that he directs like that.

  • Dec. 1, 2008, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Nice interview Cap!

    by buffywrestling

    I've followed his career my whole life, it seems. Glad you got to talk to him. Looking forward to the AD movie, with or without Cena.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Howard, what a legend! Can't wait to see this

    by zapano

    He's made some very enjoyable movies and a fair few duds but he seems to have very few pretentions about himself and apepars super smart. A great cinematic craftsman, a gifted storyteller and an actor's director. Sweet interview. There was a strong early buzz about this film then for some reason expectations went right down. But expectations are skyrocketing at the moment. Definite oscar contender.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Bob Parr and Richie Cunningham's altering of reality

    by moondoggy2u

    Is it really that surprising? Just look what happened to poor Max Baer in Cinderella Man. That guy didn't have a single mean bone in his entire body and was one of Braddock's biggest proponents, but in the film, Baeris portrayed like some sort of psychopathic thug, hell-bent on killing Braddock. I'm still steamed over that one, you know. Not because it is a gross historical innacuracy and an outright malicious lie, but it also spat on the grave of a guy who spent his entire life fighting the good fight and helping his fellow man.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 7:07 a.m. CST

    I love Ron Howard

    by The Amazing G


  • Dec. 2, 2008, 7:08 a.m. CST


    by The Amazing G

    The Grinch isn't very good

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 7:09 a.m. CST

    one of the most underrated Ron Howard movies is...

    by The Amazing G

    Gung Ho

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 7:41 a.m. CST


    by Cotton McKnight

    Ron Howard is such an American icon, I really didn't need a paragraph listing all the movies he's done. Oh and I forgive him for his endorsement for Barack Obama. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 7:48 a.m. CST


    by BobParr

    I forgot about CINDERELLA MAN. That was a shitty thing to do to Baer and it wasn't even necessary. Braddock was a huge underdog facing a champion who did kill a guy in the ring. They didn't have to turn him into an evil cartoon character. I'm not a big Howard fan because he makes these kinds of Black/White, Good/Evil choices with all of his characters. The guy from A BEAUTIFUL MIND was also portrayed a some victim with an amazing love story. From all accounts he was an anti-simitic prick and closeted homosexual. That guy winning the Noble Prize while also being crazy is a lot more interesting than the guy in the movie.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Baer's killing of a man

    by moondoggy2u

    In the film, Howard shows the boxing promoter/owner playing a reel of how Baer deliberately knocked a guy in such a way that would severely injure/kill him. In reality, it was a mix/up with knockout-count that made his opponent drop his guard early while baer got a shot in. Rounds later, the guy got knocked out and never got up. And believe it or not, he spent the rest of his life supporting that man's family for the rest of his life.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Jesus, I really nead an edit button...

    by moondoggy2u

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Ron Howard...

    by Halloween68

    One of the most overrated filmmakers in Hollywood. He's a studio flunky that's fortunate enough to get good projects just fall into his lap. He's a simple point and shoot guy with not a lot of style. He gets good work from his actors, and he's supposedly really easy to get along with. I can see why he gets the work that he does. But have to wonder...if he didn't have studio support, or the connections he had growing up on set with his background. Where would the guy be today. I say probably making documentaries. I'm not bashing Howard. I'm saying there are probably other directors out there more deserving of the work he gets. And that he gets a lot of praise for scripts and scores and cinematography, and things he really didn't have anything to do with. Even to some extent the acting. Now while he's a good acting director, and he knows about acting through his roots, it's easier to get more from Tom Hanks and Russell Crowe than it is to get more from Treat Williams and Andre 5000, or whatever the heck his name is. Just a thought amidst all the Ron Howard love. Plus, I kind of miss Opie the actor.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 9:19 a.m. CST

    He never talks about Dan Brown

    by ShiftyEyedDog2

    might wanna change that headline. only reference is like "this film was between those two"

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Oh oh oh!!!!! I forgot to mention this!!!!

    by Cotton McKnight

    Ron Howard is a douche.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST


    by darthvedder81

    ...when the Iranians shoot a nuclear warhead into downtown LA/Chicago/NY and Obama responds by wanting to have coffee with Aquavelvajad we'll have Richie Cunningham to blame?

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 11:14 a.m. CST


    by dr sauch

    my god, you're so stupid. so unbelievably stupid.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    So how did he get Obama elected?

    by Zeegloo

    What did I miss?

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 11:58 a.m. CST

    He made an ad

    by moondoggy2u

    By that logic, the Obama chick got him elected, too.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST

    If you expect the real story from a biopic

    by Samuel Fulmer

    You probably read Cliff's Notes in High School instead of actually reading the book.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 12:50 p.m. CST

    "Scandlemakers suffered from shoddy production..."

    by EriamJH

    "... and poor narration." LOVE AD NARRATION!!! "We would never make fun of Andy Griffith. I can't stress this enough."

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Yeah, where's the Dan Brown talk?

    by George Newman

    I wanted to see how he would defend his poor film

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 12:58 p.m. CST

    I think it's time for Ron Howard's OBAMA

    by My Mom Is A Whore

    Starring Warwick Davies (with CGIed skin alteration) as Obama and The Fonze as Clinton, and maybe Jeff Daniels as Bush.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Michael Keaton as McCain

    by Samuel Fulmer

    and Val Kilmer as William Ayers.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    extremely enjoyable interview

    by K|LLDOZER

    This is the reason I keep coming back to AICN. No dumbing down or repackaging quotes - just a director riffing on how it all goes. I can't fathom why some people feel Howard is over-rated, when it's obvious that he's been serious about entertainment for his entire life and loves improvising through the entire process.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 4:34 p.m. CST


    by hitchhiker42

    I'm bringing it back, baby!

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 5:52 p.m. CST

    When's he going to make his movie about the guy

    by Vim Fuego

    Who has to go back in time for some reason, whose best friend is a talking pie?

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Wow Ron could be reading this.....

    by Dazzler69

    ...................................................................................................................... Happy days...good times!

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 9:05 p.m. CST

    That's why you don't...

    by worldofwarcraft

    ...interview Ron Howard.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Dear Ron Howard, (or whom it may concern)

    by Lornsorrow

    I think you are a fine director and you have done some real good films, but I wish you would not have made the Obama endorsement video. I understand if you want to give your opinion, but I don't think we need to hear it coming from those characters, characters which are better of left alone and not pulled into one side or another on politics. Do I want to see Han Solo, Rambo, Robert Langdon or Hawkeye (from M*A*S*H) come out of their world for political endorsing? No, I love them just where they are. The political world is enough of a circus. And as good as you guys still look as those characters in your endorsement, I'd rather them stay in their respective worlds. Instead of people with your notoriety coming out and throwing in your vote for what really amounts to simply one lesser of evil over another (and one more game of political ping pong between democrats and republicans that gets us nowhere ultimately) I'd rather like to see you speak out (if you must speak) against keeping this decaying tree of abusive government alive. All this nation does is trim those decaying branches. It always avoids the root problem. The root problem has been and always will be the need for real FREEDOM and a government that actually respects real freedom. We are born free from our first breath. Everyone has a right to do whatever they want with their own selves and their own property, providing they respect that same right in others. Until self-ownership and the true freedom that comes with it is recognized, and until we actually adhere to the Constitution, we will forever be stuck in this political stalemate of ping pong, going back and forth every four to eight years between one extreme to another. So, I'll continue to vote Libertarian every damn time. We are the fastest growing third party, and its a party built on that principle of freedom instead of whatever random favored leftish or rightish leaning at the moment. Real life is about freedom and respect. Anything less is lurching drunk down the road of fascism.

  • Dec. 2, 2008, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Vim Fuego

    by godric

    that made my day

  • Dec. 3, 2008, 2:17 a.m. CST


    by VoxMillennium

    Criticizing Mr. Howard for vocalizing his political view and subsequently in a public forum going on a soapbox and declare your support for a political party is sort of hypocritical. Talking about supposedly "reel FREEDOM" and then endorsing a political party, any political party, is a testimoney to a dangerous form of naivité and self-deception as the two are mutually exclusive, especially in the US. Your party is in favour of "free trade", the kind of deregulation that got the world to this level of unbridled unchecked economic excess that has it on a strangle hold for the next few years. The funny paradox of wanting less government and at the same time wanting to protect civil liberties. Who do you think will have to implement that protection if not government? Your party talks about mutual respect for rights, but who's going to make sure that these rights are respected? Trust human nature and hope for the best? As far as fastest growing third party goes, having about 200.000 "members" (according to your party anyone is a member who agrees with your membership statement, a bit generous interpretation but what the hell) is hardly a number the political establishment will loose any sleep over so get off your high horse and as a promotor of "real freedom" put your money where your mouth is and allow Howard the freedom to express his views; the fact that you don't see the hypocrisy in that speaks volumes of what you stand for.

  • Dec. 3, 2008, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Grills? [Laughs]

    by Heckles

    "Capone, okay. Great." Man, at least we got that important AICN ass-kissing in there. Does this site just exist on self-importance and links to other sites that actually have 'cool' news? I'm sure a decade of servicing Tarantino will afford you plenty of 'Bastards' material, but come on. This place is turning to the TMZ of geekdom.

  • Dec. 3, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST


    by RobFromBackEast

    Take your cock out of your sister for two minutes and educate yourself, you fucking moron.

  • Dec. 3, 2008, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Another Armchair Critic - VoxMillennium

    by Lornsorrow

    Your view of what is hypocritical is weak and ineffectual. Public forums like this are exactly where people should go to discuss ideas because people can respond back and forth and work together. Using fictional tv characters to mouth ones politics is totally different. You missed the point entirely! You can criticize real freedom all you want, but your research is faulty and misleading, and your character assassination is proof of your immaturity and childishness. Grow up. Howard has all the freedom he wants to do whatever he wants, and I have all the freedom I want to express my opinions about it. The only person I see who is on a high horse here is fascist people like yourself who sidestep the issue of "REAL FREEDOM" and then cant even spell "real" correctly. I suggest you take a breath, calm yourself down, and do some research. The bottom line will always come back to REAL freedom and self-ownership. Its simple. Everyone has a right to do whatever they want with their own selves and their own property, providing they respect that same right in others. I know that may sound damn strange to some, but take off those fascist glasses and have some respect for humanity and you just might see that though no political party is perfect, its nice to se one at least trying to head in the right direction and break the old stalemate of tired democrat and republican ideas. If you don't believe that, well, that's your opinion, and I have mine, and we are free to disagree. I recommend you read the book, Libertarianism my Boaz. IF that doesn't satisfy you, there are plenty of other works you can dig into. Chances are though, your more interested in mouthing off against freedom and saying what's been programed into you over the years. I understand. I was the same way for decades. Maybe one day you'll tire of it like I did and stand up for your rights. You are born free. The end.

  • Dec. 3, 2008, 7:24 p.m. CST


    by Lornsorrow

    I have nothing else to say on this issue.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 3:34 a.m. CST

    RE: Lornsorrow

    by VoxMillennium

    Calling someone fascist because they criticize your view is rather desperate I'd say and a sign you really don't have any real arguments, underlined by falling back on a spelling mistake and then referring to my criticism as "character assassination". That's a bit thick, but I guess I hit a sensitive spit, which is not quite uncommon when confronted with an uncomfortable truth. If you'd care to read what I actually say, you'd notice I didn't criticize any sort of concept of "real freedom" but the glaring paradox of being a proponent of it and at the same time wanting less government, which is supposedly there to protect those freedoms so dear to you. I'm quite calm I assure, you resorting to namecalling, calling me "fascist, rather seem to be the one a bit hot under the collar, but that's ok,just take your medication and you'll feel much better. You haven't exactly been able to counter argue a single point I made, but rather resort to calling me a fascist and drawing conclusions which proof you didn't actually get anything I said. The principles of your party I quite easy to understand, I assure you, in fact they are simplistic and one may call them idealistic, but as a matter of fact they are simply naive. What is the 'right' direction is a matter of debate I'd say, no single philosophy can claim to be its owner, so that remark I think is a bit ambitious. You make assumptions about me, that I'm fascist, don't read, have no respect for humanity and have been programmed. Wow, all that because I called you out on a little hypocracy? Seems to me that to be able in reference to respecting someone's freedom, you don''t mind disrespecting someone elses. Again that hypocracy, which leads me to conclude maybe it's you who needs to read up on some matters and grow a bit and deprogram, but don't worry, I will not call you fascist for it.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 3:35 a.m. CST


    by VoxMillennium

    I amde a few more spelling mistakes for you to enjoy just incase you run out of arguments.

  • Dec. 4, 2008, 8:06 p.m. CST


    by Lornsorrow

    Does anyone have anything about the actual interview above to say around here or has this thread just fizzled out to a bunch of straw man arguments?

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 1:14 a.m. CST


    by VoxMillennium

    Doing it again, attacking freedom of speech and calling people names. Ah, it's a drag living in a democracy isn't it where people show up and have the nerve to disagree with you? Bloody fascists, all of them!