It's no exaggeration to say that Bryce Dallas Howard has had quite a strange road to "stardom."  Especially considering she's the daughter of Oscar-winning director Ron Howard.

Her big break came in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village" and she followed that up by starring in Lars Von Trier's "Manderlay."  She then reunited with Shyamalan for "Lady in the Water" which was "supposed" to take her to the A-list.  Unfortunately, it was the biggest critical and commercial bomb of the filmmaker's career.  She recovered  bit with raves for her work in Kenneth Branagh's HBO adaptation of William Shakespeare's "As You Like it," but then found herself barely in the picture (literally) as Gwen Stacy in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3" (another disappointing sequel).  Wait, did we say disappointing sequels?  Why yes, that leads us to Howard's role as Kate Connor in this past summer's "Terminator Salvation."  The Sci-Fi flick made some cash, but Howard was barely in it and there is no guarantee the planned follow up will ever occur.  Now, somewhere during the lucrative "Spider-Man" and "Terminator" productions she found the time not only to have a baby, but to topline "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond" which is finally hitting theaters this month.

Speaking to Howard a few weeks ago, she was still visibly enthusiastic about starring in what was iconic American playwright Tennessee William's only completely original screenplay.  As the film's heroine Fisher, Howard gets to step into the saucy shoes of a typical carefree and living on the edge Williams debutante who is hiding the pain of her embarrassing family history by continuing to shock and insult the rich southern community she so despises. 

It was impressive that Howard would take the time to talk to the press about a film that debuted over a year ago at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival and is receiving only a limited release on Dec. 30.  However, perhaps she's feeling more confident about her career these days.  In controversial circumstances to say the least (at least to "Twilight" fans), Howard replaced fan favorite Rachelle Lefevre in the key role of the vampire Victoria in the franchise's upcoming third installment, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." I asked Howard what it was like to join a family of actors whose first two films have been shockingly monstrous blockbusters and her answer, at the end of the interview, may be political, but it's also very true.

And no, there is no video of you loyal Oscar pundit not because I was looking particularly unacceptable that day, but because it just wasn't provided.

You can watch the entire interview embedded in this page or watch a larger version here.


"The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond" opens in limited release on Dec. 30.  "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opens nationwide and on IMAX on June 30.