Blondes may have more fun, and that’s fine; Bryce Dallas Howard is in it for the suspense. After playing the blind heroine in 2004’s The Village, Howard reunited with director M. Night Shyamalan for the new fantasy thriller Lady in the Water. Howard, 25, chatted with PEOPLE’s Katy Hall about playing an otherworldly water nymph, growing up in Ron Howard’s freckled household and getting married.
1. M. Night wrote Lady as a bedtime story for his kids. Did your parents tell you bedtime stories?
They read to me a lot, and my dad made up stories for me. Somehow they would all turn into one big pitch for his latest movie. My mom would be like, “Ixnay on the pitches! They’re really not appropriate for a child. You’re pitching Ransom!”
2. Your character in Lady has an oddly formal way of speaking. Did you carry it over from The Village?
Everyone, when I’m just in a cab or an elevator, will be like, “Oh, where are you from?” So I guess I’ve somehow adopted this weird way of speaking. But I had that problem long before The Village.
3 You’re so pale in Lady. Did you have to stay out of the sun?
I always stay out of the sun! But they did take out all my freckles each morning. It took three hours in makeup.
4. You come from a family of redheads. Did it cause a spectacle when you were all out together?
Separately it was fine, but together we looked like some kind of circus act. Because there were four kids, and both parents, and if the grandparents came, or the aunts and uncles, we were all redheads.
5. You went blonde for Spider-Man 3 but back to red two days after it wrapped for your June wedding to actor Seth Gabel. Why?
People were joking, like, “You could just alter it on the computer afterward,” and I was like, “Oh my God, I so don’t want to do that.”