The actress says that her famous father Ron Howard, who went from child actor to TV star and filmmaker, and mom Cheryl, kept her and her three siblings away from the spotlight.
“No premieres — nothing like that,” Howard, 34, tells PEOPLE.
And it’s exactly how she and her husband, Salem actor Seth Gabel, are raising their own kids, Theodore Norman, 8½, and Beatice Jean, 3½.
“Same deal,” she affirms. “What my parents did that was great was they exposed all of us to movie sets and making movies and the crew. We had a very deep understanding of the kind of work that my dad did.”
Howard continues, “We weren’t exposed to the side of the industry that’s perceived as being more glamorous, where actors are coddled and where there’s a certain level of celebrity. We were completely sheltered from that. I think that that was a good call.”
Despite being the star of the big summer hit Jurassic World (out Tuesday on Blu-Ray and DVD), Howard says keeping her family life low-profile has been easy. “I don’t walk around and have people recognize me, really; I live a pretty straightforward, simple life,” she shares.
The only exception? When people mistake her for her celeb lookalike Jessica Chastain. “Which only happens when I’m wearing makeup, and I look my best, incidentally. With no makeup, I look nothing like her, sadly!” she jokes.
“But so far so good,” she says of keeping her kids’ upbringing grounded. “It’s such an awesome thing to get to travel with them and for them to get to see that my husband and I get to do creative work that we’re really excited about and we’re really inspired by. It’s really fun for us and rewarding and challenging in all the right ways. I feel really grateful for that.”
With acting as the family business — along with Howard’s father, his brother Clint and her grandparents Jean and Rance have all had careers in front of the camera — does showbiz appear to run in her kids’ blood?
“They’re hilarious people, [but] I don’t really know if they have a very full sense of what I do for my work. That remains to be seen. I’m not looking at them through that lens very much,” she says.
What she does know is that she remains desperate to find a film to work on together with her dad. “I wish! I wish!” she says. “I don’t want to offend him, but I keep saying, ‘Someone’s getting older here! And that’s me, and you’re not going to want me. Let’s deal with this now. Please, please!’ “
Howard adds, “But he’s going to be making movies forever, for decades to come, and hopefully, I’ll be allowed to as well. Out of all of my dreams, I want to be working with my dad.”
— Scott Huver