When I saw that Clint Howard was on the call sheet for the day I was to visit the set of Huff I got a little bit of extra giddy in my step. With over 200 titles to his credit he is without a doubt engrained in your memory. Son of Rance Howard and brother to Ron Howard he rounds the family out in true talent. A few titles from memory would be when he played Stanley in Evilspeak which at the time frightened me to see Clint turn into what can only be described as a demonized hog with horns that decapitates people with a sword. Later roles in Austin Powers, Water Boy, Little Nicky, and Apollo 13 all float in my head as I rack my brain. Star Trek, Cinderella Man, Halloween, The Dilemma and a flurry of television shows. The list just doesn’t quit.
In Huff, Clint plays the role of Karl who is a hay delivery man who gets in the middle of Huff trying to find his step-daughter Shay. As the takes go on, I’m looking for Clint but all I see is this man with a Movember looking beard and a hat shading his eyes. Hmm, I guess Clint comes to set later. They wrapped that scene and we break for lunch and Gordon directs me to a man who says, “Hi, I’m Clint.” Ooooh so the mountain man WAS Clint. I know that the title “Ol’ Blue Eyes” is kept solely for Frank Sinatra, but Clint’s eyes were piercing my soul. After he wrapped I pulled him aside and was able to ask a few questions but Clint isn’t an actor that needs you to feed him a question. He really is invested and gives great passion when he speaks. What you can’t see in words is that the whole time I was mesmerized by his eyes and I had the silliest grin from ear to ear. When you see the video it’s quite uncomfortable how much I’m grinning but nevertheless I had a great chat with Mr. Howard.
This is kind of an unusual part for you?
I’m usually the victimer. Cort [Howell, the writer for Huff] called and asked me if I would like to do it. Cort is like a relative to me and this was a no brainer. I read the script and I liked it. I loved the fact that their trying to make a little small movie and make it good. I want to participate. It was a no brainer for me.
Have you seen Rance since he’s been on set?
Oh no, you know what? I talked to dad. I got a scouting report. He worked a few days ago and my dad, Rance Howard, and I called him and said, ‘So Dad how’s it going?’, and he said he was really impressed. Little crew. Paul is doing a great job. and everybody and all the wheels are turning in the right direction. And when dad said that, that was a relief to me. I knew that my day, my work here would be fun and productive. And it was.
And one small anecdotal thing, Cort told me that the part of Karl, was something they offered me. But they wrote the part of Karl. The name Karl comes from my old high school baseball coach. When Cort told me that I’m playing Karl, and I said Yea I know that. He goes, Karl Keller. Karl Keller was my high school baseball coach. so a tip of the cap to Coach Keller. My characters name is Karl.
Have you told him that?
No I haven’t seen him, Coach Keller in a few months. I know he’s around and doing fine but when Cort said that my eyes just lit up. It just made the whole thing of me saying “I’ll do the part” even that much better.
That’s fantastic. Do you have any other roles coming up for future projects?
Actually I did work for Rob Zombie who is a friend of mine. I worked for Rob and I did a little thing in a movie he’s doing [The Lords of Salem] In fact that’s how the facial hair got started. Well, Rob about a month ago asked me not to shave and it just kept going and here I am with a beard and my wife’s says its ok so I’m going to grow it for a few more months and see what happens.
Later Clint walked down to the cellar on set where Gordon of RealTVFilms was doing an interview with him. I listened in and pretty much just watched Clint with my eyes in astonishment. This man gives THE best interview. He talked about his acting career and used an analogy that I will never forget. He compared his time on set of a big blockbuster film where he feels like he has to be the rock star pitcher throwing strikes every time but when he does smaller films he can be less pressured and be the relief pitcher and seal the deal. (Anytime you can relate anything to baseball, you are gold in my book. Clint sold me.) He gives great compliments to Elly Stefanko who plays Shay in the film. He says he was told that this was her first film and he was a little uncertain about how she would do but then said that she was professional and did a great job. To hear that coming from a veteran I’m sure Elly will be smiling once this interview goes live. Clint was also candid about meeting director Paul Morrell. After meeting Paul he was assured by Paul’s passion in the film and his clear vision that this would be a project he could support. There is so many more tidbits of wonderful information that Clint gave us but you’ll have to wait for that interview when Gordon puts it out there.
One thing is for sure, Clint may not be the lead character in all the films he does but he is the ingredient that binds the story together. I’m still in awe of how terrific he is. When Huff comes out next year (2012) you’ll want to be sure to look out for Clint. Will Karl get out alive after his run in with Huff? You’ll just have to wait and see.