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But Bryce’s latest role in Hereafter, with Matt Damon and Belgian actress Cécile De France, which opened recently in the States, has already earned her a different level of respect.
A serious Oscar contender penned by British screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen and Frost/Nixon), it tells three separate stories dealing with love, loss and the afterlife that converge towards the end of the drama.
Her mother Cheryl is a writer who ‘was once the manager of a shooting range…she’s good at everything.
We chat about Santa Monica, where I’ve lived for years and where Bryce and her family have recently moved from the posher Hollywood Hills. I didn’t want people to say I’d got a role because of my dad, but then later my parents asked me, “Aren’t you proud to come from our family? ” And I was like, “Omigosh, no, I am so proud of you guys!
‘He gave me a box set, so I sat down and watched them and it was wild to see my father act, because he’s always been a director to me. There are running jokes that you love; there is something wholesome about it but it’s also fun.’Which is how I would describe Ron’s vivacious daughter, who is married to the actor Seth Gabel (he has appeared in the television shows Dirty Sexy Money and Fringe), and has a son, Theo, nearly four.
Bryce looks about 18, although she will be 30 this March.
When Chace (a redhead too) started bawling, Bryce offered to take care of her and joked that she was ‘adopting her’ because of the family resemblance.
The crying stopped immediately, and the Howard children entertained her for hours.
She has a natural prettiness with unusually luscious lashes (‘No, they’re not fake,’ she assures me) and a sense of calm maturity that I suspect comes from the responsibility of being a young working mother.