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Rance Howard GALACTICA.TV interview
Friday, 02 February 2007

Rance Howard, who appears as Farnes, the Constable killed off by the Borays on the episode "The Magnificent Warriors" of Battlestar Galactica 1978, was kind enough to answer some questions Mike Egnor had for him. He talks about his part on Battlestar Galactica and several of the other things he's done and continues to do in his long career.

Let's start at the beginning. What made you decide to go into acting? With several actors, they can remember a specific point, or "hook" that made them decide to make it a profession.

My decision to go into acting was based on a gratifying experience with acting I had in the seventh grade. I studied speech in high school and drama at the University of Oklahoma. Later, after becoming a professional actor, I worked with an improvisation group and then a scene study group for over a year.

 

Rance Howard

Rance Howard

 

IMDB lists your first film credit as Frontier Woman. Is this true? Were you nervous? Do you remember anything special about your first role on film?

It is true that my first feature film with a major role was Frontier Woman (Daughter of Davy Crockett) It was filmed in Meridian, Mississippi in 1955 and actually released in 1956. I don't recall being especially nervous as much as I do very warm. It was filmed during the summer and the heat was sweltering.

You played the character Farnes on Battlestar Galactica in the episode "The Magnificent Warriors". Had you ever seen the show before then? Did you do a screen test or other type of formal audition for the role?

I had heard of Battlestar Galactica. My theatrical agent contacted the casting director, who was familiar with my work. They negotiated a deal for me without a formal audition.

In the role, you wear western looking clothing with odd looking suspenders and hat. Were these costumes already made, or were they tailored to you specifically for this role?

I believe the costume designer designed and made the costume especially for me to play that character.

 

Rance Howard as Farnes (right) on Battlestar Galactica 1978

Rance Howard as Farnes (right) on Battlestar Galactica 1978

 

Did you know any of the actors before working with them on "The Magnificent Warriors"? Do you remember anything that sticks out in your mind from working with them?

Guest stars and other members of the cast were unknown by me. I had never worked with any of them before. I have no special memories of working with them.

The episode was directed by Chris Nyby Jr. How was your working relationship with him? What type of director was he?

My working relationship with Chris Nyby Jr. was very good. He knew what he needed and wanted and was able to articulate it very clearly. Chris seemed satisfied and pleased with my performance. I felt very good about my work in that episode.

In the episode you brandish an odd looking rifle against the Borays. Do you remember anything about the way it was made?

I'm sorry but have no recollection of the weapon I had in "The Magnificent Warrior" episode.

Your character Farnes appeared to have been suckered into becoming the constable for the town. Why in the world did he walk out alone when he was severely outnumbered by the Borays? Did he think he had a chance?

Farnes was courageous and very prideful. I believe he thought or hoped they would respect these qualities and relent. In retrospect, I believe he was foolishly optimistic.

 

Rance Howard as Farnes on Battlestar Galactica 1978

Rance Howard as Farnes on Battlestar Galactica 1978

 

Was there anything about the episode that you didn't like? Any scenes or other shots?

As I recall, there was nothing about the episode that I didn't like.

Have you seen the episode since you shot it?

I haven't seen the show since it first aired.

Did you make any friends from that episode? Did you keep in touch with any of them?

I didn't make any friends from that episode and haven't stayed in contact with any of them.

Let's move on. You played the role of Al Frazen, a ring announcer in the film Cinderella Man. In it was Fulvio Cecere, who played a referee. Coincidently, he also guest stared in a Battlestar Galactica 2003 episode. He was Lt. Alastair Thorne in the episode "Pegasus". Do you remember working with him?

Yes, I met and worked with Fulvio Cecere, who played Referee McAvoy. I found him to be a likable person and consider him a fine actor.

You were directed in that film by your son Ron Howard. How is it to be directed by him? Do you ever get frustrated with him and remind him that he is your son?

It is wonderful to be directed by Ron. He is very articulate and can communicate exactly what he wants from the actor in a scene. He is also willing to listen to the actor and accept whatever the actor has to offer in the scene as long as it fits into the overall scheme of the film or the BIG PICTURE. Ron and I know each other so well that we work together, easily. I never remind him that he is my son when we are working. He is the DIRECTOR and I am the ACTOR. I give him the same respect and attention that I would give any director.

 

Rance Howard (left), his son Ron Howard (right) and their wifes

Rance Howard (left), his son Ron Howard (right) and their wifes

 

Can you tell us about any current/future projects that you are working on?

Yes, fortunately I've been fairly busy. There are several films I may be working in later this year but it is too early to name the projects. My wife, Judy and I have recently completed a funny script, a rollicking romantic comedy called, The Obsidian Puma. Our literary agent is trying to sell it to various studios and producers. Judy and I are preparing to write another romantic comedy.

 
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