By EW Staff
Updated June 25, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

AGE 23
MUSTWORTHINESS Growing up, the oldest of director Ron Howard’s four kids popped up as an extra in her dad’s movies, starting with ”Parenthood” when she was 7. Now, with a much-buzzed-about debut in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest spooker, ”The Village” (opening July 30), she’s stepping into the spotlight.
JOINING THE FAMILY BUSINESS For years, Howard kept her interest in acting on the down low. ”I was extremely defensive about any assumptions anyone would make about me,” she says. ”People would say, ‘Oh, do you want to be an actor like your daddy?’ and I’d say, ‘No, I want to be a forensic anthropologist!”’
PAPA, DON’T PREACH Dad has spent his entire life in show business, but until recently his daughter had no interest in hearing his advice. ”I’d sort of been this a — hole child that was like, ‘Well, what do you know?’ But he has a tremendous amount of wisdom when it comes to this profession. It’s shocking to me!”
ON HER MUST LIST ”Dorothy Parker. There’s something about her writing that’s so sexy. And Audrey Hepburn — she’s plastered everywhere about my apartment.”
NEXT Assuming Nicole Kidman’s role in Lars von Trier’s ”Dogville” sequel, ”Manderlay.”.