A fan asked him about his transition from child to adult actor, mentioning how many child actors donít seem to know how to handle the changes. Howell mentioned working with Corey Haim and how he went on to struggle with drugs. As a child actor, you make a lot of money and you don't think it will ever end. They are buying big houses and fast cars and then your run as a child actor ends. It can be very painful and lead to drugs and alcohol and it can only take a few really bad choices to put you on the "naughty" list and itís hard to come back. Itís doable, Robert Downey, Jr. for instance, but itís rare and difficult. Corey Feldman recently released a book talking about the pains and struggles he went through with drugs and a lack of parenting. Howell feels that how you handle it all comes from your stock and your background. Howellís father was in the business as a stunt man, riding bulls for 12 years. He had a good strong family background, and if Howell ever had any issues, his father was the first to remind him of his values and responsibility. Howell believes we are owed nothing, and we are no better than everyone else. He doesnít feel like he is any different than the regular man on the street. His work ethic is such that he would do the best at whatever job he did and that is simply his approach to life, no matter what the job. If he was a plumber, he would be the best plumber around, sporting the biggest plumberís crack you can imagine.
At this point, 70% of his work comes from rehires because he is good to work with. He shows up early, ready to work. He doesnít make demands and if he has a problem on set, itís a real problem. If you are a troublemaker, people in Hollywood will talk and you wonít get hired again. He mentioned how small a town Hollywood is and even though you might make a lot of money, life isnít easy. As a child actor, Tom Cruise and Ralph Macchio taught him about hard work. Tom taught him to have the work ethic that he does, even though they were only in their teens. He was just amazing to work with. Everyone says a lot of things about Cruise, but Howell advises us to keep in mind how hard it is to live under a microscope. No matter what his religion or what people say, Howell stated that Cruise is still one of the greatest people he has ever worked with.
Another fan asked about his film, War of the Worlds and whether he thought to call Tom Cruise when he was making his 200 million dollar version, as opposed to Howellís 2 million dollar version. Howell enjoyed his experience on this movie because it focused more on the relationships, even though it was a film with a much smaller budget. Heís done bad movies and heís done great movies like E.T.. He learned the most on those types of movies that werenít super successful. There are times that you have lots of money and times when you no money. If you are supporting a family, you might take these roles. You don't resent them, but you go and do your best, to set an example for everyone there. It pays your rent and gets you to the next project, because every door in Hollywood is a lottery ticket. It could be good or bad, but thatís part of the mystery and that is what keeps him going.