AUSTIN, Texas—Writer, director, and actor Ron Howard is very careful when considering his place in the geek-media universe. Over 20 years ago, his film Apollo 13 kicked off a trajectory of major science-and-heart storytelling, which recently crystallized as an ongoing series-development deal with National Geographic's TV channel.
This Tuesday's premiere of TV mini-series Genius, which sees Geoffrey Rush playing the role of Albert Einstein, won't be the last of that deal, either—and Howard laughs at how that fact might look to people in his past.
"My tenth grade science teacher, Mr. Dowd, would be, you know, rolling over in his grave!" Howard says with a laugh during an interview at last month's South By Southwest festival. "No, no, he'd enjoy it. He had a great sense of humor. The fact that I'm telling stories about science"—and saying this makes Howard laugh uncontrollably—"well, he thought I was a nice guy. He knew I didn't get it."