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What was director Ron Howard doing in Kentucky?

Ron Howard, shown at London’s BAFTA Film Awards in February, will direct the film adaptation of J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy.”
Ron Howard, shown at London’s BAFTA Film Awards in February, will direct the film adaptation of J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy.” Invision/AP

Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard spent some time in Eastern Kentucky this week.

While the reason for the visit wasn’t publicized, a good guess might be that it has something to do with the movie version of “Hillbilly Elegy,” which Howard is directing.

A few people in Breathitt County posted photos online that they took while meeting the director, who visited Wednesday with “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance. Vance grew up in Middletown, Ohio, but spent time with family in Breathitt County as a child and wrote about it in his memoir.

Jackson resident Mark Wireman told WLEX that he spent a few hours talking with Howard and Vance about Breathitt County’s people and its history. Howard reportedly got a bite to eat at White Flash II restaurant in Jackson.

Howard was also spotted around Middletown, just north of Cincinnati, this week, according to several media reports.

Before he was the big-name director of Hollywood films such as “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13,” Howard starred as Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show” and Richie Cunningham on “Happy Days,” among others.

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