Bryce Dallas Howard Makes Red Carpet Return, Talks Post-Partum Depression

Actress Bryce Dallas Howard attends the premiere of Lifetime's 'Call Me Crazy: A Five Film' at Pacific Design Center on April 16, 2013 in West Hollywood, California.  Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Welcome back, Bryce Dallas Howard! The Help actress, now 32, hadn't walked a red carpet since November 2011, when she was in her last trimester of pregnancy with her second child, daughter Beatrice, born in January 2011. Looking slim and happy, the gorgeous, green-eyed redhead finally made her return at the Tuesday, April 17 premiere of Call Me Crazy: A Five Film, Lifetime's latest short film series directed by A-list women and produced by Jennifer Aniston.

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"It was a phenomenal experience," said Howard, who directed Octavia Spencer and Brittany Snow in a short called "Lucy," about a young law student coming to terms with a recent schizophrenia diagnosis. All five of the Call Me Crazy shorts deal with the subject of mental illness. "That's something that sadly I experienced after the birth of my first child," said Howard, who has previously discussed her struggle with post-partum depression after the February 2007 arrival of son Theodore.

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"It went untreated for eighteen months because I was just so ashamed and frightened," said the star, who shares little Beatrice and Theo, now 5, with husband Seth Gabel. "I didn't know what it meant and didn't know what happened to me," she continued. "Getting to have an opportunity to tell a story that is about mental illness and how it affects one's self and one's community was really something that really meant a lot to me."

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Her experience after Beatrice's birth, thankfully, was less traumatic, added the actress, whose father is director Ron Howard. "I had, especially after the birth of my daughter, because of the experience I had [with] my son, I had family around me constantly, I had friends around me constantly, professionals supporting me through that, and I feel really grateful," the Twilight Saga star told Us. "I couldn't have done it otherwise. You can't raise kids alone, you can't heal alone. — you really need a community."

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The Call Me Crazy anthology — which also stars Jennifer Hudson, Jason Ritter and Sarah Hyland — premieres Sunday, Apr. 20, at 8 p.m. EST on Lifetime.

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