After years spending time in front of the camera, it makes sense that some actors will have the desire to step behind it and make their own visions come to life. You’d be an expert on how scenes should be executed, and you’ll have seen all of the mistakes made before you end up making them yourself.
But that doesn’t mean going from actor to director would be an easy transition. The household name probably helps you in terms of funding and deals, but the chance of making a film that will be well-received is still rather slim. There are a lot of terrible movies out there, guys. And some of them come from your favorite A-listers. What’s also interesting, is that some of the BEST movies are made by some of the BEST actors in Hollywood.
Here are my top six actors-turned-directors.
1. Ben Affleck
Two of my all-time favorite movies are directed by Ben Affleck, whom also stars in both. “Argo” and “The Town” are incredibly intense stories that are beautifully told. Also, whenever you can make the location feel like one of the main characters, I think an award nomination is due.
2. Drew Barrymore
Not as many titles under her belt as the others on this list, but you know what? Quality over quantity. “Whip It” was one of the best female-driven stories of this generation. A fantastic cast, brilliant script, and much like Barrymore’s real life, a story filled with heartbreaking moments that are handled with cheerful triumph.
3. Penny Marshall
“Big." “A League of Their Own.” Penny was able to bring out the best of THE best actor in Hollywood. Well done, Penny.
4. George Clooney
What can’t Clooney do, really? What he can do, apparently, is make a film that looks so wonderful that here I am, looking for advanced tickets in August, for a film that doesn’t come out until December. Take a look at the trailer for “The Monuments Men” below.
5. Clint Eastwood
He has the best catchphrases in the history of film and now he also has two Best Director Oscar nominations and two Best Director Oscar wins. This is the king of the actors-turned-directors crew.
6. Jon Favreau
All you really need is a wildly entertaining superhero movie franchise and you’re in the game. Well this man also has the best original Christmas movie ever, and that would be “Elf.” Do you know how rare it is to make a new holiday movie with timeless appeal? And Tony Stark has the ability to dazzle, sure, but Will Ferrell has never been better than he was as the human boy adopted by elves, and that is thanks to Mr. Favreau.
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