Ford On Film

Chronicles of a silver screen addict

5 Great Actors-Turned-Directors

It takes great skill to become a prolific actor, just as it takes great skill to become a successful film director. Only a handful of extremely talented people are capable enough to move from the front of the camera to behind it. For this list, I’ll be taking a look at five terrific actors who also proved their talents in the director’s chair. This list is primarily focused on people most known for their acting, who went on to direct; while Woody Allen and Orson Welles are terrific actors, they’re definitely most famous for their work behind the lens

1. Clint Eastwood

Perhaps the most famous actor-turned-director in history, Eastwood first made his name in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western trilogy, before starring as maverick cop Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry series.

Making his directorial debut in 1971 with Play Misty For Me, Eastwood has since won the Academy Award for Best Director twice, for brutal western Unforgiven and boxing weepie Million Dollar Baby. He continues to regularly release features, earning a Best Picture nomination in 2014 for war biopic American Sniper.

million dollar baby

2. Joel Edgerton

While not particularly well known to mainstream audiences, Australian Joel Edgerton has proven himself as a versatile star of independent cinema, stealing the show in everything from drag queen comedy Kinky Boots to MMA drama Warrior and cult gangster flick Animal Kingdom.

In 2015, Edgerton wrote, directed, and starred in creepy psychological thriller The Gift, one of the most impressively written and performed films of the year. A critical and commercial triumph, The Gift announced Edgerton as a major directorial talent and one to watch.

The Gift 2

3. Ben Affleck

Despite mainstream breakthrough Good Will Hunting being a big awards and box office success, Affleck became something a joke in the early 00’s with a string of terrible films (Pearl Harbour, Surviving Christmas, Gigli) and an infamous partnership with Jennifer Lopez.

He changed all that in 2007 with classy debut Gone Baby Gone, a gritty mystery that somewhat redeemed him in the eyes of moviegoers. He fully redeemed himself with his next two features, heist thriller The Town and Best Picture winner Argo, both of which he also starred in. Keep your eye out for his next project, a new Batman film due out in the near future.

Argo

4. Paddy Considine

After spending a decade establishing himself as one of Britain’s finest character actors (best known for his awards winning performance in Dead Man’s Shoes or his hilarious turn in Hot Fuzz), Considine won a BAFTA for Best Short Film with grim alcoholism drama Dog Altogether.

Expanding it to feature length, and casting the talented Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman in the leading roles, Considine released Tyrannosaur in 2011 to huge critical acclaim and another BAFTA, this time for Outstanding British Debut. After a long six year wait, Considine is currently directing and starring in his second feature, boxing drama Journeyman.

Journeyman

5. George Clooney

Since 1998’s Out Of Sight, George Clooney has been the biggest star on the planet. Conquering the acting world, he starred in blockbusters and indie fare alike, earning three Best Actor nominations and the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 2006’s Syriana. It’s not surprising therefore to learn that since 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, he’s been conquering the directing world as well.

While his films haven’t always been great (Leatherheads and The Monuments Men have already been forgotten by time), he earned a Best Director nomination for 2007’s Good Night, and Good Luck, and released The Ides of March in 2011 to critical acclaim. His next film, the Coen Brothers-scripted Suburbicon, looks set to be another triumph.

The ides of March

By Harry J. Ford

 

Follow Ford On Film on twitter: @Ford_On_Film

Like Ford On Film on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FordOnFilm/

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. Michael

    Hello? Where’s Mel Gibson?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: