Actors who are also great directors


There is a commonly held assumption that writers should make the best directors. But, it is often the case that actors also make wonderful directors. Sometimes you find that an actor will be a much better director than they ever were an actor, and there are a fair few examples of this in Hollywood.

Indeed, you have most probably seen a movie in your time directed by an actor. And we’re not talking directors who sometimes cameo in their films, like Quentin Tarantino. We mean full-on bonafide thesps, who were in front of the camera for years before they ever got behind it. So, here are some of the best actors turned directors currently working in Hollywood.

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and she has also branched out into directing in recent times. After getting behind the camera to helm the smash-hit comedy-musical sequel Pitch Perfect 2, Banks will write, direct, and produce the upcoming Charlie’s Angels remake, scheduled for release later this year. Who knows whether this might take her into directing on a permanent basis, or whether she will continue to act as her main focus.

Photo: Getty Images

Ben Affleck

The evolution of Ben Affleck has been one of the most interesting. He started out as an actor who many viewed as just one half of the much-derided Bennifer “power couple,” which involved Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. An actor who had appeared in some good films, but was never credited with great ability. But, there were flashes of brilliance to come – namely the co-written script for Good Will Hunting. In recent times Affleck has turned to directing, and movies like Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo have turned him into one of the finest directors currently working in Hollywood.

Clint Eastwood

The big dog on campus. Having made a name for himself as a global megastar through the ‘60s and beyond, Clint Eastwood turned to directing in 1971, with his debut Play Misty for Me. Since then he has become the director that everyone wants to work with, and has scooped two Academy Awards in the process. Though he is 89-years-old now, it doesn’t seem as though Eastwood will be leaving the director’s chair any time soon, and this means we have plenty more groundbreaking movies to look forward to.

Photo: Getty Images

George Clooney

George Clooney is one of those rare breeds who is highly respected as both an actor and a director. But it is certainly behind the camera that Clooney has done his most interesting work. Never afraid to be different or take a risk (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), but is still able to bring home the box office bacon as well (The Monuments Men). Clooney continues to find success and acclaim as an actor, and he is one of the biggest stars in the film industry at the moment. We look forward to seeing George’s next release and wonder what might stir him to get behind the camera once more.

There are a lot of occasions on which directors were formally actors, and sometimes they will even direct movies they star in themselves. With an interest in getting behind the camera and understanding how movies are made, these guys are leading the way when it comes to filmmaking in Hollywood. Check out a couple of the movies from each of these directors, and you will be sold.


More about Roi Kadosh

“A world-famous writer, if not for the fact that very few people actually know me. While I wait for the collective penny to drop, I write about all things pop culture.