Today: April 18, 2024

Actors Turned Directors

With a career spanning more than five decades, Dustin Hoffman is one of the world’s most accomplished and highly regarded actors. Despite long harbouring a desire to direct, it wasn’t until he read Ronald Harwood’s script for Quartet – a charming and funny story about a group of retired classical musicians – that Hoffman finally decided to step behind the camera. To celebrate the Blu-ray and DVD release of this screen giant’s directorial debut, FilmJuice takes a look of ten of the top Actors Turned Directors.

Dustin Hoffman
After becoming a star with films such as The Graduate, Little Big Man and Straw Dogs, Dustin Hoffman became one of the most successful starts of the ‘70s and ‘80s with unparalleled performances in hits such as Kramer Vs Kramer, Tootsie and Rain Man to name but a humble few. Still in his performing prime, this pint-sized professional never ceases to provide film audiences with top box office material but it’s only now that he’s a sprightly septuagenarian, that he has moved his talents behind the camera with Quartet.

Ben Affleck
This ‘movie man of the year’ said in his Oscar acceptance speech that he’s now in the ‘second act’ of his career after having finally received critical recognition as a director. Affleck has appeared in over 50 films during his relatively short time in the biz, from fan favourites Shakespeare In Love, Dogma and Pearl Harbour, to star-studded blockbusters; Armageddon, Good Will Hunting and Changing Lanes. However he has, arguably, only been thrust into the spotlight in the past six years with a string of industry-acclaimed productions which he directed and performed with vision and finesse. Who could forget Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Oscar winning Best Picture, Argo?

George Clooney stole hearts in TV’s ER but Clooney’s good looks, charm and acting aptitude has seen him become a bone fide film star with roles in films as diverse as O Brother, Where Art Thou? Ocean’s Eleven (and subsequently Twelve and Thirteen), Solaris, and the film that won him a Golden Globe last year – The Descendents. George has since gone on to direct a host of hit films too including the great Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, Goodnight, And Good Luck and The Ides Of March. (Main Picture)

Ron Howard
After making his name as Richie Cunningham in ‘70s sitcom Happy Days, Howard went on to appear in a host of 1950s and 1960s themed films and TV shows including American Grafitti and The Andy Griffiths Show. One of the most established actors turned directors, Ron has since been responsible for classics such as Cocoon, Apollo 13, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Cinderella Man, The Missing, Frost Nixon and the upcoming Rush – phew!

Clint Eastwood
Eastwood, became a household name as ‘The Man With No Name’ in the likes of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, A Fist Full Of Dollars and its sequel For A Few Dollars More. However, alongside his illustrious acting career – and spanning almost every genre –  Eastwood has directed and produced an enormous catalogue of movie masterpieces including: Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Space Cowboys, The Bridges Of Madison County, Unforgiven, J. Edgar, Hereafter, Invictus, Changeling and Mystic River which have attracted a host of top actors and crew over the years.

Kevin Costner
Costner has given standout performances in numerous epic and unforgettable productions including The Bodyguard, JFK, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and The Untouchables. Arguably, though, his most famous role came in a film which he directed and produced – the wonderful Dances With Wolves in which he played the lead part of Lieutenant Dunbar. Additionally Costner cast himself as Charley Waite in the Western Open Range for which he notched up yet another directing credit.

Mel Gibson
Gibson made a name for himself with off-the-wall performances in films such as Mad Max and Lethal Weapon during the ‘90s. For his directing debut, however, he took on more heavy-weight material in the form of coming of age drama The Man Without A Face before turning to pseudo-historical epic, Braveheart. He later turned to much more controversial material with his Biblical drama, The Passion Of The Christ which received international acclaim.

Sean Penn
Powerhouse performer Sean Penn has won two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe and been nominated for countless others in a series of strong, character driven knockouts including Milk, The Tree Of Life, This Must Be The Place, All The King’s Men, The Interpreter and most recently Gangster Squad. Additionally, Penn has been in the director’s chair on a number of prestigious projects such as Golden Globe nominee The Crossing Guard with the brilliant Jack Nicholson and David Morse.

Jon Favreau
Jon is one of those faces who has popped up in more movies than you might think with cameos and leading performances in comedies such as Swingers, Couples Retreat, I Love you Man, Four Christmasses and The Break Up. He has since turned his talents to directing with Elf, Zathura and Cowboys & Aliens not to mention the small matter of not one but TWO Iron Man movies. It’s onwards and upwards for this talented entry.

Sydney Pollack
This Hollywood veteran, found initial success in the ‘60s TV series The Fugitive before making the jump into directing with his 1965 debut The Slender Thread. Over the years, his films have received 48 Academy nominations and won eleven, the first with Out Of Africa starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. This is one star whose flame shone bright before his untimely death in 2008.

Quartet is out on Blu-ray, DVD and to download on 6th May.

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