9 Actors That Became Great Directors


Hollywood is like any normal business: when you’ve done the grunt work for about a decade, you get the chance to move up the ladder. In Hollywood terms, that means you move from in front of the camera to a job behind the camera – you become the director.


Throughout the years, many actors and actresses have at some point made the jump to a career in directing. Let’s take a look at some of the people that weren’t entirely bad at it.



Sofia Coppola
I mean, it’s pretty much in her genetic material, isn’t it? Her first two directed movies were The Virgin Suicides and Lost In Translation, that should tell you enough about her talent.



Clint Eastwood
He usually stars in most movies he directs, but he does both with equal skill and passion.

Mel Gibson
After his dark period in Hollywood due to issues in his personal life, Mel came back as a director. And it turned out he was very good at it too. I think I actually even prefer Mel behind the camera.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina has made the jump to directing very long ago. She’s still learning the ropes, but she shows great promise and I’m sure she’ll make some excellent films in the coming years.



Kevin Costner
One of the great actors of his generations, he helped direct Dances With Wolves, The Postman and Open Range. It’s been a while since he put on his directing shoes, but at least this also means he hasn’t directed a bad movie to date. He’s starred in one, though. Lookin’ at you, Waterworld.

Ben Affleck
Yes, he does things other than play Batman in his spare time. I never found Ben to be one of the best actors around, but he’s certainly one of my favorite directors. So far he’s directed Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo – three amazing films.

George Clooney
George has taken a step back in his own acting career to start directing movies. He’s done quite a few so far, among which we have The Ides of March and The Monuments Men.



Sean Penn
Although Sean usually directs short movies, he’s also done Into The Wild and The Pledge. At least one of those movies was considered good, the other one was so-so. That’s not too bad a statistic to have.

Ben Stiller
Also known as “that guy from that comedy”, Ben Stiller turned to directing his own movies and I kind of think it was because no director wanted to work with him. I mean, pretty much every character he plays is the same character. He’s always Ben Stiller.