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Top 10 Actors Turned Directors
Friday 28th January 2011 - 09:47:44
Following his successful breakthrough into directing with Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck has returned with his explosive second feature, The Town, which is due for release on DVD and Blu-ray on January 31.
This brilliant heist thriller secures Affleck’s status as one of the most accomplished actors turned directors in recent film history, but who else is in the running? Here’s our rundown of the ten best actors turned directors in the business…
Having proved himself a very capable actor in the likes of Good Will Hunting, Armageddon and State Of Play, Affleck burst into directing with the startling Gone Baby Gone and now continues to demonstrate his considerable skill behind the camera with The Town.
He has put together a wonderful cast which includes up and comer Jeremy Renner and the late great Pete Postlethwaite.
He may have been partly responsible for killing the Batman franchise back in the 90’s but ‘Gorgeous’ George Clooney is nevertheless an extremely accomplished actor, who grabbed the director’s chair for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and continued to wow everyone with his stylish visual touch in the thought-provoking Good Night, and Good Luck, which garnered six Academy Awards.
Redford’s filmography reads like every actor’s dream – he won an Oscar for his directorial debut in 1980 for Ordinary People and since then has continued to produce a body of extraordinary work including Quiz Show and A River Runs Through It.
Sean Penn has established himself over the years as one of the very best dramatic actors working in Hollywood today.
Not content with critical acclaim in front of the camera, he set about launching himself into the world of directing duties.
He made the excellent The Pledge, starring Jack Nicholson, and his most recent film, Into The Wild, was just as brilliant and garnered rave reviews.
Even though Gibson is a somewhat controversial figure, there is no denying his keen eye behind the camera as well as his on-screen presence.
Mad Max and Lethal Weapon made him a box office draw, and he then made his directorial debut with the decent A Man Without A Face, before winning numerous Oscars for Braveheart.
Love him or hate him you can’t deny the awe-inspiring power behind Passion Of The Christ and Apocalypto.
For many years Costner was the biggest box-office draw around and became one of the highest paid actors in the world.
His touch also extended to directing and Dances With Wolves is still regarded today as one of the greatest films of the 90’s; he beat out Martin Scorsese for the Oscar that year.
2003’s Open Range is also a great slow burning dramatic western that shows that the man still has his mojo.
An accomplished comedic actor who always gives superb supporting turns, Favreau put himself on the directing map with Elf starring Will Ferrell.
He then helped cement Robert Downey Jr’s comeback with Iron Man, proving that he could handle big budget fare with huge special effects. Iron Man 2 followed and now the world is Favreau’s oyster.
Streisand’s Yentl and The Mirror Has Two Faces are at the top of their respective genres but her legacy will remain for The Prince Of Tides, in which she directed and starred opposite Nick Nolte.
It achieved a number of Academy Award nominations and stands today as one of the best psychological dramas to come out of America in modern times.
Chaplin was first seen on-screen as a member of the famous Keystone Film Company. It didn’t take long for his genius to shine through and within a few years he had taken over writing and directing duties on nearly all of his subsequent films, including flawless classics such as City Lights, Modern Times and The Great Dictator.
A true icon, the gunslinger made his name as an actor in Dirty Harry and countless other films before first moving to directing in the early 70s.
Since then he has won numerous awards for Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Flags Of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima and most recently for Invictus, and at 80 years old he shows no sign of slowing down.
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