8 Directors Who Are Totally Under The Thumb

Who really wears the trousers in these filmmaking partnerships?

Shaun Munro


We all know that nepotism is rife in Hollywood, with writers, directors and actors throwing work to their sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, but it’s never quite as amusing to observe as when you can sit there and say “These two people are doing each other, and that’s why they’re both here”. Indeed, the institution of marriage is a wonderful thing, especially when it can be used to net your household some extra cash by, say, casting your spouse in your latest blockbuster.

You’ll see that the entirety of this list consists of male directors who have cast their wives in their works, and though I’d love to say this is because no matter how much money or power men have, we’re still a slave to a cute smile and a flattering pair of jeans, it’s down more to the fact that, simply, most film directors are men.

Continue on as we look at Hollywood’s most hilariously, often disgracefully under-the-thumb directors, ranging from Oscar winners to, well, Paul W.S. Anderson.


8. Michel Hazanavicius

We’ll ease ourselves in with a relatively innocuous one, given Michel Hazanavicius’ recent Oscar success, perhaps proving that being under the thumb isn’t always such a bad thing. The French director’s second feature, 2006’s OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, featured Hazanavicius’ wife, the lovely Berenice Bejo, and though she didn’t feature in the sequel, she did figure in a much larger film altogether – The Artist, which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Bejo played the charming starlet at the centre of the piece, though she did ultimately prove herself to rise above nepotism and excel on her own merits, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and in more subjective terms, charming the pants off us.

In terms of future work, he has again cast her as a lead in his latest film, The Search, and frankly, I don’t think I could say no to her either…