10 Actors Who Became Awesome Directors

9. Sofia Coppola

The Mule Clint Eastwood
Columbia Pictures

Though it wasn't terribly surprising that Sofia Coppola went on to become a filmmaker - being the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola and all - she did nevertheless spend her early career working sporadically as an actress, often appearing in her father's films.

Coppola most infamously replaced Winona Ryder as Mary Corleone in 1990's The Godfather Part III, a role which won her two Razzies (for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst New Star), and in her final major acting role to date, she also played Saché, one of Queen Amidala's (Natalie Portman) handmaidens in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

The very same year that The Phantom Menace came out, Coppola made her directorial debut with the acclaimed romantic drama The Virgin Suicides.

But she well and truly joined her father in the big leagues with her 2003 follow-up, Lost in Translation, which was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Bill Murray), and Best Original Screenplay, even winning Coppola the latter.

Since then, Coppola has directed a number of singular and ambitious - if sometimes divisive - films such as Marie Antoinette, Somewhere, The Beguiled, and On the Rocks, proving herself a master of understated dramatic filmmaking.

As much as her detractors continue to single her out as a product of nepotism, she's proven beyond any doubt that her talent is very much all her own.


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