10 Great Directors Who Acted In Other Peoples' Movies

Were they ready for their own close-up?

Be they actors themselves or thespian novices, the presence of a director in the frame tips the wink to cineastes and those in the know. From Alfred Hitchcock to Harmony Korine, they've ventured out from the shadows to make appearances in their own or other peoples' films. Casual viewers may simply wonder who the fat guy in the background is, or how amusing the crazy dude heckling Matt Damon was, but more dedicated types see different...

10. Steven Spielberg - The Blues Brothers

Steven Spielberg had made a splash, quite literally, in 1970s Hollywood with Jaws, a production that reportedly saw the crew ready to lynch him by the end of the shoot. When John Landis called him up in 1980 about a small part in The Blues Brothers it must have seemed like a walk in the park by comparison. The epic comedy brought John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's Ray-Ban-wearing, music-loving, law-evading relatives Jake and Elwood to the big screen from Saturday Night Live. Operating under the highest authority - God - they raised merry hell on their mission to raise funds to save the orphanage where they grew up. Having scraped together the required moolah, after leaving a trail of vehicular devastation in their wake, they screeched to a halt outside Chicago City Hall to pay their dues and rescue the moppet sanctuary. And the mealy-mouthed bureaucrat they found at the door...? None other than the bespectacled shark wrangler himself. Spielberg also went on to make a self-mocking cameo in Austin Powers: Goldmember.

I am a journalist and comedian who enjoys American movies of the 70s, Amicus horror compendiums, Doctor Who, Twin Peaks, Naomi Watts and sitting down. My short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.