10 Greatest Actors Turned Directors

The stars equally comfortable on either side of the lens!

Warner Bros.

All actors, secretly or otherwise, want to direct. In the cutthroat movie business, anything you can do to get ahead is a boon, and once you’re calling the shots, you’re set up for life with endless movie roles and no one to tell you to do things differently. Alternatively you can remain behind the camera and exert a little power over your former peers - a tempting proposition.

It’s not always as easy as many performers imagine, though. Many an actor has made the jump only to find themselves accused of making vanity projects, lacking the critical eye required to occupy the hot seat.

When it goes well, though, you can find yourself with a whole new career, which sometimes exceeds your achievements as a performer. The critics love an actor-turned-director, and the rewards are great.

We’ll be looking here solely at those who worked primarily as actors before making the transition, so the likes of Woody Allen or Orson Welles, whose vision and or ego meant that they wore both hats from the off, won’t be included. These are the rare actors who decided they had something more to offer and could actually back it up.

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Yorkshire-based writer of screenplays, essays, and fiction. Big fan of having a laugh. Read more of my stuff @ (if you want!)