Many actors have dreams of going behind the camera, but not all of them can paint the story like magic. They might be versatile and famous movie stars, admired for their phenomenal works in great movies but being a director requires a wholly different skillset. Directing actors is not just about taking the director’s seat and calling the shots.

Today we’re going to tell the top 10 famous movie stars who turned into being famous film directors.

  1. Charles Chaplin

In a list of actors turned into directors, Charlie Chaplin will always be the favourite one. He was multi-talented and to top it off, a perfectionist. While talking about the actors turned into directors, Charles Chaplin’s name cannot be missed.

Charlie Chaplin is best known for his outstanding performances in Black and White silent movies. From an early age, he performed in several productions. His iconic character, The Tramp from the movie Kid Auto Races at Venice, ruled the hearts of people for a long time and still does.

After some time in his career, in 1914, he directed a 16 minutes short film, Caught in the Rain. Being a hit, he went on to direct many Keystone comedies he starred in and became a phenomenon. While directing actors, he used to go a little overboard as once he asked an actress to do 342 retakes of a two-word dialogue. With great hits like City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, he can easily be considered as one of the famous movie directors of his time and today as well.

  1. Ron Howard

Talking of actors turned into directors, we cannot miss to include Ron Howard. He started his career with popular roles as Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham that not only received critical acclaim but performed financially well too.

Ron Howard made his directorial debut in 1977’s Grand Theft Auto. He worked as directing actors on the set on several films such as Splash, Willow, Backdraft, and more. However, Ron Howard became a name as one of the famous movie directors when he worked with Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, for which he received nine Oscar nominations. He gave us blockbuster movies like The Paper, Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code series. In 2002, he was awarded four Oscars for his phenomenal work in A Beautiful Mind.

  1. Ben Affleck

Before Ben Affleck became a part of the famous film directors’ guild, he starred in Good Will Hunting and Chasing Amy. We saw him as Batman in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and was called one of the famous movie stars.

He did his directorial debut with Gone Baby Gone which was received positively. He then began his career as directing actors in movies such as The Town and his biggest hit movie, Argo. Argo brought him home with three Oscars, including Best Picture. He is easily one of the famous film directors today.

  1. Woody Allen

Woody Allen is swift at directing actors. But before he made his career in directing actors, he has spent a good time in front of the camera. He played James Bond in the Casino Royale spoof. As for his directorial career, his movie Annie Hall won four Oscars including, Best Picture and Best Director. Some of his best movies for which he is known as one of the famous movie directors are Manhattan, Midnight in Paris, Hannah and Her Sisters.

  1. Rob Reiner

Rob Reiner received fame in his acting career while playing Mike Stivic in All In The Family. He even won two Emmy awards for this role. With the experience in front of the camera, Rob Reiner went behind it to try his talent for directing actors. He directed several classic movies like When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, 1984 mockumentary – This Is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me, and many others; he proves that he has made his place in being one of the famous movie directors.

  1. Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola became a part of the movie industry when she was a baby in the movie – The Godfather. In The Godfather: Part III, she received a lot of criticism from the series’ followers. She did several movies as an actor, namely The Phantom Menace, Rumble Fish, Peggy Sue Got Married, before stepping as a role of directing actors. The Virgin Suicides brought her much acclamation as a debut director. She also received four Oscar nominations for Lost In Translation.

  1. Jon Favreau

You might remember Jon Favreau as Monica’s rich boyfriend Pete Becker on Friends. After doing some recurring roles, he tried his hands in directing actors. After making his directorial debut with Made, he directed the first two Iron Man movies. This got him immense recognition as one of the famous movie directors we know today. He decided to push the producers of Marvel Universe to cast RDJ as Iron Man.

  1. Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood might have aged, but his talent has evolved in multiple shades with time as he is currently one of the famous actors turned into directors. After starring in Sergio Leone’s A Fistful Of Dollars, he turned his career as a director. In 1992, his movie -Unforgiven won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

  1. George Clooney

George Clooney is undoubtedly one of the most famous movie stars. He starred in the blockbuster trilogy Ocean’s 11. His first movie behind the camera, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, received positive feedback from the audience. He also received six Oscars nominations for his 2005’s release- Good Night, and Good Luck. However, it was The Ides of March that was much liked globally.

  1. Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall started off as a recurring actor in the TV show The Odd Couple. Her brother then gave her a role in his show, Happy Days in a comic role. Later, she also directed some of the episodes of Laverne & Shirley, which is a spin-off of the show Happy Days.

As a director, the first big hit was the Big, starring Tom Hanks. It was this movie which made her be considered as one of the famous movie directors as the movie crossed over $100 million in box office collection.

So as we see, Hollywood has not only given us great actors contributing outstanding work throughout their career, but we also get to see their vision when it comes to movie making.


Read more on my blog:

Top 10 Actors Who Turned Into Great Directors