Five Great Actors turned directors

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie – with so many of Hollywood’s stars turning to directing, we look at five actors turned directors who do it right!

Clint Eastwood



From over 40 years, Eastwood has both entertained us infront of and behind the camera. From his directorial debut, the thriller Play Misty for Me, to the Westerns in which he’s starred including The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider and one of his absolute best, Unforgiven, to the World War II companion pieces Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. Million Dollar Baby earned him his most recent Academy Awards, for best picture and best director, but Mystic River stands for me as his masterpiece.

Sofia Coppola



Universally ridiculed for her supporting role as Mary Corleone in her father film The Godfather: Part III, Sophia Coppola has gone on to establish herself as a director of great vision and sensitivity. Her debut, “The Virgin Suicides,” was gorgeous and insightful. The melancholy “Lost in Translation earned her an Oscar nomination for best director, making her one of only four women ever to achieve that honor.

Jon Favreau



We first remember him for Swingers and of course starring as a very special “friend” of Monica’s in Friends but Favreau really came to our attention with Iron Man. It was one of the biggest hits of the 2008 Summer with critics and audience alike and almost single-handedly resurrected Robert Downey Jr.’s reputation in Hollywood. No one’s called Favreau a sellout because even his biggest films retain the good humor, quick pace, and winking cameos that are attributed to his work. A franchise was born!

George Clooney


A true Hollywood movie star, George Clooney proved he was more than a pretty face with the fascinating crime bio-pic drama, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in 2002. A disappointing run at the box office only spurred Clooney as he crested in 2005 with the noir drama Good Night and Good Luck in which he also starred. This historical recount of Edward R. Murrow (played by David Strathairn) saw six Oscar nominations, two of which were for Clooney in the directing and screenwriting roles.

Ron Howard



The face of Happy Days, Ron Howard has steadily become one of the chief prestige directors working today. He has won two Oscars to date, both for A Beautiful Mind for his directing and producing abilities both. He is also exceedingly capable of stepping between genres, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas one year to the aforementioned multiple Oscar winner the next and from summer blockbuster The DaVinci Code to Frost/Nixon, another Academy darling…