The transition to behind the camera is a rite of passage for any self-respecting Hollywood actor. Multiple Academy Awards? Tick. Next step: Directorial debut.
But although there is a certain inevitability about such a move, there is also an inevitable cynicism (“They got the gig because of who they are, not what they can do” / “Oh, not another actor jumping on the bandwagon” / “Stick to what you’re good at”).
Yet who could have a better grounding, or more insider knowledge, when it comes to the role of a director or screenwriter than an acclaimed actor?
Winning an Academy Award is like graduating from the world’s leading film school – all those years of experience participating first-hand in the filmmaking process, working closely with top class directors, understanding the script inside out and getting under the skin of the characters. If the most elusive skill of the auteur is communicating with the performers, surely a performer must have a better understanding than most.
The following actors have tried their hand at filmmaking to varying degrees of success, from Ryan Gosling, who is sitting in the director's chair for the first time as we speak, to the hottest new director in town, Ben Affleck and, of course, arguably the most acclaimed actor-director of all time, the legendary Clint Eastwood. So which of these actors and actresses do you think have made the most successful transition from actor to auteur?