For many A-list actors or actresses, success in Hollywood often leads to a transition into filmmaking. Directorial debuts by actors always have an additive intrigue, as both audiences and pundits are curious to see if they have what it takes to make the transition behind the camera. Sometimes, the result is unremarkable; in other circumstances, the talent shown suggests a strong future.
Below are ten of the best directorial debuts from an actor or actress. Just this month, Max Minghella was the latest to try his hand at filmmaking with “Teen Spirit.” Of course, last year saw Bradley Cooper heavily feted for “A Star Is Born.” The ten cited debuts are next, along with some runner-ups. Efforts like Kevin Costner‘s “Dances With Wolves,” Clint Eastwood‘s “Play Misty For Me,” Ryan Gosling‘s “Lost River,” Charles Laughton‘s “The Night of the Hunter,” Sarah Polley‘s “Away From Her” and Josh Radnor‘s “Happythankyoumoreplease” just missed the cut. Now, on to the ones that made it!
10. “The War Zone” (1999)
dir: Tim Roth
It’s a shame Tim Roth has only directed once, as his directorial debut was a harrowing tale executed with intense verve. A family drama about incest, it’s as horrific as any psychological horror, only far more immediate and real. An emotionally upsetting and challenging subject, Roth pulls absolutely no punches here. “The War Zone” is incredibly well done, a film to watch once for its pure directorial style and story, and likely never again.