**Circuit Q&A’s are our daily community question, posed to the readers of AwardsCircuit that cover various topics from film and television to general wonderings and for instances**
Throughout cinematic history, actors and actresses have chosen to step behind the camera to direct. For any number of reasons, helming a feature of their own has proven irresistible to scores of performers, both A-listers and unknowns. Those films have run the gamut from forgettable to all time classics, often showcasing something new about the actor or actress in the process. Today, the focus will be on some of the best.
Early on, names like Charles Chaplin and Orson Welles set the precedent that actors could also be massively successful filmmakers. Chaplin had already created his iconic characters when he stepped behind the camera to direct, while fame came at the same time for Welles as an actor and a director. They weren’t the first, but they set the stage. In a very real sense, any actor who directs now has these two to thank for paving the way.
A-listers especially are drawn to the director’s chair. Woody Allen, George Clooney, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, and Denzel Washington are just a small sampling of the stars who moved behind the camera. Some helmed their own star vehicles, while others remained absent from the screen while they mounted these projects. In each case here, they quickly established a massive second career to go with their already established stardom.
Even just the in last few years, actors who direct have included the likes of Bradley Cooper, Greta Gerwig, Angelina Jolie, and Jordan Peele. In the case of Peele, he was able to win an Oscar his directorial debut. The Academy Awards and their voters have a history of citing actors once they start directing, validating their decisions in a big way.
The choice is now yours. In terms of actors who direct, which names jump to the top of your list? Let us know, we’re all ears!