Chris Evans, star of Captain America: The Winter Solider, plans to join this list of actors-turned-directors once his Marvel contract is up. But was it a wise decision for all of them to give directing a go?
Chris Evans has told Variety that when the time comes that he is no longer under Marvel contract he plans to turn his hand to directing. The Captain America: The Winter Soldier actor explained, “I’ve known for a while I wanted to direct. But [time] never really opens up...There’s another movie to do, there’s another acting job...If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing.”
Actor Chris Evans plans to direct when he is no longer under Marvel contract
Evans isn’t the first actor to feel the call of the director’s seat, some were more natural behind the camera, some should never have quit their day jobs.
Ron Howard is the ultimate actor-turned-director success story. Howard’s Happy Days starring as Richie Cunningham are almost a side note to his career these days, his most notable films including Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director.
With the younger generation, Clint Eastwood is probably only known for his directing work rather than the spaghetti Western roles for which he first made his name. Eastwood starred in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and A Fistful of Dollars, although he’s mostly recognised these days for directing Gran Torino, Letters from Iwo Jima (which scored his a nomination for Best Director Oscar), Mystic River (another Best Director Oscar nomination), Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven, for both of which he won the Academy Award for Best Director.
Ben Affleck won the Oscar for his work penning the script for Good Will Hunting in 1998, and while he continued to act it seemed that he developed a taste for the backstage as well. Affleck has gone onto direct The Town, Gone Baby Gone and Argo, for which he won the Oscar for Best Motion Picture of the Year as well as the Golden Globe for Best Director. He’s billed to star as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman, so it doesn’t look like he’ll be hanging up his hanging up his acting boots anytime soon, but he is definitely a director to watch.
Ben Affleck has been successful at acting, directing and screenwriting - a triple threat
Not all stars who turn to directing are quite as successful as Ron, Clint and Ben. These guys also gave it a shot, but weren’t received quite as well.
Madonna may churn out some cracking pop songs but a director...she is not. Her directorial debut W.E. received almost unanimously negative reviews, the late Roger Ebert describing it as “relentlessly monotonous”. Perhaps Madge should leave the directing gig to her ex, Guy Richie.
Next page: How about Eddie Murphy's ill-fated flirtation with directing?