In case you didn’t know Shane Black was in the original Predator and is now directing the latest entry in the series (all must serve the cycle), and we think that’s pretty rad.
So we talk about our favourite actors who are now sat in that directing chair.
Let’s start big. Figuratively and literally (This squinty fucker is about 6ft 4!) CLINT MOTHER FUCKING EASTWOOD. Star of basically any Western you care to mention and of course Dirty Harry, Eastwood has gone on to become an Oscar winning director in his later years with highlights like Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino and American Sniper. In fact just last month I watched American Sniper for maybe the fifth time and I can honestly say no film I’ve ever seen covers PTSD quite so perfectly (a condition I’m all to familiar with being raised in a military household) I have nothing but respect for this man and with his most recent outing Sully adding another great bit of cinema to his belt he’s showing no signs of slowing with age and here’s hoping he bring more amazing movies our way in the next few years!
There is no way we can be talking about actors who have become directors and not talk about Charlie Chaplin. While at Keystone studios he acted in 36 different films in the year 1914, 20 of which he directed himself. In the following years, he featured in 65 different films between 1915 and 1957, of which he was the director of 58. In a time where film was only just starting to take off and wheren’t very long either, this is an incredible feat. Not only was he a highly accomplished director but one of the best comedians around. Having his achievements in film for all of an eternity is nothing but a blessing.
I’m going to talk about Madonna because, quite simply, her careers as an actress and director are…interesting, and really not discussed. For example, few know that she starred in her first film before hitting the limelight: A weird indie film called A Certain Sacrifice (1979), wherein she played Bruna, the master of three love slaves who she (temporarily) abandons after finding true love – naturally, the film ends with a Satanic ritual. It wasn’t released until the mid 80’s, well into her rising superstardom, so she attempted to buy the rights to the film to stop it being shown. She was unsuccessful. The next time she starred in a film was in 1985, with Vision Quest and Desperately Seeking Susan – and from 1985 to 2000 she starred in a total of 23 films (most notably in noir crime film, Dick Tracy, and the Eva Perez biopic, Evita).
After 2000, she gave acting several more goes, before turning her attention to a different aspect of the industry: Directing. She made her directorial debut with 2008’s Filth and Wisdom – a comedy about a Ukranian-American who moonlights as a transvestive dominatrix to finance his dreams of rock stardom. Her second attempt at directing was 2011’s W.E., an interpretation of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson’s romance. She also served as executive director on both Agent Cody Banks films, for some odd reason.
Out of Madonna’s grand total of 48 feature film and ranked media appearances, only 6 have a Rotten Tomatoes score higher than 60%, with Desperately Seeking Susan the best rated at 85%. Despite her constant attempts to enter the film industry, either on screen or behind it, critics have mostly found her films bizarre, or simply unremarkable. Common complaints also revolve around a focus on style over substance, and stilted performances – critic Steve Rhodes best summarised these opinions in his take on Evita: “The problem is that Madonna’s performance is all style. She mugs for the camera, but her acting is rarely convincing…”
If you’re after a really fascinating overview of Madonna’s entire train wre-er, ‘film career’, I would strongly recommend checking out Todd In The Shadow’s Cinemaddona series. That being said, the superstar recently announced a return to directing with the upcoming Taking Flight, based on the story of war orphan turned ballerina Michaela DePrince. So who knows? Maybe she’ll surprise everyone and finally make that good film she’s always wanted to.
Is there anyone in Hollywood I’d rather have a coffee and shoot the shit with than Jon Favreau?
Well, I could probably make it a twenty-way tie if I thought about it, but the fact remains that I’m always a big fan of his work, both in front of and behind the camera. The man directed one of my favourite films of all time- 2008’s ‘Iron Man’, of course- and he’s been popping up here, there, and everywhere across the MCU since, portraying the character of ‘Happy’ Hogan (Who is criminally underused, in my opinion) and directing and producing everything from the ‘Iron Man’ sequels to ‘Age of Ultron’.
But his work spreads far further than that, of course- he actually started out as a big name in indie cinema and has since branched out to projects like Disney’s live-action remakes of ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘The Lion King’, Star Wars, and- wait, what is that?
Yeah so I’m here to cheat the rules again. Although not entirely. Bo may be famous for comedy but he has acted in stuff before. Bo Burnham has for a few years now been a heavy inspiration for me in terms of comedy. The way I deliver jokes to my friends are heavily influenced or downright stolen for a few giggles. I’m the only one who’s seen him so I can get away with it for now at least. While Bo has been a comedian through YouTube for 10 years now, he has recently made a storm through his directorial debut “Eighth Grade.” The movie is currently sat at 98% on Rotton Tomatoes and 8.2 on IMDB. This doesn’t surprise me in anyway. Bo has always clearly understood the generations of the world. He wouldn’t be famous if it wasn’t for YouTube and he has made a film which takes this entire online world into the forefront. If you want to get a taste for Bo and his personal and hilarious collection, I recommend what. or Make Happy on Netflix. Two specials directed by, written and staring Bo Burnham.