8 Movies You Didn't Know Were Directed By A-List Actors

Many actors rose to their stardom thanks to multiple excellent movies, earning worldwide recognition and supreme accolades. After years of being in front of the camera, these actors find themselve looking for a chance to sit in that esteemed director’s chair and yell “Action!” In fact, Hollywood has bred a lot of actors-turned-directors over the years. Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, and Clint Eastwood have all won Oscars for the best director title.
Although some actors tried but failed to get recognition, other A-listers managed to work on both sides of the camera. From the movie musical directed by an American favorite to the science fiction film helmed by a former movie star, these are the movies you didn't know were directed by a-list actors.

#1 Keanu Reeves ('Man of Tai Chi')

Movies You Didn't Know Were Directed By A-List Actors, Keanu ReevesSource: screendaily

Keanu Reeves has proven more than capable of acting. From Point Break to The Matrix to the John Wick franchise, he has established himself as one of the most talented - and importantly, most popular - stars of the genre. Off-screen, he is an erudite martial arts student, having studied Judo, Karate, Jiu Jitsu, and Krav Maga. He knows his stuff.
Those skills came in handy when he decided to direct Man of Tai Chi in 2013. The story is about an exceptionally talented young boxer who is in dire need of money. To earn some money, he joins an underground fighting ring, where he has to confront a series of opponents. Oddly, Man of Tai Chi was not released to the widest in theaters, despite the director-cum-star involvement and largely positive reviews. However, it contains too many stylish fight scenes to satisfy martial arts movies.

#2 Arnold Schwarzenegger ('Christmas In Connecticut')

, Arnold SchwarzeneggerSource: imdb

Nothing could be more surprising than Arnold Schwarzenegger directing a Christmas romantic comedy-drama for television. And yet, that's exactly what he did with Christmas in Connecticut. This 1992 film, which aired on cable channel TNT, stars Dyan Cannon as Elizabeth Blane, the star of a popular television cooking show. Her producer, Alexander (Tony Curtis), comes up with the bright idea for her to do a live episode in which she cooks a meal for ranger Jefferson (Kris Kristofferson) as a reference. thanks for his heroic deeds. The problem is that Elizabeth can't really cook, a fact she has to hide from both Jefferson and the audience watching.Christmas in Connecticut is a loose remake of the 1945 Barbara Stanwyk/Dennis Morgan comedy of the same name.
Schwarzenegger is clearly a fan and thinks doing something seemingly out of his garage would make for a great start to a career as a director. He might have been the biggest star in the world at the time, but he wasn't behind the camera. The film received poor reviews, although it earned good enough ratings for TNT. An ambitious rom-com with comedic elements is simply a sizable success for his first - and so far only - time-out as a director.

#3 Ryan Gosling ('Lost River')

Movies You Didn't Know Were Directed By A-List Actors, Ryan GoslingSource: theplaylist

Ryan Gosling has come a long way in his career. Starting with The Mickey Mouse Club, he broke out of the Disney Channel trap to establish himself as an A-list actor with an ability to do comedy, drama, and action equally well. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee for Half Nelson and La La Land. What is most admirable is that he goes back and forth between major studio blockbusters and smaller independent projects.
In 2014, Gosling tried his hand at directing, and if the results aren't truly overwhelming, Lost River at least remains true to the spirit of his eclectic career. Christina Hendricks plays a single mother, desperate to make ends meet, venturing into a dark underworld of quirky comedic performances. Meanwhile, her son discovers a path leading to an underwater town. If that sounds a bit odd and disjointed, you're not alone in thinking so. Reviews of Lost River were poor when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, prompting Warner Bros. to bury it in only a few theaters in North America with very little publicity or promotion.

#4 Johnny Depp ('The Brave')

Movies You Didn't Know Were Directed By A-List Actors, Johnny DeppSource: theplaylist

If you've never heard of The Brave, there's an excellent reason. Johnny Depp's only foray into directing has been deliberately concealed by much of the world. Based on the novel by Gregory McDonald, author of the Fletch series, the film tells the story of Raphael (played by Depp), a Native American struggling to make ends meet. Eager to make money for his family, he accepts an offer from a shady producer/director (Marlon Brando) to appear in a snuff movie in which he will be killed in front of the camera.
The Brave made its debut to much fanfare at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. The response was not good. Critics criticized it. That reaction seemed to embarrass Depp, to the point where he refused to allow the film to be released in North America, where he was a huge star. Instead, it was shown in minimal theaters abroad. To this day, it has never been available on DVD or any streaming service in the country.

#5 Drew Barrymore ('Whip It')

, Drew BarrymoreSource: lewislitjournal

Drew Barrymore is famous for her role in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. It seems she's been paying close attention to director Steven Spielberg, learning something about filmmaking. Her first and only film as a director, 2009's Whip It, is a consistently engaging, entertaining comedy that plunges viewers into the world of a unique sport.
Page Elliot plays Bliss, a young Texan bored with small-town life and longing for excitement. That wish came in the form of an invitation to join a local rollerblading team. Besides giving Whip It a lively tempo and a sharp edge of humor, Barrymore values ​​rollerblading, allowing viewers to feel as if they understand and appreciate the skills of playing the game. , as well as the colorful personalities of the athletes. She hasn't directed another movie since, which is a real shame because the movie promised so much.

#6 Gary Oldman ('Nil by Mouth')

Movies You Didn't Know Were Directed By A-List Actors, Gary OldmanSource: timeout

Gary Oldman finally won an Oscar in 2018 for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, but he'd had acclaimed performances years before that. Of course, he's known for disappearing into characters. People don't necessarily know that the guy who played Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy is the same guy who played Drexl Spivey in True Romance or Zorg in The Fifth Element. The quintessential Oldman quality is that you never know what you're going to get, you just know that whatever it is it's going to be spectacular.
In 1997, he took on a storytelling assignment with Nil by Mouth. This low-budget British film focuses on the trials and tribulations of a family living in a working-class London neighborhood. It was supported by Ray Winstone's strong performance as an abusive alcoholic. Oldman is based on the film about his own childhood in South East London. Getting inspired by the locals is a good choice, as the film was praised for its authentic atmosphere. Nil by Mouth may have struggled to capture attention at the box office, but the key consensus is that this is a solid effort by the director.

#7 Chris Evans ('Before We Go')

Movies You Didn't Know Were Directed By A-List Actors, Chris EvansSource: ew

Chris Evans has become a household name thanks to his portrayal of Captain America in the Marvel movies. Although he's had plenty of on-screen roles before, the role of Cap has helped him break free of the "handsome guy" stereotype that Hollywood has forced on him, showing that he can handle a big role That opened the door for other great roles, most notably as scoundrel Ransom Drysdale in Knives Out.
Perhaps because he was typecast early in his career, Evans wanted to show what he could do behind the camera. That led him to make the 2014 romance Before We Go. He and Alice Eve play strangers who meet at Grand Central Station and spend a night getting to know each other at the Big Apple. The film is clearly aiming for the same kind of vibe that Richard Linklater achieved with his Before… trilogy. (Even the titles are the same.) It didn't work out very well. Poor reviews and few theaters have stalled Before We Go with a domestic total of $37,000. Not exactly Marvel money.

#8 Natalie Portman ('A Tale of Love and Darkness')

Movies You Didn't Know Were Directed By A-List Actors, Natalie PortmanSource: thegate

Oscar-winner Natalie Portman makes blockbusters and independent films, which have enjoyed huge success in both areas. In her personal life, she is known to be concerned with the big issues facing our world. That's part of what makes audiences love her - she has depth and soul. While she doesn't appear above in a superhero movie like Thor: Love and Thunder or a slapstick comedy like Your Highness, she's absolutely at her best when it comes to tackling intelligence-based stories with his inherent wisdom and compassion.
With her debut as a director in 2015, it's no surprise that Portman chose something along those lines.
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