This article was written by Christopher Wallenberg.
“The history of Hollywood filmmaking is littered with bloated movie-star-turned-director self-indulgence: Marlon Brando’s “One-Eyed Jacks’’ (in which Brando fired the film’s original director, a guy named Stanley Kubrick), Kevin Costner’s ponderous “Dances With Wolves’’ (which inexplicably won seven Oscars), and most of the filmmaking oeuvre of Mel Gibson.
But Hollywood also has a history of stars stepping behind the camera to try their hand at directing and actually turning out successful, even masterful, bodies of work. See: Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, Clint Eastwood. Some got hooked, some did not (Paul Newman), while others dabbled (Robert Redford, Dennis Hopper).
The directorial trend seems to have sped up in recent years, with actors as varied as Sean Penn (“Into the Wild’’), George Clooney (“Good Night, and Good Luck’’), Sarah Polley (“Away From Her’’), Zach Braff (“Garden State’’), and Ben Stiller (“Tropic Thunder’’) making the move into the director’s chair.”
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