12 Actors You Never Realized Were Also Directors

We like to laud those in the entertainment business who are so called "triple threats." You know, the people who can not only act and do it well, but those blessed enough to also be able to sing and dance, to top it off. But, what we don't often talk about are those actors who not only wow in front of the camera, but behind it, as well. What I'm trying to say here is, there are a lot of actors who are also directors, but you just didn't know it.

It isn’t so difficult to see the why an actor might want to make the transition to being a director. You’d think that perhaps an actor would be the best type of director because they’ve been in both spots. They know what an actor needs to hear and how a director can help them to do their job most effectively.

That said, though, directing is a much more low-key type of job when it comes to tabloid and social media notoriety. It's an out of sight, out of mind type deal. But that's OK because I am going to remedy that. Let's push these impressive guys to the forefront. Here are 12 actors who are multi-talented and not only act, but direct, too.

1. Kathy Bates


Bates is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does she have over half a century of acting experience, she's also been directing for over 20 years. Some of her work includes, Six Feet Under, NYPD Blue, Oz, and Fargo, the TV series.

2. Denzel Washington

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Washington directed the films Antwone Fisher and The Great Debaters. But he also directed *drum roll* an episode of Grey's Anatomy. That Shonda Rhimes, she knows what she's doing.

3. John Krasinski

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Krasinski, does in fact, have even more talents in addition to acting and being adorable. He directed three episodes of The Office , and films Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and The Hollars, which is due out in August of 2016.

4. Natalie Portman

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Portman has been acting since 1994, so it's easy to get lost in that aspect of her prolific career. But, she has also staked her claim behind the camera. She directed a short called Eve , a feature film, A Tale of Love and Darkness, and was also one of the directors of New York, I Love You.

5. Ian Somerhalder

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The Vampire Diaries may be ending according to Somerhalder, but that's not without the actor directing two 2016 episodes of the series, first.

6. Jamie Foxx

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Unsurprisingly, Foxx's first shot at directing was two episodes of The Jamie Foxx Show. Aside from that, Foxx has also directed an episode of Night Tales: The Series and he directed the Night Tales TV movie. In addition to that, he directed a video short called, ...And She Was My Eve.

7. Tom Welling

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Flying isn't the only skill Welling acquired during his time playing Clark Kent. Seven episodes of Smallville were under his direction.

8. James Lafferty

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Lafferty directed four episodes of One Tree Hill and in 2015 directed an episode of The Royals.

9. Sophia Bush


What can't she do, honestly? Bush directed three episodes over her One Tree Hill career.

10. Jensen Ackles

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He's directed five Supernatural episodes. And it's only fair considering he's played Dean Winchester for 11 years. He knows what's up with these characters.

11. Drew Barrymore

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Remember Whip It? That was all Barrymore's doing! She also directed a short called, Our Deal, and a TV movie documentary called, Chose or Lose Parents: The Best Place to Start.

12. Elizabeth Banks

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Banks is "aca-mazing" for sure. She's directed two shorts, AIDS: We Did It! and Just a Little Heart Attack, the "Middle School Date" segment of Movie 43, and Pitch Perfect 2. As if that wasn't enough, she has three upcoming projects: A TV movie called The Greater Good, Charlie's Angels, and Pitch Perfect 3.

Who knew?