'The Vampire Diaries' Paul Wesley & 9 Other TV Actors Who Stepped Behind The Camera
You may know him best as the actor who plays Stefan Salvatore, but during the filming of Thursday night's Vampire Diaries "Resident Evil," the cast and crew knew actor Paul Wesley as their director, as well. Paul Wesley stepped behind the camera to direct an episode of the CW supernatural soap, marking the actor's first directorial debut. While we we're glad that directing the episode didn't cut Stefan's screen time short (quite the contrary — Stefan and Elena got steamy in an alternate universe in this episode!) it's pretty cool that one of the stars of a show can also take the reins as director.
Paul Wesley isn't the only TV star who tried his shot at directing. Here are 9 other TV actors who directed episodes of their own series.
Matthew Gray Gubler, 'Criminal Minds'
Also known as the One True Love Of My Life (I’m like weirdly obsessed with this actor, let’s move on) the Criminal Minds star has directed several episodes of the drama, all while playing the part of brilliant FBI agent Dr. Spencer Reid. He directed seven episodes of the CBS series, most of which have a strangely dark spin (even for a show about serial killers!) The NYU film grad isn’t all doom and gloom though — outside of his TV gig, he made a seriously funny mockumentary about his life behind the scenes of Criminal Minds.
Ben Savage, 'Girl Meets World'
Recently it was announced that Ben Savage will direct an episode of the spin-off to Boy Meets World. Though he has tons of experience playing Cory Matthews, the actor will be making his directorial debut on Girl Meets World .
Jon Hamm, 'Mad Men'
Jon Hamm isn’t just Don Draper on the set of Mad Men — he also sat at the director’s chair for two episodes of the series, including one of which was the Season 5 premiere episode.
Jason Priestley, 'Beverley Hills, 90210'
Jason Priestley starred as Brenda Walsh’s twin, Brandon, on Beverley Hills, 90210 and went on to direct a whopping 15 episodes of the series! It wasn’t his only directing job, either — years after Beverley Hills, 90210 ended, he went on to direct episodes of shows like The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Haven. He even went behind the camera to direct an episode of the spinoff to his original teen soap, 90210.
Shannen Doherty, 'Charmed'
Jason Priestley wasn’t the only Walsh twin to try out directing. Shannen Doherty directed three episodes of the witchy drama Charmed , including the last episode she ever appeared in.
Neil Patrick Harris, 'How I Met Your Mother'
He played womanizer Barney on the recently-ended sitcom for years, but he also took over as director for an episode in 2010. The star of Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch also directed an episode of the sitcom The Goodwin Games on Fox.
Jennifer Garner, 'Alias'
Ben Affleck may have won an Oscar for his work on Argo, but his wife also tried her hand at directing. Garner directed an episode of Alias during Season 4 of the show.
Matthew Morrison, 'Glee'
Will Schuester directs all of New Directions sets, but it was real-life Matthew Morrison who directed the Glee Christmas episode “Extraordinary Merry Christmas.”
Chad Lowe, 'Pretty Little Liars'
The man who plays Aria’s dad stepped behind the camera to direct eight episodes of the ABC Family show. It wasn’t his first time as TV director — prior to PLL, Lowe directed a whopping nine episodes of Bones !