More directors get in front of camera

Actors often make good directors, as evidenced by Orson Welles and Ron Howard. But directors make fine actors, too. Some star in their own movies, from Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to Spike Lee and Woody Allen. While Alfred Hitchcock stuck to his wry cameos, other helmers' occasional appearances in their films inspired their colleagues to offer meatier parts.


When veteran writer Tony Gilroy (the "Bourne" franchise) insisted on directing the script for "Michael Clayton" as his first feature, he wound up attracting several supportive directors, including Sydney Pollack, Clooney, Doug McGrath and Brian Koppelman. After much stalling at the notion of working with a rookie, Clooney finally agreed to star in the title role.

Beyond giving a powerful performance, Clooney -- who, as a helmer, has "Leatherheads" next on tap -- went the extra mile and willingly deployed his star wattage to wrangle local New York authorities whenever Gilroy needed to stick around a location without a permit or to shoot a flyover plane.

And while Pollack gave Gilroy many notes on the script and acted as one of its producers, the Stella Adler-trained director finally agreed to play the key role of Clayton's boss, Marty Bach.

(Source: Variety)

Actors, Directors

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