Actors-Turned-Directors Who Nailed It On The First Try

drew barrymore angelina jolie directors

Going from big screen actor to director is no easy task — just ask 

George ClooneySofia Coppola, and Ben Affleck, who garnered critical acclaim, Academy Awards, and mainstream success with their films.Soon, Ryan GoslingJoseph Gordon-Levitt, and Natalie Portman will make their directorial debuts.

If anything, they have some tough acts to follow.

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore started her acting career inSteven Spielberg's 'E.T.' and later went on to charm audiences in 'Never Been Kissed' and '50 First Dates' before directing 2009's 'Whip It' starringEllen Page. Although it garnered lukewarm reviews from critics, it was a definite fan favourite. Who wouldn't want to see ladies on roller skates kick arse?

Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola started her acting career in the 'Godfather' trilogy, and later went behind-the-camera unleash her directorial debut 'The Virgin Suicides' starring Kristen Dunst. The film was an indie hit, as were her subsequent films like 'Lost In Translation,' which earned her an Oscar in 2004 for Best Original Screenplay.

George Clooney

From hot doctor on ER to CIA operative in 'Syriana,' George Clooney has found equal success in front of and behind the camera. After making his directorial debut in 2002's 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,' he received critical acclaim for his Edward R. Murrow biopic 'Good Night, and Good Luck' (2005) and political drama 'The Ides of March' (2011).

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie had her very first film 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' (2011), the story of a Serbian soldier's love for a Bosnian prisoner during the Bosnian war, get nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Although she lost to 'A Separation,' she still managed to win Honorable Mention at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Jon Favreau

You probably recognise Jon Favreau in films like 'Couples Retreat' and 'I Love You, Man,' but you most likely recognise him even more as the director of those not-so-little blockbusters called 'Iron Man.' The first in the trilogy racked in $381 million, while the third, $407 million. No bad.

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck found early success in film not for his acting, but for his writing. His screenplay for 'Good Will Hunting' earned him an Oscar in 1998. The 'Armagedon' actor later one over critics with 'Gone Baby Gone,' 'The Town,' and historical drama 'Argo,' which earned top honours (Best Picture to be exact) at the 2012 Academy Awards.

Clint Eastwood

You probably need to grab a tissue when you sit through a Clint Eastwood film, but the tears are well worth it. After hanging up his cowboy boots, the actor went on to win best directing Oscars for 'Unforgiven' and 'Million Dollar Baby.' Well, that is, before all his political stunts went down.

Ron Howard

Little Richie Cunningham grew up to make popular films about a mermaid ('Splash'), astronauts ('Apollo13'), and a maths genius ('A Beautiful Mind'), the later of which earned him a Best Director Oscar. And, although moderately successful, Howard had a hand in bringing Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' to the big screen, which was surely a hit for literary fans.

Kevin Costner

'Arresting cinematography' and one of the most inspirational films of all time, according to the American Film Institute. 'The Field of Dreams' actor really did hit on solid gold (seven Oscars to be exact), when he directed, produced, and starred in the tale about a Union Army Lieutenant who encounters the Native Americans of the North American plains.

Those were the actors-turned-directors who nailed it on the first try...

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