Matt Damon to make the leap from actor to director. Who's next in line?

hereafter

Image Credit: Ken Regan

No one was surprised by yesterday’s news that Matt Damon would finally take his place in the director’s chair. Since co-writing Good Will Hunting and enjoying an amazing apprenticeship with Hollywood’s greatest working directors (like Clint Eastwood), the Oscar-winner actually seemed overdue to join his friend Ben Affleck on the other side of the camera. Maybe it’s his Harvard pedigree or his thoughtful talk-show banter, but Damon always seemed like an actor with vision and ambition who would thrive creatively as the captain of the film production.

As a result, Damon spent the last several years answering the question, “So when are you going to direct?”, and now that’s he’s committed to directing a small-town drama co-written by John Krasinski, we can pose the same question to other actors we’d like to see join the ranks of George Clooney, Sean Penn, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington, and Sarah Polley as actor auteurs.

Below, I’ve listed my top-5 actors who I most want to hear say, “Action!”:

5. Mark Wahlberg: His fingerprints are practically on every successful HBO show, so Wahlberg certainly wouldn’t have any difficulty getting a green-light. With The Fighter, he proved he could get a movie made through the sheer force of his personality and determination.

4. Daniel Day Lewis: He’s so focused in front of the camera that you might not want to distract him with directing duties, but like De Niro and Jack Nicholson, there’s simply nothing more he can prove as an actor. Directing might be a welcome challenge.

3. Natalie Portman: Intelligent and savvy, the 30-year-old star resembles Jodie Foster and Polley as precocious child stars who’ve blossomed as multi-hyphenates. She’s written, produced, and even directed one of the shorts from New York, I Love You. A feature seems like just a matter of time.

2. Emma Thompson: To me, she’s always felt like that favorite high-school teacher, first crush, or understanding young aunt — all qualities every good director should have. At the very least, her sets would be full of wit and good humor. (Recall her Golden Globe acceptance speech for writing Sense and Sensibility.)

1. Leonardo DiCaprio: Like Damon, DiCaprio’s been directed by the best (Scorsese, Spielberg, Mendes, Cameron, Nolan) and he’s currently the biggest star in the business. He might not be in a rush to take on directing duties, but I see him inevitably following in the footsteps of leading men like Warren Beatty and Robert Redford.

What actors and actresses are you most interested in seeing direct?

Read more:
Matt Damon to make directorial debut with small-town drama co-written by John Krasinski

Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • Sean

    George Clooney, Sean Penn, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington, and Sarah Polley (?)

    Are you really putting Sarah Polley in this category?

  • Anne

    Weird. I somehow *feel* like Matt Damon has already done the actor-to-director thing, even though I *know* he hasn’t…I guess to me he just seems like one of them. I can definitely see Leonardo DiCaprio going this route in the future as well.

    • Shannon

      I feel the same about DiCaprio and I’m sure his work behind the camera would be far better than the films his production company, Appian Way has put out. Red Riding Hood? Ick. Ides of March? Not a bad film at all and certainly winning much critical acclaim, but it didn’t quite do it for me.

    • Monica

      I’m learning that this wrtniig game is a constant steep-learning-curve-plateau-steep-learning-curve process with the plateaus only lasting just long enough to catch one’s breath, then it’s off to the races again wouldn’t miss it for quids!

  • Matt

    Warner Brothers has not approved this movie yet!
    Matt’s studio…and it has not been written yet either..
    Really Emma Thompson, Daniel Day Lewis, why not
    Susan Serandon Robert Downey Jr.

  • daleo

    I could be mistaken and she’s already directed, but I think Meryl Streep seems like a no-brainer for this list.

  • enough

    Tom Cruise

    • Melequinha

      I just love Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev’s chemistry too bad they didn’t find a rotinmac relationship off air. Ian has gorgeous eyes and I am sure is a good guy, but I see more real chemistry between Paul/Nina. Paul is gorgeous and seems like a genuinely nice guy like his character.

      • Shamili

        Wow, Jeremy just answered my qusoeitn to why I’m single lol, because I’ve always wanted to be successful! lol, 2yrs later still single and accomplished finishing school but no job 2 months now lol.

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