Sofia Coppola’s fifth feature film The Bling Ring, opens in theaters this Friday. She’s become of the most recognizable female directors working today, raised by one of the best directors of all time, Francis Ford Coppola. First introduced to the world as an actor, Sofia appeared in all three of her father’s Godfather films. She went on to appear in a few other films until ducking behind the camera for her directorial debut, The Virgin Suicides. She hasn’t appeared in any films as an actor for over a decade and it may be for the best as she’s become a talented filmmaker in a world that has very few females at the helm.
Just as Coppola found her passion behind the camera, other actors have done so in recent years too. Here’s a look at a few actor/directors who have made films with Miramax in recent years.
Primarily known as an actor, Danny DeVito has been working as a producer, writer and director for many years. His company Jersey Films produces several pictures a year and Executive Produced Pulp Fiction and Garden State. Interesting note, he appeared in Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides. Watch a clip from the film Duplex he directed starring Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller.
Speaking of Garden State…this was Zach Braff’s directorial debut after appearing as Dr. John ‘J.D.’ Dorian for years on the TV show Scrubs. He’s now in pre-production on his second feature, Wish I Was Here, talk of the Kickstarter world.
Starting out as a struggling actor in Hollywood, Favreau decided to write himself a starring role and raise money to film it instead of waiting for someone else to cast him. This was the indie hit Swingers. The film opened many, many doors for him and now he’s one of the biggest players in Hollywood, director of mega-hits like Iron Man and Elf. He continues to act and produce and can be seen later this year in Martin Scorsese’s, The Wolf of Wall Street. Watch a few clips from where it all began.
- The guys talk beautiful babies, pilots, and Tarantino as they party hop through Hollywood. In this scene: Mike (Jon Favreau), Rob (Ron Livingston), Charles (Alex Desert), Trent (Vince Vaughn)
- Mike finally gets a girl's number, now he just needs to figure out what to do with it. In this scene: Trent (Vince Vaughn), Mike (Jon Favreau), Rob (Ron Livingston), Charles (Alex Desert)
- At a party in the Hills, the guys experience how ruthless the Hollywood dating game can be. In this scene: Mike (Jon Favreau), Charles (Alex Desert), Trent (Vince Vaughn), Rob (Ron Livingston)
Billy Bob Thornton was acting in films for a decade before he made his directorial debut, Sling Blade. He went on to direct another narrative feature and a documentary but has been primarily acting and writing in recent years. He’ll soon be resurrecting his famous Bad Santa character Willie in Bad Santa 2. Watch clips from his Oscar winning film.
- As Karl attempts to enjoy his first taste of freedom, it's clear functioning in the outside world is going to take some serious adjusting. In this scene: Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton)
- Despite the quarter-sized blister on her heal, it seems that Linda didn't have all that bad of a time on she and Karl's date. In this scene: Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton), Melinda (Christy Ward)
- Charles tells Karl a story about his old Mercury and the hairy-armed girl who let him down. In this scene: Charles Bushman (J.T. Walsh), Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton)
Sean Penn shot to fame early in his acting career as Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Who would’ve imagined he’d become an Oscar winning actor many years later. Ten years after his first film role, he directed his first feature The Indian Runner, followed by The Crossing Guard starring Jack Nicholson.
The Crossing Guard
- For six agonizing years, Freddy Gale has waited for John Booth, the man jailed for a crime that destroyed Freddy’s life. Now, Booth is out of prison and Freddy’s giving him just three days to live, before he returns to even the score. Starring, in alphabetical order: Anjelica Huston, David Morse, Jack Nicholson, Piper Laurie, Robin Wright Penn
- After a night with yet another girl, Freddy wakes up from a nightmare and makes a hysterical phone call to Mary. In this scene: Freddy Gale (Jack Nicholson)
- John tells JoJo about the moments after he hit Emily, and it's a little more than JoJo can handle. In this scene: Jojo (Robin Wright), John Booth (David Morse)
Did you know that George Clooney was in a TV series called E/R in 1985, over a decade before he’d star in the series ER in 1999? This A-lister grew up on the small screen also known for his role as George Burnett in The Facts of Life. Fast forward to the twenty-first century and meet Clooney the Oscar winning actor and producer and feature film director. Watch a few clips from his directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, starring Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
- Chuck Barris, young, energetic, and focused on a top career in the growing television industry, finds himself being followed by a suspicious character who quickly lures him into a secretive and dangerous world: that of a CIA operative. While Barris gains notoriety as a dynamic television producer–creating such innovative and popular shows as “The Newlywed Game” and the self-hosted “The Gong Show”–he regularly executes assassinations for the United States government. As ratings rise, his life begins to spiral out of control when he finds himself marked for death by an operative. Starring, in alphabetical order: Dick Clark, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Michael Cera, Michelle Sweeney, Sam Rockwell
- Jim has an idea for improving The Dating Game and gives a good cover story for Chuck's side gig. In this scene: Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell), Jim Byrd (George Clooney)
- In spite of his apprehensions, Chuck completes his first job for the CIA. In this scene: Jim Byrd (George Clooney), Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell)
Ben Affleck has seen a major shift in his career since making his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone. Just as his acting career was slipping after films like Daredevil and Gigli, he surprised everyone with the success and clear talent behind his directorial feature debut GBG, followed by The Town and last year’s Oscar winning film, Argo.
Gone Baby Gone
- When 4 year old Amanda McCready disappears from her home and the police make little headway in solving the case, the girl’s aunt, Beatrice McCready hires two private detectives, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. The detectives freely admit that they have little experience with this type of case, but the family wants them for two reasons – they’re not cops and they know the tough neighborhood in which they all live. As the case progresses, Kenzie and Gennaro face drug dealers, gangs and pedophiles. When they are about to solve the case, they are faced with a moral dilemma that tears them apart. Starring, in alphabetical order: Amy Ryan, Casey Affleck, Ed Harris, John Ashton, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman
- Bressant reacts violently to Lionel's confession—leaving him to face Patrick one final time. In this scene: Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck), Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan), Remy Bressant (Ed Harris)
- After agreeing to join the hunt for missing Amanda, Patrick and Angie start uncovering the truth behind her mother's troubled past. In this scene: Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck), Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan)