Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River, was released in limited theaters this week. I have not seen it, but any time someone, not an established director, decides to direct a movie, I get curious. From what I can tell about Gosling’s film, it is very experimental and surreal, heavily influenced by his work with Nicolas Winding Refn. I’ve heard reviews on every end of the spectrum for this movie, making me wonder how much I will enjoy it. I am a fan of Gosling as an actor, but have no idea what I will think about him behind the camera.
Some other names that come to mind right now when thinking about new directors are Angelina Jolie (Unbroken) and Jon Stewart (Rosewater). We know these people a certain way based on what they do for a living, but once they try something like directing, I like to see how they go about that process. So for today, I’m going to list some of the actors (loosely using that word) I would like to see direct a feature film.
I came up with this first person mainly because of his work in Snowpiercer. That would be Chris Evans. Widely known today as Captain America, Evans has recently expressed interest in doing smaller, independent films on top of the superhero blockbusters. I enjoy both of those genres, so Evans working in both of them sounds good to me. He wants to challenge himself, take different roles, and work with a variety of filmmakers. I respect his decision as an actor to expand his horizons. I think directing would be a great place for him to go and experiment with what he can do as a filmmaker.
This next one may be a stretch, but my second pick is Nancy Wilson, the lead singer of Heart. I know I said actors, but she has five acting credits on her IMDb profile, which is five more than I have so who am I to judge? I would love to see a film directed by Wilson and observe her vision of a movie. Plus, she was married to one of my favorite directors, Cameron Crowe, who worked on a lot of his movies during the late ’90s and into the 21st century. I know she is a big fan of Led Zeppelin, and rock in general as well. So watching a movie with that music as a focus, even an autobiographical story, would be amazing.
The next person I want to see direct is one of the biggest celebrities out there and a great actor who has proven he is more than a pretty face, Brad Pitt. We’ve seen him take a variety of roles through his career, and has recently been a producer on several, very successful movies including 12 Years A Slave, Selma, and Fury. Now, the next logical step would be to direct. He’s definitely worked with many of the best filmmakers around, and could use that experience to develop his own style of filmmaking. With his wife, Angelina Jolie beginning to direct, that could be a great directing duo.
Like Wilson, this person is not most well known for their acting, although Oprah Winfrey is on TV. She could do almost anything with the money she has, and I don’t think directing is far from something she would be interested in doing. She’s been nominated for two Oscars for best performance already and like Pitt, produces a lot of projects. I would want to see a project in the hands of Oprah because she would have something to say with it. It wouldn’t be another film made just to make millions of dollars like many of them are. And when I think about a director working to get the best performance out the actors, I believe Oprah could do that remarkably. I know I would do everything she tells me to do.
Outside of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, and Seth Macfarlane, I can’t think of a lot of comedy based actors or directors that do both. That’s why I want to see Steve Carrell direct a movie. My favorite film of Judd Apatow and Carrell is The 40 Year Old Virgin. That film shows how funny both of those people are. We’ve seen Apatow make more in that genre, but I want to see a film with Carrell behind the camera, or possibly directing himself. With his comedic sense and timing, I think he could make a great comedy. I still haven’t seen Foxcatcher, so I don’t know if I want him to do a drama quite yet. Like the rest of my choices, I know Carrell has a multifaceted set of talents that we haven’t seen yet.
Those are the top five “actors” I would like to see sit in the director’s chair. I have no idea if they have any interest in directing, but I will definitely be excited if they ever choose to. I’m sure there are plenty of other good picks that I missed, so let me know what other actors should try directing.