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Acting and Directing

I was looking through an older issue of Entertainment Weekly this week, checking out the movies that are coming out this fall and early winter. I started noticing a strange tendency in these movies - lots of actors were directing upcoming films. Flipping through the magazine, I saw four reasonably high-profile movies being helmed by people who have been actors for the bulk of their career.

Now a couple of these were from actors who have experience with directing. Robert De Niro last directed, officially, in 1993. In December comes The Good Shepherd and it’s $110 million budget. Seems like a lot to give De Niro, but that’s why I’m not a producer.

Rocky has another movie coming out, too, descriptively named Rocky Balboa. Though Stallone has experience directing crappy movies, he hasn’t directed one since 1985. He also has an Edgar Allan Poe biopic in pre-production. He is slated to write and direct Poe.

Of more interest to me are movies from two first time directors. Or at least that’s what I thought. The biopic Bobby is due in late November. The Robert Kennedy biopic has a huge cast; one that I would think would require an experienced director to manage the chaos. Well, it is directed by Emilio Estevez. Surely this has to be his directorial debut, right? Guess not. He has a few so-so movies under his belt, including The War at Home and Men at Work.

(Incidentally, the Bobby cast includes: Anthony Hopkins, Elijah Wood, Laurence Fishburne, Demi Moore, Lindsay Lohan, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Sharon Stone, Christian Slater, Martin Sheen, Ashton Kutcher, Heather Graham, Harry Belafonte, Joshua Jackson, and Nick Cannon. I think it is important for biopic to make sure every character is played by a very recognizable actor. Grounds the film in reality.)

So I guess there is only one actor-directed movie with a newcomer leading the charge. Joey Lauren Adams, she of the high-voice and Chasing Amy fame, makes her directorial debut with Come Early Morning. Adams wrote the movie, which looks to be a fairly run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. I am guessing it will be pretty far removed from Adams’ other infamous comedy, Bio-Dome.