Peter Travers' Top 10 Actors Who Direct in the 21st Century

From Ben Affleck to Lena Dunham

Actors/Directors

We're watching movies in a century with the bloom still on it. Tough sledding for actors who direct if they want to match or exceed the success record of their predecessors. Given the 20th-century triumphs of such icons as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurence Olivier and Citizen Kane auteur Orson Welles, plus directing Oscar wins for the starry likes of Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven), Robert Redford (Ordinary People), Warren Beatty (Reds), Mel Gibson (Braveheart), Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves), and — kill me now! — Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful), the 21st century offers challenges galore. Here's a list of 10 actor-directors trying to stake their claim on both sides of the camera.

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