From Scarlett Johansson to Jonah Hill, meet the actors who are all set to show how multifaceted they are.
While some popular award-winning actors are poised to don the director’s hat soon—including Ben Affleck (working on a solo Batman movie), Johnny Depp (crafting a documentary on Rolling Stones frontman Keith Richards) and Denzel Washington (creating an African-American race relations movie called Fences) — we take a look at those who are making their directorial debut circa 2016.
Katie Holmes has always been keen on making her mark. And she has managed to do just that with her directorial debut, All We Had, an adaptation of Annie Weatherwax’s novel centered on the life of a mother and her mid-life struggle with alcohol addiction. Having premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival this month, the movie is already making waves. “It was hard work shifting between acting and directing,” shares the Dawson Creek star, while adding that the captive nature of the story, coupled with the support of her team, served as the source of inspiration for getting the project done quicker that expected.
Feted for his hilarious performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, Jonah Hill’s acting prowess has improved since Superbad. So when the opportunity came knocking, he put himself up for directing his first feature film, Mid 90s, and penned a script of his own to go with it. While not much is being revealed about the plot, the actor does confirm that it is a coming-of-age movie set in Los Angeles. “I want to make sure it’s done correctly; I am not going to just throw together a sloppy movie. This is where I want my career to end up,” adds the 32-year-old, when asked about his directorial aspirations.
Besides her upcoming performance in X-men: Apocalypse, the young actor has a lot going on this year. Project Delirium, her first directorial venture, is a drama based on the horrific mental warfare experiments performed on US soldiers during the Cold War, and will hit screens soon. “It’s funny, but I’ve wanted to direct since I was 16 and always thought I should start taking steps towards that. If I had tried to do it earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready. Now I actually feel ready,” shares the 25-year-old, who recently won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Joy.
HBO’s Entourage fame Kevin Connolly’s yet-to-be-released directorial debut is a grand affair, with its production handled by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions. A road film, titled Dear Eleanor, it follows two girls who set out on a journey in the early ’60s to see their hero, Eleanor Roosevelt. The movie’s additional charms include Patrick Schwarzenegger as one of its lead cast members. “To keep myself more in tune with the film, I assembled a lookbook with production designer Chase Harlan using images that illustrate the film’s story. I always had it (with me) in a backpack so I could look at it and remember what I am doing,” shares the 42-year-old.
Recreating the 40s
With her husky voice chilling us to the bone in Jon Favreau’s remake of The Jungle Book, Scarlett Johansson has once again cemented her position as one of Hollywood’s best new-gen actors. Naturally, taking the director’s seat is an important shift. She is working on Summer Crossing, an adaptation of Truman Capote’s book of the same name. “It is not Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s not hot off the press. So we can give it the time it deserves to be properly prepped,” adds the 31-year-old, commenting on the delay in production.
Certain characters stand the test of time. Not many who’ve seen Silence of the Lambs can forget FBI agent Clarice Starling. The talented actor who made it all possible, Jodie Foster, now turns director for the crime thriller, Money Monster (set to release next month), starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Incidentally, the two actors are starring together after a 12-year hiatus. “Landing George and Julia as the protagonists in Money Monster was a godsend. The two most-loved movie stars in Hollywood. I mean both of them are really, really fun to work with, too,” Foster shares.
—Arya P Dinesh & Anoop Menon