Actors Who Have Directed Themselves

25 June 2020
Lights. Camera. Actor.
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Bradley Cooper does it. Clint Eastwood too. So does Denzel Washington, as well as Jodie Foster.  The list of actors who have directed themselves is long and will continue growing. But the afore-mentioned mostly took to the challenge on film, and we’re turning our focus to TV – specifically, to some of the actors in some of the shows currently airing (and coming soon) on M-Net. Check out who’s popped behind the lens of your favourite shows.

Alex O’Loughlin in Hawaii Five-0
For ten seasons he’s played Commander Steve McGarrett on the hit Hawaii-set show. Now the show has come to an end, but O’Loughlin didn’t bow out before directing a few episodes, in addition to his front-of-camera duties. His first time at the helm was for the season 8 episode, E Ho'oko Kuleana. Before the show’s end he would go on to direct two more episodes, one for season 9 and one for season 10.

Watch Hawaii Five-0 season 10 every Wednesday at 19:00 on M-Net channel 101, followed by more island action in Magnum P.I. season 2 at 20:00.

Chris O’Donnell in NCIS: Los Angeles
Eighties and nineties babies may remember the actor from his star turns in movies like School Ties, Scent of a Woman, and The Three Musketeers. He even had a comic book movie stint playing Robin to Val Kilmer and George Clooney’s Batmans. In later years, he found new fans as Agent Callen in NCIS: Los Angeles. In 2013, O’Donnell decided it was time to step behind the lens as well, directing the season 4 episode, Wanted. He’s since directed two more (for seasons 6 and 7). With the show now on its eleventh season and renewed for a twelfth, maybe O’Donnell will decide to return to directing duties again.

Watch NCIS: Los Angeles season 11 every Tuesday at 19:00 on M-Net, starting 14 July.

Daniel Dae Kim in Hawaii Five-0
The Lost star found further success on another show when he joined the H50 cast in 2010. Sadly, his character left after season 7, but not before the actor had directed the season 5 episode Kuka'awale. He may not be in the show anymore, but keep an eye out for him in the second season of New Amsterdam.

Watch New Amsterdam season 2 every Monday at 19:00 on M-Net.

Ian Anthony Dale in Hawaii Five-0
Another H50 actor who's stepped behind the lens is Dale, who has played Adam Noshimuri on the show since season 2. He directed an episode of the final season, which was co-written by Matt Wheeler and Chi McBride. The latter, who also plays Captain Lou Grover on the show, has co-written two other episodes.

Jason Bateman in The Outsider
Bateman is an old hand when it comes to directing shows he’s in. Most recently, he directed two of the four episodes of The Outsider in which he appeared. But before that he’d also directed episodes of Valerie, Arrested Development, and Ozark – all shows which have brought him fame and acclaim as an actor.

Missed The Outsider? Catch up with DStv Catch Up.

Jensen Ackles in Supernatural
Ackles has been a mainstay of hit TV for many years with roles in Dark Angel, Dawson’s Creek, and Smallville. But he really hit it big with Supernatural, which ran for a whopping 15 seasons. During his time on the show he also directed six episodes, including one for the final season.

Watch Supernatural season 15 every Saturday at 20:50 on M-Net City channel 115, starting 11 July.

Julie Bowen in Modern Family
Some may know her from ER. Some from Boston Legal. You may even recall her stint on Lost. But most know her as Claire Dunphy in Modern Family. Not only did this real-life mom have to juggle being a TV mom, but she even directed two episodes of the popular sitcom.

Watch Modern Family season 11 every Saturday at 18:00 on M-Net.

Lindsey Morgan in The 100
She’s been on the post-apocalyptic sci-fi show since the start, racking up an impressive 97 episodes. It’s coming to an end with its seventh season but Morgan takes away more than just six years playing Raven Reyes. She also directed an episode of the final season.

Watch The 100 season 7 every Friday at 20:00 on M-Net City, starting 10 July.

Mädchen Amick in Riverdale
A regular on television since the late ‘80s, the actress is perhaps best known for playing Sherry Johnson in Twin Peaks. She appeared throughout both seasons in the ‘90s and reprised her role for the third season, in 2017. From the eerie town of Twin Peaks she then moved to the just-as-eerie town of Riverdale to play Betty Cooper’s mom, Alice. She’s been there from season 1 and has just directed the season 4 finale.

Watch Riverdale season 4 every Saturday at 21:00 on M-Net, starting 25 July.

Rupert Evans in Charmed
For two seasons he’s portrayed Harry in the reboot of the successful ‘90s show Charmed. Besides portraying the whitelighter, Evans also directed the penultimate episode of season  2, and with the show renewed for a third season, maybe he’ll give it another go.

Watch Charmed season 2 every Friday at 19:10 on M-Net City.

Ryan Eggold in New Amsterdam
If you love medical shows, you’ve probably gotten stuck right into the heartache and high drama of New Amsterdam. Starring Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin, the actor also stepped behind the camera for season 2. He’s not the only familiar face to direct a season 2 episode. After directing an episode of Why Women Kill, in which she also starred, Lucy Liu got behind the camera for New Amsterdam. Before that she had starred in seven seasons of Elementary, of which she also directed seven episodes.