TIFF 2012: The vanity project: 5 successful actor-directors

Ben Affleck, who directs and stars in Argo, isn’t the only one in Hollywood to double dip
Sonya Bell
Billy Bob Thornton and Robert Duvall in 'Jane Mansfield's Car'

Pop quiz: Name the two actors who directed themselves to Best Actor Oscars. If you knew it was Laurence Olivier and Roberto Benigni, you know a lot about the arts and probably don’t need to keep reading this list.

The idea of pulling double-duty seems as ill-conceived as the second Sex and the City flick, at first. But many actors dreams of directing, and three highly anticipated movies at TIFF this year are directed by the actor. Or is it that they star the director? Ben Affleck does it in Argo, Robert Redford in The Company You Keep and Billy Bob Thornton in Jayne Mansfield’s Car.

Here are five (other) actor-directors who have cast themselves with outstanding results.

(Though, further to the pop quiz, no one has ever won the Best Director and Best Actor Oscars for the same movie.)

 5) Mel Gibson – Braveheart. The Man Without a Face.

 4) Warren Beatty – Dick Tracy. Heaven Can Wait. Reds.

 3) Woody Allen – Annie Hall. Manhattan. Hannah and Her Sisters.

 2) George Clooney – The Ides of March. Good Night and Good Luck. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

1) Clint Eastwood – Million Dollar Baby. Unforgiven. Space Cowboys. Mystic River.