Actors turned movie directors seek success in Toronto

Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:02pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - They may already have a bunch of trophies at home, but a generation of actors turned directors are seeking success behind the camera at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

At least six actors, including Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, have showed off their directing skills here, hoping for the kind of acclaim enjoyed by the likes of Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, and Robert Redford.

Some, like Casey Affleck and "Capote" star Seymour Hoffman, were first-time directors, while seasoned filmmakers Ben Affleck and Emilio Estevez came to Toronto with second or third efforts that also showcased their acting talents.

The Toronto festival has nourished a reputation for solid test audiences and a launching pad for Academy Award hopefuls.

"I think you've got a generation of actors who have seen some of their peers go behind the camera, become directors and establish quite substantial and respected careers," said Cameron Bailey, co-director of the Toronto festival

"I think if you're on sets all the time and you're seeing how films are made, it's probably pretty natural to want to make at least one film and if that does well you may want to make more."

Estevez, whose 2006 movie "Bobby" won a Golden Globe nomination, presented "The Way", in which he also appears with his actor father, Martin Sheen.

"With actors directing, they have the language and they have the dialogue," Estevez said. "So many directors I've worked with don't know how to talk to the actors, they're terrified of them."   Continued...