Bollywood actors who turned director and tasted very little success

May 26, 2014, 10:07 IST | Shakti Shetty

Unlike in Hollywood, not many Bollywood actors prefer to turn to direction — and with good reason. We look at Bollywood actors who turned director and tasted very little success

Brilliant actors don’t always make good directors — but at least Hollywood tries. In the Hindi film industry, actors going behind the camera is a rare phenomenon.

Ryan Gosling

And the few who did try their hand at directing weren’t really proud of their work. No wonder here actors would rather set up a production house than helm the direction. With Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River, getting panned at Cannes, We take a look at Bollywood actors who turned director and tasted very little success.

Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn

Lowdown: Devgn directed the 2008 romcom, U Me Aur Hum. Very few things worked in the film’s favour. Kajol’s superlative performance was one of them. After this debacle, Ajay hasn’t worn the director’s cap again.

Pankaj Kapur
Pankaj Kapur

Lowdown: He may have won acclaim for his acting chops, but Kapur’s directing skills have in fact, disappointed the audiences. When his film Mausam, starring son Shahid Kapoor, released in 2011, it sank without a trace.

Rishi Kapoor
Rishi Kapoor

Lowdown: Kapoor’s directorial debut, Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999), neither shined at the box office nor made the critics go gaga. Since then, RK Films hasn’t made another movie — ditto for Rishi Kapoor.

Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah

Lowdown: By his own admission, his directorial debut, Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota: What If...? (2006), was a terrible mistake. Not surprisingly, he hasn’t shown any interest in directing a film now.

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher

Lowdown: Om Jai Jagadish (2002) was supposed to star Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan together for the first time. Had that happened, this film could have turned out differently. But instead it starred Anil Kapoor, Fardeen Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, and the film did nothing for Anupam’s career.

The exceptions
In recent times, some actors have done fairly well in the director’s chair…

>> Aamir Khan earned acclaim for his heartwarming film, Taare Zameen Par (2008). He is known to be very curious about the various aspects of filmmaking.

 Aamir Khan

>> Pooja Bhatt made a notable transition from delivering several onscreen performances to behind-the-scene work with bold films like Paap, Dhoka and Jism 2 to her credit.

Pooja Bhatt

>> Abhishek Kapoor couldn’t make become a successful actor but he went on to win accolades when he directed Rock On!! (2008) and Kai Po Che! (2013).

Abhishek Kapoor

>> Nandita Das is presently active in theatre but her directorial debut, Firaaq (2008), was well received. She’s said to be scripting her next directorial venture as well.

Nandita Das

>> National Award-winning Revathy has managed to do well in both departments: acting and direction. Her directorial debut, Mitr, My Friend, won recognition for both her and the lead actress Shobana.


The Hollywood story

>> Scarlett Johansson has earlier made a short film and she is currently shooting Summer Crossing, which is all set to release later this year.

Scarlett Johansson

>> Joseph Gordon-Levitt made an impressive debut as a director with Don Jon (2013). The film, revolving around online porn addiction, starred him and Johansson.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

>> Ben Affleck might have not impressed everyone with his acting but the films he directed — Gone Baby Gone (2007) and Argo (2012) — have won him more awards.

Ben Affleck

>> James Franco has just directed a feature film titled Bukowski (2014). Besides, he is currently shooting another film, The Sound and the Fury; it is set to release this year.

James Franco

>> A fan of Shakespeare, Ralph Fiennes made his directorial debut with Coriolanus (2011) and last year, he directed another feature film, titled Invisible Woman.

Ralph Fiennes

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