Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, where we discuss the wonderful world of motion pictures. Come here to discuss new movies in theaters, old classics, or any thoughts you’ve had about the world of film!
Today’s prompt, care of Avocado commenter PSF: who is the best actor of directors who also act? (I’d limit this to people who are primarily known as directors.)
It’s an interesting question. Mel Brooks shows up to punch up the comedy in various films. At times he takes on a starring role in the cases of Silent Movie, High Anxiety, and Life Stinks.
Werner Herzog will lend a role a sinister menace with a heaping dose of campiness. He’s a welcome presence as The Zec in Jack Reacher, and we revel in his glowering gaze in The Mandalorian.
Jon Favreau can often give a secondary role a dose of warmth, like he does as Happy in the Iron Man movies.
Penny Marshall is probably best known now as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. Let it never be forgotten, though, that she was the Laverne half of Laverne & Shirley.
Frank Oz leans on his comedic chops as a puppeteer to turn in a memorable role as a prison officer in Blues Brothers.
Kevin Smith presides over his View Askew films with silent dignity as Silent Bob. (Less so as the sentient sausages in Yoga Hosers.)
In addition to several cameos in his own films, M. Night Shyamalan casts himself in Lady In The Water as Vic Ran, an author whose book titled The Cookbook will change the world forever but will not live to see it happen. I will say that expecting a Shyamalan cameo in The Village kinda unraveled what that twist in the movie would be.
Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino … is really distracting but maybe that’s the point. I actually thought he did decent in Django Unchained. Pulp Fiction, though…. it’s either the worst part of the movie or the best part depending on who you talk to.
And, of course, there’s the good ol’ “What the heck is one of the greatest directors of our time doing in utter trash like Austin Powers: Goldmember?”