15 actors who became surprisingly good directors
Yes, he's the guy from "Shocker." Making his not-so-illustrious leading-man debut in that 1989 Wes Craven horror flick, Peter Berg didn't exactly make a splash with his first directorial effort either - the 1998 dark-comedy flop "Very Bad Things." Nevertheless, the ambitious budding filmmaker switched his focus from acting to directing thereafter, improving greatly with his next several efforts - Dwayne Johnson buddy film "The Rundown," football classic "Friday Night Lights" (which he parlayed into the critically-adored, Emmy-winning TV series of the same name) and terrorism-actioner "The Kingdom." In 2008 he hit the big time with the Will Smith superhero blockbuster "Hancock," which grossed over $600 million worldwide while also garnering some moderate critical praise for for possessing more emotional complexity than usual for a studio tentpole. So even while this summer's flop board-game adaptation "Battleship" didn't do much to bolster his reputation, there's no doubt he went far farther than anyone had a right to expect from a twenty-something actor who once uttered the one-liner "It's Showtime!" in a corny Wes Craven flick.
- Chris Eggertsen