It’s a Hollywood cliche: every actor secretly wants to direct. There must be some truth to that because very many actors do end up moving behind the camera. Very many of them are successful at it, but few of them are so versatile that they are able to earn Oscar nominations for both directing and acting. Fewer still are nominated in both categories for the same film. Scroll through the gallery above to see the eight who pulled it off and a few others who came close.
This year was almost a historic year as two filmmakers attempted to add their names to the list for the first time: Denzel Washington for “Fences” and Nate Parker for “The Birth of a Nation.” Washington was nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor for his film, but just missed out on a Best Director nom. If he had made the cut he would have joined Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh, who had also adapted classic plays when they picked up their double nominations. Parker, meanwhile, saw his award campaign derailed by a past sexual assault charge that came back to light; “The Birth of a Nation” was left out entirely.
Hollywood legend Warren Beatty also looked to grab nomination for his efforts in front of and behind the lens for “Rules Don’t Apply,” a romantic comedy in which he played eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. That film never took off with awards voters, apart from a Golden Globe nom for lead actress Lily Collins, which kept Beatty from making history as the only actor-director to earn dual nominations three times; he previously earned Actor and Director bids for both “Heaven Can Wait” (1978) and “Reds” (1981).
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