Director giving cameraman scene direction.

Are You a Female Actor Who Wants to Become a Director?

Ladies, have you ever thought about becoming a Director? I have a bullet point list below of reasons to ask yourself to see if it’s the right move for you, but before we get to that, take a sip of your beverage of choice and read a brief bit of history and some basic directing items.

In the early days of cinema, it was rare for women to direct films. In fact, the first woman to earn a credit as a film director was Alice Guy-Blaché in 1896. However, in recent years there has been a growing trend of female actors who have made the switch to directing. This includes names like Sofia Coppola (daughter of filmmakers Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola), Angelina Jolie and Kathryn Bigelow, who have all won Academy Awards for their work as directors.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of female actors who have become directors. This is a welcome change, as women have long been underrepresented in the field of directing. These women have made their mark in a male-dominated industry, and their films have garnered critical acclaim.

What Exactly Does a Director Do?

  • Directors must have a good eye for noticing the details of their film and be able to articulate them clearly.

  • Once a director signs on to a project, they must also be able to deal with the various actors and crew members.

  • Directors need to be able to work well with people of all levels of experience, from newcomers to veterans.

  • Directors are also required to have a good vision of what they want their film to look like.

  • Directors need to be able to communicate this vision clearly to the crew and actors so that they can understand the vision for the movie.

Why Do Some Actors Become Directors?

Acting is a great way to make a living (am I right or wrong?), but many actors want to move into directing. There are a few reasons why actors want to move from acting to directing. For some, it may be a natural progression in their careers. For others, it may be that they see the potential for directing to offer a more fulfilling and creative experience than acting. Additionally, directing can often lead to opportunities for greater financial compensation and greater control over one’s career path.

If you’re considering becoming a Director, read through this list and see if most, if not all, of the bullet points describe you:

  • You Seek a Greater Challenge

  • You Want to Be in Control

  • You Love Storytelling

  • You Enjoy Collaborating

  • You’re Passionate About the Craft

  • It’s the Next Step in your Career

Female Actors Who Became Directors

I’m going to talk about three female actors who have stepped outside of the acting realm to direct. By giving you a glimpse of their early lives and careers, you may be able to see why they decided to transition into directing, while still maintaining their acting chops.

The three women I’ll be discussing are Jodie Foster, Halle Berry and Caity Lotz (the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow)

Jodie Foster. Photo Credit Christopher Peterson

Jodie Foster

Photo Credit Christopher Peterson.

 In a business where image is everything, Jodie Foster has managed to maintain hers with very little public drama. She is one of the most private celebrities in Hollywood, despite a prolific career that’s spanned more than four decades.

Born Alicia Christian Foster on November 19, 1962, in Los Angeles, she began working in commercials at age three. Her mother was a film and television producer, and her father was an Air Force officer who later became an advertising executive. Foster enrolled in various acting classes as a child and made her feature film debut at age six in Napoleon and Samantha (1972).

Foster attended Yale University but left after two years to pursue her acting career. At the age of 14, she landed a role in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) opposite Robert De Niro and quickly became one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood.

Jodie Foster is an Academy Award-winning actress who has starred in many films, including The Silence of the Lambs and The Accused. Foster has also been successful as a director, earning an Academy Award nomination for her work on the film Little Man Tate. In recent years, she has turned her attention to television, directing hit shows such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Black Mirror.

Jodie Foster is one of the most accomplished and celebrated actress turned director in Hollywood history. After starting her career in acting, she transitioned into directing with the film The Accused (1991). Since then, she has directed films such as The Beaver (2011), Money Monster (2016), and Destroyer (2018). Jodie Foster has shown that she has a skill for both acting and directing, and her work shows that she is a versatile filmmaker.

Halle Berry with cinematographer Frank DeMarco. Phot Credit John Baer, NetflixHalle Berry

Halle Berry is one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. Born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 14, 1966, she was raised by her single mother. After a troubled childhood during which she was placed in several foster homes, Berry turned to modeling and then to acting. She moved to New York City at a young age to pursue a career in modeling. After several years of modeling, she made her acting debut in Spike Lee’s 1992 film “Jungle Fever”. Her breakthrough role came in the 1996 film “Monster’s Ball”, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. In 2001, Halle Berry became the first Black actress to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Berry starred in and made her directional debut in the 2020 Netflix film Bruised. The film is about a boxer who falls from grace and must rebuild her life.

Berry said in a statement, “I’m incredibly excited to make my directorial debut with Bruised. It’s a powerful and emotional story that I believe in deeply. I’m grateful to Lionsgate for their unwavering support and look forward to bringing this film to audiences around the world.”

CaityLotz1Caity Lotz

Caity Lotz is an actress and dancer from California. She is known for her roles on television shows such as Mad Men and Arrow. In 2012, she was cast as Sara Lance /the Black Canary in the CW show Arrow, a role she reprised in Legends of Tomorrow.

It was during Legends of Tomorrow that Caity decided to try her hand at directing. She had several ideas for the show but as an actor, she kept blinders on and did as she was told. Once Caity was given the green light to direct Legends of Tomorrow episode Mortal Khanbat, all bets were off. Talk about freedom!


There are many routes an actor can take to becoming a director. Some actors start out as directors, while others take on directing roles later in their careers. Many times, directors started out in other positions within the film industry, such as cinematographers or producers.

Some of the most common paths for an actor to become a director include: studying directing at a film school, working as an assistant director or second unit director, taking on short film projects, or starting out as a production manager. There are also many workshops and seminars that teach aspiring directors the ropes of filmmaking.

No matter what path an actor takes to becoming a director, it is important to have a clear vision for the project and be able to communicate that vision effectively to all members of the team. Directors must also be skilled at problem solving and be able to handle stress while working under tight deadlines.

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