In the spotlight: Directors who dabbled in acting

  • Jigar Shah, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 14, 2014 13:57 IST

A director is often referred to as the captain of the ship, but there have been times when film-makers have assumed other responsibilities as well.

In the past, we've seen directors like Guru Dutt step into an actor’s shoes with films like Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959).

Same is the case with Farhan Akhtar, who balances a career in front and behind the camera. The latest entrant to this group is Kunal Kohli (of Hum Tum; 2004 and Fanaa; 2006 fame), who will be seen as the lead in a film he is also co-directing. We share few other who have treaded the same path.

Farah Khan: She has been part of the industry for nearly two decades, first as a choreographer and then as a film-maker. After a couple of small appearances in films like Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (2010) and Khichdi — The Movie (2010), Farah played one of the protagonists in Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi (2012), which was produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Gupte: He has helmed films like Stanley Ka Dabba (2011) and this year’s release Hawa Hawaii, but director Amole Gupte is better remembered for his roles in films like Kaminey (2009), Bheja Fry 2 (2011) and Singham Returns. Kashyap: While he has gone on record to say that he hates acting, Kashyap still continues to face the camera for films. After making small appearances in his own films, like Dev D (2009) and Gulaal (2009), he also did a negative role in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Shagird (2011). In Onir’s I Am (2011), he played a man who sexually assaults his step son. Now he will be seen in Sudhir Mishra’s Aur Devdas. Dhulia: He began his career as a casting director with films like Bandit Queen (1994) and Bombay Boys (1995), but created a mark as a director with films like Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster (2011) and Paan Singh Tomar (2012). Later, Anurag Kashyap offered him a meaty role in Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), where he proved his acting prowess. Post that, Tigmanshu did a small role in Shahid (2012). Johar: He became a name to reckon with post his directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), but before that, he had faced the camera in a bit part in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). Since then, the 42-year-old has done several cameos. But now the film-maker will be seen in a full-length role in Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet, where he will be seen as a media mogul. He was also offered a role by Vikas Bahl for his next with Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, which he turned down.

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