Can Actors Direct? What Jason Bateman Can Learn From The Directorial Debuts Of Ben Affleck, Eddie Murphy + More

  • Ben Affleck directs Gone Baby Gone

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, Miramax Films]

  • Zach Braff directs Garden State

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, Fox Searchlight Pictures]

  • Drew Barrymore directs Whip It

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, Fox Searchlight Pictures]

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt directs Don Jon

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, Relativity Media]

  • Denzel Washington directs Antwone Fisher

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, Fox Searchlight Pictures]

  • John Krasinski directs Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, IFC Films]

  • Madonna directs Filth and Wisdom

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, IFC Films]

  • Eddie Murphy directs Harlem Nights

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, Paramount Pictures]

  • Fred Savage directs Daddy Day Camp

    [Photo Credit: Getty Images, TriStar Pictures]

What happens when actors decide to take a stab at directing? A lot. Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford have made the transition look easy, earning accolades and Oscars their directorial work. But for others, the road is a lot less golden. See: Jason Alexander’s little-seen For Better or Worse. No, the Seinfeld curse is not limited to television…

Arrested Development star Jason Bateman is the latest actor to step behind the camera, making his directorial debut with Bad Words. (Michael Bluth just had to one-up his family members, didn’t he?)

Having grown up in the business, Bateman is well-versed in movie-making, but admitted he’s still learning about the intricacies of directing. “You notice and you feel these things as a moviegoer but it’s another thing entirely to know how to articulate those things,” he said during a recent screening of his film at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. “I was watching this process for so long and wanted to someday earn the privilege of overseeing it.” Bad Words premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last fall and early reviews for the film are strong. It’s likely his years on sets helped him whip this project into shape, as well watching the brave ac-tors who embarked on a new challenge before him… to varying degrees of success. When it comes to actors who’ve gone on to direct feature films, who conquered a new world and who proved he or she should stay in front of the camera? And what can John Slattery and Ryan Gosling — who each have their directorial debuts slated for 2014 — learn from their peers? Less is more, for starters. And never, ever agree to a sequel to Daddy Daycare.

Check out our cautionary tale of actor directorial debuts, from the good (yay, Ben Affleck and Joseph Gordon-Levitt!) to the forgettable (sorry, John Krasinski) to the just plain bad.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images, Miramax Films, Paramount Pictures]