There is a new trend in Hollywood. Rather than young stars spending all of their time in front of the camera, they are moving into roles behind the camera. Actors turned directors is not necessarily a new concept, but usually we see it with experienced actors — ones who have decades of work under their belts. Times are changing and viewers want variety in what they watch, not the same, tired formats. Allowing some young professionals with a fresh perspective and a unique voice to take the helm might be exactly what the industry needs — more specifically — the TV industry. Three young fan favorites are set to make their directorial debut in the coming months and I highly doubt it will be their last.
1. Donald Glover Takes Us To Atlanta
If you look up jack-of-all-trades in the dictionary, you will probably see a picture of Donald Glover. The 32-year old is an actor, comedian, DJ, rapper by the name of Childish Gambino, writer, and creator of the new FX show, Atlanta (which he will also be starring in). Glover will be playing a college dropout who becomes a manger for his aspiring rapper cousin. Already being considered one of the best new shows premiering this fall, Glover will take on a totally new role, making his TV directorial debut with the sixth and seventh episodes of the series. Part comedy, part drama, Glover will bring his creative ingenuity, finally getting the opportunity to give viewers a look inside his mind with a project from start to finish. There is no doubt he will be a natural.
2. Troian Bellisario Is Bringing Her 'A' Game
Viewers may know her as Spencer Hastings on the hit-show, Pretty Little Liars, but the 30-year old has been busy growing her resume recently. Along with playing the lead in a TV series for the past seven years, Bellisario has written screenplays, produced, acted in indie films, got a taste for theater, and starred in a web series. A few months ago it was announced she will be directing Episode 15 of PLL's seventh and final season. She will be the only character besides Chad Lowe to take on the director's seat, but considering she is a key character to the series, this is a huge deal. It must be difficult enough to star in such a dialogue-driven show but to also have the responsibility of directing is a whole other story.
Dealing with the placement of cameras, pacing of scenes, giving cues to actors, and commanding all production elements is no easy task, but Bellisario's co-stars have no doubt she is up to the task. Many of them took to social media to show how proud they are of her and to show their support:
Bellisario also gave some behind the scenes look into her new role. When asked about any concerns, she told PrettyLittleLiars.com:
“I’m terrified of the girls. I told them to be nice to me, but I think they’re all going to be very well-behaved and awesome. I’m so happy for the opportunity to work with such talented actors. It’s going to be a blast.”
The show has a cult following so there is no surprise many fans also took to social media to show their support, even creating a hashtag for her, #proudofTBells.
3. Directing Must Be Rubbing Off On Emmy Rossum
The youngest of the group (nearing 30 in the next couple of weeks), Emmy Rossum has a huge advantage. Her fiancée, Sam Esmail writes and directs the critically-acclaimed series, Mr. Robot. Watching him do his magic no doubt gave Rossum a bigger appetite to get behind the camera and now she has her chance. Rossum will be directing the fourth episode of the upcoming seventh season of Shameless premiering this October. Only fellow co-star William H. Macy has directed on the series. Rossum plays the young matriarch of a very dysfunctional family living in Chicago. The cast and crew film in the city for about two weeks a year for exterior shots, a trip they enjoy because the vibe of the city gives them a better connection to the characters they are playing. The Chicago Tribune got more information while they were in town and had a chance to get Rossum's take on directing an episode:
"Initially they were a little hesitant and nervous because I tend to be pretty Type A and a perfectionist. I think they thought I would be really hard on them. But I am so in love with their talent and only want to create an environment where I can give suggestions that they can take or leave. I don't apologize. No. As the director, you have to speak loudly and be decisive and know what you want, and there's no room to apologize for that. I don't think I always have the ultimate best idea. But there's also no time for any kind of wishy-washying."
Like Troian Bellisario, Rossum has been cluing in the audience how the view from the director's seat makes a difference with these social media posts.
Having a support system also helps, as her fiancée is "predicting brilliance" and so are we!
Don't be surprised if this trends sparks a resurgence in young directors, especially ones with proven acting experience. Donald Glover, Troian Bellisario, and Emmy Rossum are all very talented in their own right. The things they have learned and the respect that they have earned makes these decisions a no-brainer. Why wouldn't we want a fresh set of creatives taking over the TV world? I am all for it!
- Atlanta premieres Tuesday, September 6th, 10pm on FX
- Pretty Little Liars Season 7 comes back April 2017, you can catch it Tuesday nights, 8pm on Freeform
- Shameless Season 7 premieres Sunday, October 2nd, 9pm on Showtime
Get to know another who has been making waves in animation, especially with his newest film Kubo and the Two Strings. Meet Travis Knight in the video below:
Are you excited to see these young stars direct? Who else would you like to see behind the camera? Comment below!
Sources: IMDb, FX, PLL.com, Chicago Tribune