If a movie is a ship then the director is its captain. The one in charge. The one who has the vision. The one who knows what he wants from all the various departments. In fact, people would think since directors work so closely with the actors too, it’s only natural for them to try their hand at acting. But actually, it’s quite the opposite.

Acting is a different ball game altogether and requires more than just knowledge to get in front of the camera. And that’s the reason why only a handful of directors have been able to work their off screen magic, on screen as well!

Here are 10 Bollywood directors who turned to acting quite seamlessly.

1. Prakash Jha

This guy is known for making socially relevant films like Mrityudand, Gangaajal, Apaharan, Satyagraha and many others. His films have been appreciated for their gritty content and effective portrayal of issues that are relevant in present day social structure. With his new film, Jai Gangaajal, he has taken up his craft a notch higher. Jha will be seen rubbing shoulders with Priyanka Chopra in this upcoming cop film. The promo is already out and Jha is getting immense praise for his acting skills. 


2. Tigmanshu Dhulia

Tigmanshu Dhulia has done some great work as a director in movies like Paan Singh Tomar and Haasil. But when he decided to turn actor, he went all out there as well. He was first seen delivering an effortless performance in Gangs of Wasseypur and then he backed it up with some other smaller yet remarkable performances in Shahid and Manjhi – The Mountain Man. All we can say is, this director surely knows how to act!


3. Kunal Kohli 

Kunal Kohli once made refreshing films like Hum Tum and Fanaa. But then, some forgettable stuff followed in the form of Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and Teri Meri Kahaani. And guess what? This guy is now trying his hand at acting. He will make his debut with the film Phir Se. Though the promo of the movie came out last year, the film hasn’t released yet. Don’t forget to catch the trailer of the movie to know better!


4. Farah Khan

This choreographer-turned-director-turned-actor has made some really popular films like Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. And it was only a matter of time before acting caught her fancy. Farah had appeared in numerous cameos in the past but turned pro with the film Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. Interestingly, reports also suggest that Farah once gave an audition with Salman Khan for Maine Pyar Kiya! Bet you didn’t know that!

Hindustan Times

5. Karan Johar

Though Karan Johar first the faced camera in a cameo in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, his full-fledged acting debut in Bombay Velvet was one of the most anticipated roles last year. Karan is coming back to direction this year with Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. 


6. Mahesh Manjrekar

Mahesh Manjrekar has directed some critically acclaimed films like Vaastav: The Reality and Viruddh… Family Comes First. He also got a National Award for his bi-lingual film Astitva in 2000. Since then, he has appeared in numerous Hindi and Marathi films. Some of the noted ones are KaanteMusafirSlumdog Millionaire and Bajirao Mastani.


7. Nagesh Kukunoor

Nagesh Kukunoor has made some brilliant films like Rockford, Iqbal, Dor and Lakshmi. But this director became an actor with his very first directorial film, Hyderabad Blues. He has appeared in few of his other films as well.


8. Farhan Akhtar

Farhan Akhtar is the poster boy for directors who turned to acting. His film Dil Chahta Hai is seen as a trendsetter in Hindi cinema. After directing a few more films like Lakshya and Don, he turned an actor and a pro at that! His debut, Rock On!! was highly appreciated for his acting. His other noted acting roles are in films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Wazir.


9. Amole Gupte

Amole Gupte has directed films like Stanley Ka Dabba and Hawaa Hawaai. He was also the creative director and screenwriter of Taare Zameen Par. However, Amole garnered all the critical acclaim for his performance as an actor in Stanley Ka Dabba and Kaminey.


10. Sudhir Mishra

Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Khoya Khoya Chand are some of the films that this critically-acclaimed director has made. He was seen acting in Madhur Bhandarkar’s critically acclaimed Traffic Signal.

Indian Express

Giving actors a run for their money!