Believe it or not, the monkeys who play pretend on television shows (actors) can be more than just a pretty face... and pretty other things, too. Just today, Fox announced that Hugh Laurie, an actual thespian, will be jumping behind the camera to direct an episode of House. Wait, an actor who doesn't just primp in a trailer or sleep off hangovers all day?
Yes, actors taking more than just an on-the-surface interest in television happens more than you think (we're not including actor/producers, who can just throw money into a project and get their names in the credits). Aside from Laurie, here are a few more actors who call the action.
The Smallville superstud does more than just wear the superteen outfit. With five Smallville directing credits under his belt, it's looking like his future will be solid even when his youthful looks wither up, up, and away. Plus, producers have trusted him with the second part of the upcoming Smallville Justice League special.
Sure he gave us indie darling and Shins shiller Garden State (which he also wrote), but like Welling, he's also dipping his pen into his own ink... if that makes sense. Braff has helmed seven episodes of Scrubs and will no doubt go on to doctor other shows now that he has more time.
Not only has double-D directed three episodes of The X-Files and two episodes of Californication—both of which are shows he also starred/stars in—but in 2006 he departed from his own to direct an episode of Bones.
Brandon? Yup. In fact, Priestley directed 15 episodes of the original Beverly Hills, 90210, starting when he was just 24 years old. Also on his dossier: 7th Heaven, Secret Life of the American Teenager, and the new 90210. Old sideburns has himself plenty of experience.
Without a doubt, my favorite from this list is little Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years. In fact, the reason you don't see him in front of the camera that much anymore is that he's way too busy behind it. He's the go-to guy for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and has directed episodes of Greek, Party Down, Aliens in America, Wizards of Waverly Place, Ugly Betty, Hannah Montana, and more. Our little Kevin is all growns up!
There are plenty more actors-turned-directors out there, too. Add to our list in the comments!