29 Actors Who Also Directed Episodes Of Their Hit TV Shows

29 Actors Who Also Directed Episodes Of Their Hit TV Shows

I can eat and watch TV at the same time, so...one might call me multi-talented, too.

1. James Lafferty, One Tree Hill

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The episodes he directed: "Show Me How to Live" (6x22), "I and Love and You" (7x07), "Nobody Taught Us to Quit" (8x05), and "Catastrophe and the Cure" (9x06)

Lafferty starred as Nathan Scott, one of the leads of One Tree Hill, for 182 episodes. Since then, he's directed episodes of The Royals as well as seven episodes of his series Everyone Is Doing Great, which he also wrote with costar (and fellow OTH alum) Stephen Colletti.


2. Matthew Gray Gubler, Criminal Minds

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The episodes he directed: “Mosley Lane” (5x16), “Lauren” (6x18), “Heathridge Manor” (7x19), “The Lesson” (8x10), “Alchemy” (8x20), “Gatekeeper” (9x07), “Blood Relations” (9x20), “Mr. Scratch” (10x21), “A Beautiful Disaster” (11x18), “Elliott’s Pond” (12x06), “The Capilanos” (13x17), and “The Tall Man” (14x05)

Gubler, who starred as Spencer on Criminal Minds, appeared in 323 episodes of the series. He's also directed a number of shorts.


3. Kevin McKidd, Grey's Anatomy

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The episodes he directed: McKidd directed over 30 episodes of the show from Season 7–17, starting with Season 7's "Don't Deceive Me (Please Don't Go)." He also directed four of the webisodes in Seattle Grace: Message of Hope.

McKidd has played Owen for 300 episodes, from the start of Season 5 to the present. Besides the Grey's webisodes, he has not directed on another series.


4. Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy

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Episodes she directed: "Be Still, My Soul" (13x18) and "Old Scars, Future Hearts" (14x15)

Pompeo has starred as Meredith in every episode of the show — 381 and counting. She has not directed on any other series. Pompeo currently co-produces the show (as well as Station 19).


5. Troian Bellisario, Pretty Little Liars

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Episode she directed: “In the Eye Abides the Heart" (7x15)

Troian starred as Spencer in 160 episodes. She expressed interest in directing on PLL spinoff The Perfectionists as well, but that show ended after only one season. She's since directed three episodes of Freeform's current hit show, Good Trouble.


6. Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

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Episodes he directed: "Storybook Love" (4x05) and "Jerry 2.0" (5x15) 

Milo has appeared in all 89 (and counting) episodes of the series as Jack. Previously, he had directed episodes of Suite 7 and Ultradome, as well as a couple of shorts/miniseries.


7. Justin Hartley, This Is Us

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Episode he directed: "A Hell of a Week: Part Three" (4x13)

Hartley has also appeared in all 89 episodes, playing one of Jack's sons, Kevin. In addition to an episode of This Is Us, he also directed an episode of Smallville, while he played the role of Oliver Queen on the show.


8. Bryan Cranston, Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad

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Episodes he directed: "Stereo Store" (4x13), "Vegas" (5x01), "Dirty Magazine" (5x09), "Experiment" (5x18), "Buseys Run Away" (6x02), "Billboard" (6x10), and "Malcolm Defends Reese" (7x09)  in Malcolm in the Middle; "Seven Thirty-Seven" (2x01), "No Más" (3x01), and "Blood Money" (5x09) in Breaking Bad

In addition to starring in both shows, he has also directed episodes of shows such as Modern Family and The Office.


9. Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries

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Episodes he directed: "The Downward Spiral" (6x16), "Days of Future Past" (7x16), and "We Have History Together" (8x08)

He also co-produced Season 8 of The Vampire Diaries, as well as the entirety of his show V-Wars, which he also directed an episode of.


10. Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries

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Episodes he directed: "Resident Evil" (5x18), "Woke Up with a Monster" (6x11), "Things We Lost in the Fire" (7x11), "Requiem for a Dream" (7x21), and "Detoured on Some Random Backwoods Path to Hell" (8x06)

Wesley has also directed an episode of TVD spinoff Legacies, as well as an episode of Shadowhunters; Roswell, New Mexico; and Batwoman.


11. Charles Michael Davis, The Originals

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Episodes he directed: "High Water and a Devil's Daughter" (4x07) and "What, Will, I, Have, Left" (5x06)

Davis played Marcel for 92 episodes on the TVD spinoff The Originals. This is his only directing credit.


12. Tyler Posey, Teen Wolf

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Episode he directed: "After Images" (6x13)

Posey starred as Scott McCall on all 100 episodes of Teen Wolf, but only directed one episode.


13. Mädchen Amick, Riverdale

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Episode she directed: "Chapter Seventy-Six: Killing Mr. Honey" (4x19)

Amick has appeared in 79 episodes of the series as Betty and Polly's mom, Alice Cooper. Prior to Riverdale, she directed a couple of shorts, and she is currently directing the film Reminisce.


14. Jake Johnson, New Girl

Patrick McElhenney / Fox / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Episode he directed: "Bob & Carol & Nick & Schmidt" (5x05)

Johnson appeared in all 146 episodes of New Girl as Nickbut he only directed the one episode.


15. Lamorne Morris, New Girl

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Episode he directed: "Godparents" (7x05)

Morris played Winston in every New Girl episode except the pilot, but like Johnson, he also only directed one episode.


16. Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation

JA/Everett Collection

Episodes he directed: "Correspondents' Lunch" (5x15) and "Flu Season 2" (6x19)

Offerman appeared in all but one Parks and Recreation episode as Ron. He has not directed on any other shows.


17. David Schwimmer, Friends

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Episodes he directed: "The One on the Last Night" (6x06), "The One with Rachel's Assistant" (7x04), "The One with Ross's Library Book" (7x07), "The One with All the Candy" (7x09), "The One with the Truth About London" (7x16), "The One with the Red Sweater" (8x02), "The One with the Stripper" (8x08), "The One Where Joey Dates Rachel" (8x12), "The One with Phoebe's Birthday Dinner" (9x05), and "The One with the Birth Mother" (10x09)

He also directed two episodes of the Friends spinoff Joey, as well as an episode of The Tracy Morgan Show and six episodes of Little Britain USA.


18. Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor

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Episodes he directed: "Risk and Reward" (2x15), "Autopsy" (3x16), and "Decrypt" (4x10)

Besides starring in all 77 episodes (and counting) of The Good Doctor, Highmore previously starred in Bates Motel, which he also directed an episode of.


19. Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

John P, Fleenor / Fox / courtesy Everett Collection

Episode she directed: "He Said, She Said" (6x08)

Beatriz has appeared as Rosa in all 153 episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but has only directed one episode.


20. Melissa Fumero, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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Episode she directed: "Return of the King" (6x15)

Besides playing Amy in every episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fumero also directed an episode of Front Seat Chronicles.


21. Kristen Bell, The Good Place

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Episode she directed: "The Funeral to End All Funerals" (4x08)

Bell starred as Eleanor in all 50 episodes of The Good Place, and has had a long career in TV and film, but she has not directed any other projects.


22. America Ferrera, Superstore

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Episodes she directed: "Mateo's Last Day" (2x17), "Video Game Release" (3x13), "Sandra's Fight" (4x21), and "Lady Boss" (5x11)

In addition to starring as Amy on over 100 Superstore episodes, Ferrera also directed four episodes of the series Gentefied, which she also produced two episodes of.


23. Ben Feldman, Superstore

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Episodes he directed: "Lottery" (3x19) and "Carol's Back" (5x19)

Feldman appeared as Jonah in over 100 episodes of Superstore, but he's only directed these two episodes. However, he has produced 36 episodes.


24. Randall Park, Fresh Off the Boat

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Episode he directed: "Commencement" (6x15)

Park starred as Louis on all 116 episodes of Fresh Off the Boat, and directed the series finale. He also directed a few shorts prior to his time on the series.


25. Julie Bowen, Modern Family

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Episodes she directed: "Red Alert" (10x16) and "Tree's a Crowd" (11x08)

Bowen appeared as Claire in all 250 episodes of Modern Family. This is her only directing experience besides a short film in 2019.


26. Lana Parrilla, Once Upon a Time

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Episodes she directed: "Chosen" (7x17)

Parrilla starred as the Evil Queen/Regina in all 156 episodes of the series, but only directed one episode.


27. Matthew Morrison, Glee

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Episodes he directed: "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" (3x09)

Morrison appeared as Will in all 121 episodes of the series, but only directed one episode.


28. David Ramsey, Arrow

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Episodes he directed: "Past Sins"  (7x11) and "Reset" (8x06) 

Ramsay appeared in 170 episodes of Arrow as John Diggle, as well as episodes of many of the spinoffs. He also directed an episode each of other Arrow-verse shows Superman and Lois, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.


29. And finally, Caity Lotz, Legends of Tomorrow

Dean Buscher / The CW / courtesy Everett Collection

Episodes she directed: "Mortal Khanbat" (5x06) and "The Satanist's Apprentice" (6x05)

Lotz, who has appeared in all 92 episodes of Legends of Tomorrow as well as 37 episodes of Arrow as Sara Lance, also directed the short Twin Turbo.


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