When a director and an actor click, there’s no stopping them. Sometimes the perfect match leads to Oscar glory, other times it leads to a varied body of work spanning years. Either way, the audience always benefits when the pairing is just right. Here are some examples of the best actor/director match-ups in Hollywood:
1. Leonardo DiCaprio & Martin Scorsese
Don’t worry, Leo. It took Martin Scorsese a long time to win his Best Director Oscar, so you still have a chance. This team has worked on five movies together, most recently The Wolf of Wall Street. But arguably their most successful collab was The Departed.
2. Johnny Depp & Tim Burton
If Johnny Depp is wearing crazy makeup in a movie, chances are it’s a Tim Burton film. They’ve worked on eight so far together: Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows.
3. Michael Fassbender & Steve McQueen
This team is not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Fassbender played Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands in Hunger, a sex addict in Shame, and a brutal slave owner in 12 Years a Slave. McQueen is pretty much responsible for some of Fassbender’s best work.
4. Brad Pitt & David Fincher
Fincher introduced audiences to a grittier Brad Pitt in films like Seven and Fight Club. They also worked together on the ambitious The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
5. Keira Knightley & Joe Wright
They’ve worked together on three films, and they’ve all been gorgeous: Pride & Prejudice (which scored Keira her first Oscar nom), Atonement and Anna Karenina. Period pieces are anything but boring with these two.
6. Denzel Washington & Spike Lee
Whenever they work together, these guys bring some intensity to the screen. They’ve done four films together, including Malcolm X and The Inside Man, and we have a feeling this working marriage is far from over.
7. Russell Crowe & Ridley Scott
These two have done some epic things together, namely Gladiator, which won Russell a Best Actor Oscar and snagged the award for Best Picture. They’ve also partnered up on Body Of Lies and American Gangster.
8. Marlon Brando & Elia Kazan
Marlon gave his best performances under Elia’s direction, namely in A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront. And if you haven’t seen those classics, get on that ASAP.
9. Tom Hanks & Steven Spielberg
Hanks and Spielberg are a match made in movie heaven. They’ve teamed up for flicks like Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal, and continue to develop projects together. Their latest is an as-yet-untitled Cold War drama set to be released this fall.
10. Bill Murray & Wes Anderson
Pick a Wes Anderson movie. Any Wes Anderson movie. Chances are, Bill Murray makes an appearance. These two clearly love working together. Last year’s The Grand Budapest Hotel marked Bill’s seventh movie with Wes. In fact, the only Wes movie that doesn’t feature Bill is his first feature, Bottle Rocket.
11. Katherine Hepburn & George Cukor
George was known as a “women’s director,” and it’s true he had a way with female-centric films. But it’s also true that Katherine Hepburn was no ordinary woman. Somehow, though, their pairing worked, and they made eight films together, including The Philadelphia Story and Holiday.
12. Uma Thurman & Quentin Tarantino
These two were so close there were even rumors that they were a couple! But they’ve kept their relationship strictly professional. Uma was Quentin’s “It Girl,” starring in Pulp Fiction and his two Kill Bill movies.
13. Robert DeNiro & Martin Scorsese
When Marty finds good actors, he sticks with them. Before the director found Leo, Robert DeNiro was his go-to. They made a total of nine films together since 1973, including heavy hitters like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas.
Who are YOUR favorite actor/director partnerships? Tell us in the comment section below!