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The Oscars Are Upon Us, So Here Are 7 Random But Iconic Actor/Director Duos To Span The Ages

Since it's awards season and everybody is talking about (1940s voice) The Movies, it seems like as good a time as any to discuss some random but iconic director/actor duos who have helped make Hollywood what it is, both on-camera and behind it. Let's get into it!

1.Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro

Two actors from "The Godfather," one whispering into the other's ear, capturing a behind-the-scenes moment

2.David Lynch and Laura Dern

Picture of David Lynch hugging Laura Dern; both smile for the camera

3.Alfred Hitchcock and Grace Kelly

the two talking while on set

Bonus: David Lynch and Kyle MacLachlan

ABC /Courtesy Everett Collection, ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection

Kyle MacLachlan has been getting a lot of love recently, thanks in no small part to his amazing Instagram account. I did not want to choose between him and Laura Dern for this, so I felt the need to give him a shoutout. Although MacLachlan has starred in multiple films from David Lynch, like Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986), it's the TV show Twin Peaks that will always remain closest to my heart.

4.Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman

the Two  in front of a
the Two in front of a
Director in a white jacket gestures while talking to an actor in a beige outfit seated on a classic car, in a desert setting
Director in a white jacket gestures while talking to an actor in a beige outfit seated on a classic car, in a desert setting

Boston Globe / Boston Globe via Getty Images, / ©Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

Jason Schwartzman has appeared in no less than seven Wes Anderson movies, including Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Asteroid City (2023) (which you should really watch, if you haven't already)!

Their first movie together was Schwartzman's first-ever film: Rushmore (1998), in which he was just 17. Since then, as well as acting in Anderson's movies, he's also co-written three of his films: The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Isle of Dogs (2018), and The French Dispatch (2021).

My recommendation: Asteroid City was SO fun, and it came out just last year! Stream it on Prime.

5.Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan on a classroom set, one in a brown suit with badge, the other in a scarf and coat, both gesturing during a scene

6.Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson

From
From

Mondadori Portfolio / Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images, Miramax / courtesy Everett Collection

Out of the 10 movies Tarantino has directed, Samuel L. Jackson has acted in six, beginning with the iconic Pulp Fiction in 1994. Arguably, Jackson's acting — with heavy hitters like Jackie Brown (1997), The Hateful Eight (2015), and Django Unchained (2012) — made Tarantino's legacy what it is, and when one of them gets brought up in conversation, the other is often not far behind.

My recommendation: Pulp Fiction, which can be streamed on Max.

7.Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder and Teri Garr on the set of Young Frankenstein
Gene Wilder and Teri Garr on the set of Young Frankenstein
Characters from 'The Love Boat' TV show smiling, dressed in formal attire and captain's uniform
Characters from 'The Love Boat' TV show smiling, dressed in formal attire and captain's uniform

20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Nobody has ever been funnier than Mel Brooks, and I will stand behind that statement for life. On the occasions he worked with Gene Wilder, the world got three of the funniest, most culturally relevant movies of the 20th century: The Producers (1967), Blazing Saddles (1974), and Young Frankenstein (1974). All three of these are endlessly rewatchable.

My recommendation: Young Frankenstein, which was co-written by Brooks and Wilder, and garnered them an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay (...which they lost to The Godfather Part II. It happens). How often does that happen for a comedy movie?!

Okay, phew! I hope you check out at least one of these, and if I missed one of your favorite duos, let me know in the comments below! I'm always looking for more movies to watch.