Go Shoot Yourself: Evaluating the Acting Chops of Directors Who Cast Themselves

Spike Lee

Maybe Spike Lee believes that acting is a younger man's game. For the first 15 years of his career, beginning with 1986's She's Gotta Have It, Lee had pivotal roles in most of the films he made (Mars Blackmon in She's Gotta Have It, Mookie in Do the Right Thing, and Shorty in Malcolm X). But with the exception of last year's Red Hook Summer, Lee has preferred to remain behind the camera in more recent years. While he has always had an eye for great acting talent—his collaborations with Denzel Washington have elicited some of the best work from both of them—we kind of miss seeing him on-screen.

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