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April 8, 2024 122 mins

On episode 225 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, Executive Editor Ryan McQuade is joined by AwardsWatch Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson and Associate Editor Sophia Ciminello to discuss Dev Patel’s directorial debut, Monkey Man, and talk about some of their favorite directorial debuts from actor turn directors.

Some of the best debuts feature films within a yearly film slate come from actors taking their turn behind the director’s chair. This is year is no different as Oscar nominee Dev Patel has released, alongside the help of Universal Studios and producer Jordan Peele, Monkey Man, an action revenge thriller that is a reimagining of childhood stories and myths Patel heard when he was growing up. Premiering earlier this year at the 2024 SXSW Film Festival, the film was received extremely well, with Ryan’s review from the fest stating that “Patel has announced himself as a directorial voice to be reckoned with a knockout, confident debut.” Erik and Sophia were able to catch up with it this past week and gave their thoughts on this personal, action pack thrill ride from Patel.

After talking about Monkey Man, the conversation shifted to a large discussion on the groups favorite directorial debuts by actor turn directors, which covered a large range of personalities and genres. Already being the public eye, and having some form of cache in the business, along with something to say, there can be a lot of pressure on actors who step into the role of directors and make their first films and beyond. Some go on to use their first film as a launch pad for a big career behind the camera, while others peck within their first project, never able to capture the magic again. In a wide-ranging conversation, some of the films discussed by Ryan, Erik and Sophia were Ordinary People, This is Spinal Tap, Get Out, Reds, Eve’s Bayou, Yentl, A Star is Born (2018), The Virgin Suicides, Confessions of Dangerous Mind, Lady Bird, Whip It, The Night of the Hunter, and more.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music and more.

This podcast runs 2h2m. On our next episode, we will be latest film from director Alex Garland, Civil War, along with discussing our favorite political thrillers, and breaking down the 2024 Cannes Film Festival line-up.

Music: “Modern Fashion” from AShamaleuvmusic (intro), “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro).

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