Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker directed the 2004 teen rom-com First Daughter starring Katie Holmes as the daughter of the president of the United States who goes off to college and falls in love with a fellow student (not to be confused with Mandy Moore’s Chasing Liberty).
Shonda Rhimes, who famously brought us shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, wrote the script for Britney Spears’s 2002 classic coming of age movie Crossroads.
Whitney Houston produced The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement (and another fun fact, Shonda Rhimes also wrote the screenplay for the sequel). Whitney actually had a lot of input on the movies and even serenaded director Garry Marshall on his birthday on set.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson executive produced Mamma Mia! and its sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Tom actually once revealed that he’d auditioned for a role in the first film, but was ultimately turned down because of his singing voice.
Tom and Rita also previously had produced My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), and the story is pretty amazing. Rita happened to see a small ad in the LA Times for Nia Vardalos’s one-woman show of the same name. She went and loved it so much that she brought Tom back the next week, and the rest was history.
Robert De Niro has a producer credit on the 2005 Rent movie adaptation. While he hasn’t spoken about it, he did reportedly buy the rights to the movie in 1996.
M. Night Shyamalan, the writer and director known for his films with shocking twists like The Sixth Sense honestly has a real plot twist of his own — he ghost wrote and did a script polish for the 1998 teen rom-com She’s All That.
And in other M. Night Shyamalan news, he also cowrote Stuart Little. But he says that the family-friendly film actually makes sense among his repertoire. “That same year [that Sixth Sense came out] I wrote Stuart Little,” he told Movies.com. “That combination is pretty accurate. The breadth of that and my interest in that, the family-oriented nature of that story — somewhere between there is where a lot of my movies fall.”
Leonard Nimoy, who famously portrayed Spock in Star Trek, also had success as a filmmaker. He actually directed the hit family comedy Three Men and a Baby, which was his biggest directorial success.
I. Marlene King, who is most known for being the showrunner and creator of Pretty Little Liars wrote the script for the 1995 classic Now and Then.
Finally, Leonardo DiCaprio produced the horror film Orphan. In fact, he’s the reason that newcomer Isabelle Fuhrman landed the breakout role of Esther in the film.