If you're stoked on "Stoker," you can thank "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller, who is making his screenwriting debut with the gothic Park Chan-wook affair. Miller wrote the script under a pseudonym, and the results ended up on the 2010 Black List of hot screenplays that weren't yet snagged by studios.
Wentworth, we hardly knew ye!
Miller isn't the only surprising star doing double-duty as a writer, either. He joins an impressive list of famous, Hollywood faces that wield a mean pen or, more likely, the latest version of Final Draft.
Her "Parks and Rec" alter ego Ann Perkins is "a beautiful tropical fish" and "a beautiful, rule-breaking moth," and even "a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox," on occasion, according to her BFF Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). Off-screen, Rashida Jones is proving to be a rather formidable creative force as well. She and writing partner Will McCormack penned the script for "Celeste and Jesse Forever," a sweetly heart-squeezing indie that she also starred in alongside Andy Samberg. As if she wasn't cool enough, she wrote a comic book called "Frenemy of the State," which she and McCormack are adapting for the big screen. Next up: a two-year deal with Warner Bros. TV that allows them to cook up their own projects for the small screen. Oh, Rashida, please never, ever shut your beautiful pie-hole.
The handsome Texan once nicknamed the Butterscotch Stallion by the late, great Defamer.com has written some damn fine scripts with dapper dandy Wes Anderson. Their scripts for "Bottle Rocket," "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" won them a loyal following given to quoting their favorite lines in yearbooks and online dating profiles, as well as sometimes inking their flesh with art from the films. Although Wilson has turned mostly to acting these days, we're hoping for a comeback on par with saving Latin.
Screen siren Mae West was no fool; she, like many women today, found that writing her own roles was the way to go. West wrote and/or contributed to the screenplays for "She Done Him Wrong," "I'm No Angel" and "Klondike Annie," among others. She was also a playwright when she wasn't busy shocking the folks behind the Production Code.
Who woulda thunk that the actor who played the bullying jock in "The Breakfast Club" would go on write and direct serious films about the assassination of RFK ("Bobby") and a spiritual walkabout ("The Way")? Of course, first he wrote and directed "Men at Work," where he costarred with his brother Charlie Sheen as wacky garbage men, but we can't all start off #winning.
Actress Zoe Kazan zinged Hollywood's romantic comedy tropes with her screenplay for "Ruby Sparks." Kazan, who was also an executive producer on the project, stars as Ruby, a character dreamed up by a frustrated writer played by Kazan's real-life partner Paul Dano. Once Ruby starts exhibiting free will, Calvin her creator is lost; he can and does edit her down to size, but soon realizes that's no solution. "Ruby Sparks" was up for Best Screenplay at this year's Spirit Awards, but lost to a little indie called "Silver Linings Playbook."
Asia Argento has been appearing onscreen since around the age of 10, but it wasn't until 2000's semi-autobiographical "Scarlet Diva" that she took control behind the scenes as well. As the daughter of famous horror director Dario Argento, some of her earliest roles were in horror movies "Demons 2," "Demons 3" and "Trauma." It's possible she was trying to purge all of that, well, trauma when she made "Scarlet Diva," as the sex and drugs and pregnancy hijinks her character got up to were enough to scare anyone straight. The story behind her second feature-length film, "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things," is beyond bananas; the movie was based on purportedly autobiographical short stories by troubled author JT Leroy. It was later revealed that Leroy was a fictional character created by Laura Albert. Albert successfully hoodwinked Argento, Gus Van Sant and many, many other writers and artists into believing Leroy's tragic tale of street hustling, abuse and homelessness. You can read a conversation between Argento and "JT" in "Zoetrope" here.
Rogen was a familiar face to "Freaks and Geeks" fans by the time he began writing for "Undeclared" in 2001, but it wasn't until he starred in "Knocked Up" in 2007 that he became a hot Hollywood property. It's easy to forget the genial Canadian also co-wrote "Superbad," "Pineapple Express," "The Green Hornet" and "The Watch" since we normally associate him with the other denizens of Apatown. Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg are making a dual directorial debut with the upcoming apocalypse comedy "This is the End" later this year.
Speaking of freaky and geeky Canadians, Baruchel became a regular actor in Judd Apatow stable with a role on "Undeclared." We know and love him from small parts in "Knocked Up," "Tropic Thunder" and "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," but it wasn't until 2011's "Goon" that he got a screenwriting cred under his belt. Evan Goldberg and Baruchel adapted the book by Adam Frattasio and Doug Smith into a weirdly sweet hockey dramedy. He's tweeted about writing a sequel to "Goon," and he's also attached to a variety of other writing projects that are still in limbo.
By the time Angelina Jolie made her screenwriting debut, she'd already hacked her way into our hearts (and other parts) in "Hackers," led her own grrrl gang in "Foxfire," snagged an Oscar for "Girl, Interrupted," kicked butt as video game heroine Lara Croft and so, so much more. Then she wrote and directed 2011's "In the Land of Blood and Honey," a harrowing drama about the Bosnian War. It was controversial from the start, from getting her filming permit revoked and then reinstated to a copyright lawsuit. Although it was a topic dear to her heart, "Blood and Honey" was a hard sell for movie-goers. She's not been deterred from directing, though; her next film "Unbroken" is being rewritten by the Coen brothers.