back to top

8 Directors And Their Muses

A muse is a source of inspiration. A person that gets those creative juices flowing. Check out these recurring actors and the directors that admired them - and also be sure to watch Noomi Rapace in Niels Arden Oplev's new film Dead Man Down. Out March 8th.

Posted on

1. David Lynch and Laura Dern


Out of the 10 feature films Lynch has directed in his 40 years in the industry, Dern has starred in three. One for each decade - the 80's, the 90's, the 00's. Lynch's eccentric filmmaking style has always been complimented perfectly by Dern's dramatic range. She gets him. Which is a feat in and of itself.

2. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton

United Artists/Courtesy of Getty Images

We all know the story of Woody and Diane. They started their romantic and professional relationship at the same time, which, some would argue, is never a good idea. After Allen cast her in his Broadway show (Play it Again, Sam) they dated for a year, then called it quits. They remained close friends and made a whole bunch of films together. Their last film together, oddly enough, was Manhattan Murder Mystery - a film that was supposed to star Allen's then-girlfriend Mia Farrow. Keaton stepped in last minute to fill her spot when Allen and Farrow started having some relationship troubles. Just gonna gloss over that weird "step-daughter" marriage thing, if that's alright with everyone.

3. Niels Arden Oplev and Noomi Rapace

Niels directed the original Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo back in 2009 - with Noomi as his leading lady. Portraying such a strong and complicated character as Lisbeth Salander must have struck a chord with Niels, because they're working together again, this time on the upcoming film Dead Man Down - out March 8th.

4. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp

John Shearer / Getty Images

Johnny Depp has starred in exactly half of the feature films that Tim Burton has directed. We'd really like to sit in on a dinner between Tim, his wife Helena Bonham Carter, and Johnny. What would they talk about? Tim: "Remember that film I cast both of you in?" Helena/Johnny: "Which one?" All: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

5. Wes Anderson and Bill Murray

Ian Gavan / Getty Images

Wes Anderson films are widely recognized as, well, Wes Anderson films. He's got a unique style, and it's relatively easy to pick his screenplays and direction out of a lineup. And if you're going to have such a strong point of view, you've got to find an actor who gets it. Enter Bill Murray. The two of them have deadpanned their way to cult success and critical acclaim.

6. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro...and Leonardo DiCaprio

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Scorsese and De Niro have been an unstoppable team. Classic films from the 70's and 80's have defined both of their careers. Their professional relationship is mutually beneficial. On a personal level, the two have stuck by one another's side - De Niro at one point encouraging Scorsese to kick his coke habit and get back to filmmaking. In the past decade or so, Scorsese seems to have found a younger muse in Leo DiCaprio. Nobody's mad about that.

7. Alfred Hitchcock and Grace Kelly


It's rumored that Hitchcock fell immediately in love with Kelly after she auditioned for Dial M for Murder. She went on to star in three of his films, only stopping because she married into royalty and couldn't concern herself with acting anymore. It's said that Hitchcock, who continued favoring blonde leading women, pursued her well after her retirement. Despite his tendency to favor certain actresses, he never really hit it like he did with Grace.

8. Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman

Evan Agostini / Getty Images

So ok, Uma was only in three of Tarantino's films (if you consider Kill Bill Vol 1 and Vol 2 separate movies). But they have a palpable chemistry that some have said goes beyond the traditional director/actress relationship. The foot scene? In Kill Bill? When Uma commands her toe to wiggle? Yeah, that was probably longer than it needed to be.