It’s common to notice performers that appear in many films by the same director. The ease of working with people you know is obvious, so there’s no speculation on why. Here are a few Hollywood directors that frequently work with the same actors repeatedly:
1. Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson
Tarantino has worked with Samuel L. Jackson on five films over the course of 20 years, along with the most recent releases Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. When Jackson tested for Tarantino’s first big picture, Reservoir Dogs, he didn’t receive the job. Jackson informed Tarantino how much he appreciated the film when it played at Sundance. “Don’t worry, I’m composing something for you,” Tarantino said. That something turned out to be Pulp Fiction, Jackson’s most well-known film.
2. Tim Burton & Johnny Depp
Tim Burton, the highly unconventional director, has worked with actor Johnny Depp on astonishing eight films. Their first film together was Edward Scissorhands in the 1990s, and they’ve been consistent allies in the movies since then. Many of their films have been critically and commercially successful, with Alice in Wonderland being their most popular movie. Dark Shadows, a revival of the Gothic television soap opera, was the duo’s most recent collaboration in 2012. Burton and Depp also frequently collaborate with Helena Bonham Carter, the director’s former partner.
3. James Cameron with Bill Paxton (also with Michael Biehn and Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Cameron and Bill Paxton have been working together for over two decades. The Terminator (1984),(1997), and Ghosts of the Abyss are among the five Cameron films in which he has appeared (2003). Paxton, on the other hand, isn’t the only actor Cameron has hired several times. Michael Biehn starred in both The Abyss and The Terminator, and he took over for James Remar in Aliens (1986) when Cameron and Remar couldn’t agree on certain things. Cameron has also collaborated on four films with Arnold Schwarzenegger, including True Lies and two Terminator flicks.
4. Steven Soderbergh & George Clooney
The renowned and critically acclaimed Ocean’s trilogy and film series reunited Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney. Clooney starred in three films with the superstar, all of which were box office hits, grossing more than $1.1 billion. Prior to the release of the first Ocean film in 2001, the actor starred in Steven Soderbergh’s 1998 criminal comedy Out of Sight. Clooney also featured in Soderbergh’s Solaris in 2002 and The Good German in 2006.
5. Martin Scorsese & Leonardo DiCaprio
When it comes to Hollywood directors collaborating with actors, nothing beats Martin Scorsese teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio. Beginning with Gangs of New York in 2002, Scorsese and DiCaprio have collaborated on at least five films and one short film. They went on to collaborate on four additional films, including the star-studded American murder drama The Departed (2006). It received four Academy Awards, including Best Director for Scorsese and Best Picture for the film. Another of their collaborations was The Wolf of Wall Street, which was nominated for Best Picture.