Ben Affleck in Argo

Ben Affleck in Argo

Ben Affleck is both back on the big screen and in the director's chair this week with his new project Argo as he sees his prowess behind the camera continue to grow.

In the space of just a few years the actor has turned his career around and he is now a major player for the Oscars next year.

We take a look at some of the actors who have rebuild an almost shattered career or successfully taken it down another path.

- Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck's acting career was by no means shattered in the mid noughties but it was only going one way... and that was down.

After appearing in movies such as Daredevil, Gigli and Jersey Girl as well being the whole Bennifer who-har it seemed what was going on in his private life was more interesting than the work that he was doing.

But by making the simple step behind the camera in 2007/8 with Gone Baby Gone the actor managed to turn his whole career around.

Gone Baby Gone was his directorial debut and was a critical smash and everyone started to see him in a new light.

Roles such as Hollywoodland, State of Play and The Company Men followed and his career was back on track.

He showed that Gone Baby Gone was not a fluke with The Town in 2010 as he directed himself for the first time.

Argo marks his third directorial out this week and this movie is winning over critics and audiences everywhere.

- Robert Downey Jr

In the late eighties/early nineties Robert Downey Jr was making a name for himself with performance in Less Than Zero, Chance Are and Chaplin - which resulted in his first Oscar nomination.

But just when it looked like he had a huge career ahead of him Downey Jr lost his way due to a problems with drugs.

In the late nineties things went from bad to worse as he was sentenced to three years in jail - serving a year of his sentence.

He looked to be turning his career around after his release when he landed a role in Ally McBeal - which saw him nominated for an Emmy and win a Golden Globe.

But after being arrested again for being under the influence he was axed from the show.

Despite all of these problems in the late nineties/early noughties Downey Jr is now one of the biggest actors in Hollywood as the role of Iron Man has turned his career around.

As well as Iron Man movies he has also found success as Sherlock Holmes and part of The Avengers.

- Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke was one of the biggest acting names of the eighties with roles in Rumble Fish, 9 1/2 Weeks and Angel Heart making him a major Hollywood player.

But in 1991 he left his successful acting career behind to become a professional boxer having trained and fought in his youth.

He did return to acting later the same decade after having to undergo facial surgery to mend injuries that he has received in the ring.

He took on small roles in the likes of The Rainmaker and Buffalo '66 as he tried to rebuild his acting career.

As the years went by he took on bigger and bigger roles but it was to be The Wrestler in 2008 that turned everything around.

Rourke teamed up with director Darren Aronofsky for the movie and not only was it a huge critical success by Rourke bagged himself a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

- Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio was one of the biggest pinups of late eighties early nineties with roles in Romeo & Juliet, Titanic and The Man In The Iron Mask all under his belt.

His youthful good looks ensured that he was loved by a teen audience and his roles pandered to that audience.

But in the early noughties DiCaprio took control of his career to take it in a very different path - going from big screen hottie to major Hollywood heavyweight.

It was his collaboration with director Martin Scorsese that changed the course of his career as Gangs of New York was the grittiest role he had ever taken on.

The award nominations started coming as The Aviator and Blood Diamond secured him Oscar nods while The Departed went on to scoop Best Picture.

In the space of a could of years DiCaprio was now a major acting force taking on heard hitting and deep roles and delivering knockout performances.

DiCaprio is now one of the biggest actors in Hollywood for more than just the way that he looks and has Django Unchained, The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street on the horizon.

- Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore may have had success at an early age with E.T. but this is a cautionary tale of fame too young.

She admits that she was smoking at nine and snorting cocaine by thirteen before a stint in rehab as a teenager.

But in 1995 she made her big screen return as she starred in Boys on Side with Whoopie Goldberg and she has never looked back.

Throughout the late nineties and early noughies she was one of the most bankable stars with the likes of The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed and Charlie's Angels under her belt.

Later on in her career she has also focused on producing - Flower Films being her production company - and she made her directorial debut in 2010 with Whip It.

- John Travolta

There was no bigger name in cinema at the end of the seventies than John Travolta having starred in the likes of Saturday Night Fever and Grease.

But after the success of Urban Cowboy in 1980 his career started to nose dive as the likes of Blow Out and Basements did little to raise his profile.

And while Look Who's Talking in 1989 gave him a boost it was to be Pulp Fiction that really turned his career around.

The role of Vincent Vega saw him grab an Oscar nomination as the movie took critics and audiences by storm.

He followed that up twelve months later with Get Shorty while Michael, Face/Off and The Thin Red Line all followed that decade.

Argo is released 7th November

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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