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15 Disney Channel Stars Who’ve Stepped Behind The Camera

They’re jacks of all trades

Being a director is super tough, but it probably helps if you’ve spent the better part of your life on set in front of a camera. You start to learn how the whole process works, and sometimes, it piques your interest. That’s what seems to have happened with these former Disney Channel stars, who’ve all gone on to direct films, TV shows, music videos, and more.

The people on this list, however, haven’t achieved what Kickin’ It star Leo Howard did in 2014. At 16 years old, Howard directed an episode of his Disney XD show, and now holds the Guinness World Record for Youngest TV Director. (What were you doing at 16?) Check out these 15 actors/directors below.

  1. The Hannah Montana star co-directed her music videos for “Lighter” (with Wayne Coyne) and “BB Talk” (with Diane Martel).

  2. The Sonny with a Chance star also co-directed her own music video, “Made in the USA,” with Ryan Pallotta.

  3. Phil of the Future’s Phil Diffy is making his documentary directorial debut with Standing Ground, a doc about how the DAPL and other various pipelines will affect our planet, should they continue. Ullman’s also directed other projects, like music videos for Joshua Winstead and Emiliano Ortiz.

  4. Brown brought fans back into the magical world that is Halloweentown when she directed and wrote “Realm Are They Now?” — a follow-up video to explain Kal’s mysterious disappearance at the end of Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge.

  5. Jackson Stewart from Hannah Montana directed a few episodes of Kickin’ It — a show which he also starred in — as well as an episode of Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything.

  6. The dad from Wizards of Waverly Place directed several episodes of his own Disney series, as well as The Thundermans, Lab Rats, How to Rock, and See Dad Run. He also directed and co-starred in the comedy short Pulling the Goalie, which you can watch on his YouTube channel.

  7. Pool/Getty Images

    The Even Stevens star has directed several different projects, including the controversial Howard Cantour.com, in which LaBeouf was accused of plagiarizing material from Daniel Clowes’s Justin M. Damiano. More recently, LaBeouf directed Future Unlimited’s music video for “Haunted Love,” which featured his now-wife, Mia Goth.

  8. LaBeouf’s TV sister directed and starred in the upcoming film Christmas All Over Again. She even made video diaries during production.

  9. Larry Houdini from Don’t Look Under the Bed has directed several films, including A Girl Like Grace, which co-starred Raven-Symoné. Next on Hodges’s agenda is Judy’s Child, which he co-directed with Jacqueline King-Howell.

  10. Raven and Cory Baxter’s dad on That’s So Raven directed episodes of that show and its spin-off, Cory in the House. Among other projects, Sheridan recently directed the short Nowhere Cafe. You can watch part of the film here.

  11. The Horse Sense and Jumping Ship DCOM star directed episodes from two of his former TV shows: Brotherly Love and Melissa & Joey.

  12. Stephanie Hooker

    Life with Derek’s Derek Venturi has directed several projects, including People Hold On, which starred former co-star Ashley Leggat. His newest project, Sadie’s Last Days on Earth, is coming soon.

  13. You think Mr. Moseby from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody lets people run on his TV sets? Lewis has been a prolific director the past few years, working on shows such as Dr. Ken, Young & Hungry, and Jessie. Look for the One Day at a Time reboot in 2017; Lewis directed several episodes.

  14. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody’s goofy hotel handyman, Arwin, wrote, directed, and starred in the satirical short Debt Limit a few years back, which you can check out here. Recently, Stepanek has directed episodes of Nickelodeon’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.

  15. The Suite Life on Deck and Jessie star directed several episodes of Jessie. After shadowing the crew, Ryan told Seventeen magazine, “I went up to Disney and said, ‘I think I can do this. Let’s make it happen.’ ... They told me that in any other situation they wouldn’t allow it, but that I earned it. They told me I’d be great at it!”