Any good actor knows something about directing. It is the wise actor who uses that knowledge sparingly.
The ability to listen and take direction is every bit as crucial as the skill that goes into creating a character and bringing it to life on the stage or in front of a camera.
John Wayne once said that working in front of a camera is not acting, it’s reacting. It’s also been said that nothing escapes the camera’s eye. In a close-up, all is revealed, and the actor is limited to working only with what the lens can see. In front of a live audience, distance can mask a great deal, but once you step out onto that stage, you’re fully exposed, all the time. There is no second take. The director will not call cut if the performance is bad or a cue is missed. And even when the actor gives a brilliant performance, he still must do it all again the next night for another audience.