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Historically, a triple threat referred to a performer who could sing, dance and act with equal skill, someone who was equipped to entertain any audience at any moment. As the stage gave way to the screen, however, the concept has taken on a new definition, one that describes a creative mind that’s capable of shaping and executing a story from start to finish. Able to positively impact every facet of a film’s production, these are the rare individuals who can write, produce, direct and/or star in movies that are wholly theirs. The modern triple threat may be a more exotic (and valuable) creature than the Vaudevillian performers of old. Here are some of the best working today.

11. Chris Evans

Chris Evans desperately wants people to see him as a person distinct from his popular superhero persona. Ever since he became tied to Captain America, Evans has worked tirelessly to prove that there was more to him than just a musclebound boy scout. Thankfully for the Avenger, last year’s romantic drama Before We Go — which Evans directed, produced and starred in — was a solid first outing for the budding auteur.

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10. Ryan Gosling

Long celebrated as one of Hollywood’s prettiest faces, when it came time for Ryan Gosling to take the reigns for 2014’s Lost River, he chose to keep himself out of the picture. While the effort failed to really connect with audiences, the critical consensus led most to believe that Gosling was one pretty boy with a creative future provided he ups his game.

Ryan Gosling
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