Sometimes actors try to become musicians or singers. There are some pretty bad musical performances by actors out there. But what about the musicians who give the silver screen or the small screen a whirl? Well, some are pretty bad, but some are pretty freakin’ awesome, too. Do you like the bad news first, or the good news? Let’s start with the good, and and with the stinkers.
Tom Waits in Bram Stoker’s Dracula
To some people, Tom Waits is one of the coolest people on the planet. I am one of those people. But you can’t deny the acting chops in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). And thank God for Waits and his awesomeness, because just Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins’ awesomeness wasn’t quite enough to overshadow the utter crapulence of Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves. It didn’t hurt that Sadie Frost stole every scene she was in, either.
I wanted so desperately to show you a video of Anthony (played by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, seen above) and his speech to his friend Peter before the carjacking scene in 2004’s Crash, but nobody wants to make it embeddable, so you can see it here. There you go, Lion’s Gate. Just don’t stop making movies. You either, Luda. Just don’t make any more like 2 Fast 2 Furious. You’re better than that.
Despite what the available YouTube videos show you, 2000’s Dancer in the Dark was more than a really elaborate Bjork video. It was a dark, desolate, depressing, beautiful movie, and nobody on earth could have played the main character, Selma, like Bjork did. Granted, Selma has a tough life: she’s going blind, she has a thankless job, she has a ill-behaved child. So she, every so often, imagines things happening like they do in a musical. So, scratch that. It really is a very long and elaborate Bjork video.
Dwight Yokum (strong language warning)
I’m not kidding, now. There’s some strong language in this video. I don’t necessarily think that cussing a lot makes someone a good actor, but in this case, as Doyle Hargraves loses his temper in 1996’s Sling Blade, it just fits the character. But if you haven’t seen the movie or if you are strongly offended by the eff word, the dee word, the s word, the cs word, the mf word, and all the other bad words you could possibly imagine, please don’t watch this video.
I really think I said all I had to say above, except for the fact that while the character of Doyle Hargraves was a horrible person, Dwight Yokum played the character with a surprising complexity. It was a great performance.
See what I did there? I put in a video of a movie scene of an actor trying to become a musician who is PLAYED BY a musician who became an actor. If you can call Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch Music…
Who knew Mark Wahlberg would turn out to be such an amazing actor? I show you this scene from1997’s Boogie Nights because that was his breakout role, but he was also awesome in 2004’s I Heart Huckabee’s and in 2006’s The Departed. I haven’t seen The Lovely Bones, so I can’t comment on that.
This clip isn’t in English, but it doesn’t matter because this clip contains no speaking parts by Sting. Why include it? It’s the scene that got him on this list. The eyebrows, Dude. The eyebrows are out of control. And I know you’re supposed to be all greased up and nekkid, but your cheesy facial expressions lead me to believe you should continue to make music and be handsome on stage and stuff, and not be all greased up and nekkid in a David Lynch film. Kay? Kay, Sting?
Master P – language warning
OK, the sheer premise of this movie is ridonkulous. And Master P.’s acting does NOT pull it out. There’s a reason it went straight to video, y’all. So, a humble coach’s Mafia Boss father dies, leaving him the new Don of the organized crime in wherever they are because I couldn’t get through the first 15 minutes. But it’s important, when addressing your new crime family, that you wear a shiny gold blazer. That’s the key thing. Da Last Don. Don’t do it.
So, he’s not bad all the time, and I can’t PROVE to you how bad Henry Rollins was in Wrong Turn 2 because there is no available video on the YouTubes. Just take my word for it. While ol’ Hank was pretty OK in Bad Boys II (NOT!) I hear he’s pretty good on The Sons of Anarchy, so he’s got that going for him. Or am I a liar?
IMDB.com calls 1991’s Cool As Ice “a rap oriented remake of ‘Rebel Without a Cause‘…” I call it “crap, crap, crappity crap, crappity crap crap crap. And that’s all I really have to say about that.
We sort of love to hate her in movies. Madge has been at it for so long, that when we see the many, many incarnations of her personality somehow the awfulness of this and other early performances pale in the light of the fact that she did that whole Sex book and did that Ray of Light song. Ugh. This clip is from 1987’s Who’s That Girl, and though it’s bad, I still named a cat “Murray” one time.
The Ones We Don’t Know How to Feel About
I’m flummoxed, like, EVERY time Prince has ever been in a movie. I don’t know how to feel about it.
I know how I feel about this, but others have criticized. I love you Jareth. Forever. You can take my little brother to the Goblin Palace and make me your princess any day. Seriously, Folks, 1986’s Labyrinth is one of the coolest movies ever BECAUSE of Bowie. Tights + Magic Mullet = Awesomeness.