You’re good at one thing, you can do anything, right? Plenty of musicians have figured they could transfer their talents from the concert stage to celluloid. It’s all about charisma, right? And what’s the difference between memorizing lines and a few lyrics? Well, Madonna, Prince, and Britney can keep their day jobs to name a few. But many a performer has thrived on the silver screen. Here’s a few of my faves, after the jump.
David Bowie: The consummate artist of our time. Not content to be a genius musician who’s reinvented himself countless times, remaining vital for decades, Bowie’s a fantastically accomplished actor. The Man Who Fell to Earth is the quintessential Bowie performance, as he plays an alien who crash-lands on Earth, seeking water to bring to his drought-starved planet. He’s been great as an evil goblin king in Labyrinth, a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, or playing inventor Nikola Tesla in The Prestige.
Hugh Dillon: He’s Canadian. He’s awesome. He’s found most of his success on television on shows like Durham County and Flashpoint, but he’s been great in movies too. While the role was never much of a stretch from his Headstones frontman persona, the desperate aggression of Joe Dick in Hard Core Logo is unforgettable.
Cher: Moonstruck is a great old comedy, and a perfect vehicle for Cher’s mercurial yet earthy presence. Having landed an Oscar for Best Actress for that, she’s also been solid in movies like Mask, Silkwood, The Witches of Eastwick and Mermaids.
Björk: A one-hit wonder in the movie world. But if you feel the need to be crushingly depressed, Lars von Trier’s got you covered (every damn time) with an indelible performance from the Icelandic One anchoring Dancer in the Dark.
Will Smith: They’re not all home-runs, but the Fresh Prince has done just fine for himself in H-Wood. He’s great in the zombie thriller I am Legend, and always effortlessly charismatic. His role as a young con-artist in Six Degrees of Separation is worth checking out, and then there’s that little seen series Men in Black…
Mark Wahlberg: Marky Mark! The boy can ACT. From his fantastic debut as a porn-star in Boogie Nights to great star turns in The Fighter and The Departed, Wahlberg has shown far more flair for acting than he ever did for music, whatever good vibrations he might’ve been feeling back then.
I could go on and on, from Tom Waits to Dolly Parton, Courtney Love to Frank Sinatra, to Huey Lewis’s actual piss-take in Short Cuts. But I gotta stop somewhere, so I’ll leave you with this: