10 musicians who have foisted their charms on an unsuspecting movie public
– by Regan Payne
I’ll just come out and say it – I cannot warm to Justin Timberlake.
Either the pop version, with his bizarre, pseudo-Michael Jackson impersonation, or, as an actor… of sorts. He almost ruined The Social Network for me. I’m still amazed at the critical reception he received, as if being able to contort one’s face into a whimper, while the make-up department spritzes you, is a symbol of acting prowess.
And now my worst fears are being realized, as Mr. Timberlake moves from part-time, “Is-that-Justin-Timberlake?” roles into the leading man arena. Timberlake occupies the screen with the spunky, diminutive Mila Kunis in Friends With Benefits, which opened last week. It’s a title that seems as if it should have been snapped up years ago for Drew Barrymore, along with, “Don’t Go There”, “Talk to the Hand”, and “Oh No, You Didn’t”.
It’s a smart move by Timberlake, to downshift into acting. It’s nice work if you can get it, and musicians have always seemed to be able to land roles, some plum, others more acidic.
10. Cher – Known primarily for Moonstruck, Cher first appeared in Robert Altman’s little seen, unheralded take on the play, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.
9. Prince – And the ego runneth over… Prince has had a few go’s at the big screen, with Purple Rain being the only somewhat palatable offering.
8. Sting – Sting, David Lynch, Dune – why the hell not?
7. Mick Jagger – Jagger has been seen in films (as well as producing them) for decades. With lots of junk to choose from, instead, here’s Performance, an interesting little film directed by Nicolas Roeg.
6. Kris Kristofferson – The country music star has been remarkably prolific in films since the 1970s. A personal favorite: Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
5. Jack White – The White Stripes frontman appeared in Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain in 2003, a film I absolutely hated when I saw it in theatres years ago.
4. Elvis Presley – Elvis made a slew of films, playing essentially himself, as his music career shifted from the young and hunky Elvis to the bloated Vegas Elvis.
3. Mos Def – I’ve simply always wanted to write Mr. Definitely in referring to Mos Def, and now, having accomplished this goal, here’s the trailer for the remake of The Italian Job.
2. David Bowie – Bowie has appeared in a number of interesting films, including Basquiat, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and The Prestige. However, for my money, his most interesting role was in Nicolas Roeg’s (again) The Man Who Fell To Earth.
1. Tom Waits – He’s worked for Terry Gilliam, Robert Altman, Jim Jarmusch, Francis Ford Coppola, Tony Scott, The Hughes Bros, even Jack Nicholson: he must be doing something right.