With the upcoming Foo Fighters movie Studio 666 coming out this week, the Popradio77 blog is going to look back at a list of musicians turned actors. This list will include what films they starred in and how successful each of them are in acting in comparison to their careers in music.
Before the role will get recast in the long-awaited sequel, Gordon Sumner was cast as Feyd Rautha Harkonnen in Dune. Despite selling millions of records both solo and with the Police, Sting made a name for himself in film. He also appeared in The Who’s Quadrophenia movie as the King of the Mods. Since then, Sting has stuck to the world of songwriting as many of his other films he appeared in fell by the wayside.
#2 David Bowie
One of the more prolific filmographies of any musician, Bowie managed to star in several successful film and TV roles. His most notable role on film is Labyrinth, starring opposite of Jennifer Connelly. He has since then appeared in animated features such as Arthur and the Invisibles and SpongeBob SquarePants. Other notable appearances include his roles in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and a cameo appearance in Zoolander. Despite an impressive resume, Labyrinth is what David Bowie is remembered for in comparison to his other cinematic works.
#3 Rick Springfield
Already blessed with great songs, Springfield made each of his TV and film appearances as memorable as the timeless hits he crafted. For Rick Springfield his fame as an actor came about when he starred as Dr. Noah Drake. A role he took because he thought no one would buy the Working-Class Dog album. Springfield however was proven wrong when Jessie’s Girl became a hit. He played the role of Noah Drake for 2 years while subsequently touring behind the record he had one point written off. He also starred as a twisted version of himself in the David Duchovney series Californication. He even had a recurring role on True Detective in which he played a psychiatrist during season 2. Each of Rick Springfield’s roles received recognition for his acting abilities, making Rick Springfield one of the more talented rock stars turned actors.
Despite being in over 27 movies and having married both actors and directors, Madonna’s film career never got the praise or recognition she wanted. Madonna starred in high profile films such as Dick Tracy and A League of Their Own in which she received critical praise. However, for her roles in Body of Evidence, her performance was critically panned, and the film was a box office flop. Other reviews have cited Madonna’s acting abilities as “wooden” or that she comes off as “trying to hard”. She may have more volume in terms of movies made, though her success in film is few and in between.
#5 Ice Cube
While not an artist at the station, Ice Cube is a prolific musician turned actor. Having appeared in the influential rap group N.W.A., Ice Cube tried his luck at acting following the groups breakup. Appearing in hits such as Friday,Anaconda, Barbershop, and 21 Jump Street. Ice Cubes films have been both box office success’s and critically praised. Compared to his musical output, Ice Cube works better as an actor than as a solo artist.
For bassist Flea of the 90’s supergroup The Red Hot Chili Peppers, he has appeared on some of the most successful films of all time. Call it luck or just having a good agent, the Chilis bass player has appeared in several high-profile films. For Flea, he is known as Douglas J Needles, Marty Mcfly’s rival in the Back to the Future film series. He appeared in The Big Lebowski as one of the Nihilists that harassed The Dude throughout the film. Recently he appeared in Baby Driver as Eddie No- Nose. On the animated side of things, he had a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series The Wild Thornberry’s. Critically, every film Flea has been in has been a box office success and The Wild Thornberry’s went on for 6 seasons and it has had two spin-off movies. This makes Flea the second most successful actor turned musician on this list.
#7 Meat Loaf
The Bat Out of Hell singer is also a prolific actor in his own right. He first appeared onscreen as an actor in the Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975, giving the world the song “Hot Patooti”. His most notable work includes his role as Robert Paulson from Fight Club. While his filmography may not compare to the likes of the other stars on this list, Meat Loaf always makes his roles stand out.
#8 Elvis Presley
The musician turned actor had string of successful films in the 1950’s and 60’s. For the King the films he starred in initially focused on incorporating his music and aspects of Elvis’s larger than life persona into his movies. Gradually Elvis fell into a groove starred in more mature films. This process involved phasing out his music and letting Elvis play a character rather than just a version of himself. Elvis’s movies largely did will from a critical and box office standpoint making him a star onscreen and off.
#9 Ozzy Osbourne
Does it count if the actor plays himself? Well, for Ozzy Osbourne the exception is made as each of his cameos across multiple movies have been nothing short of memorable. Most notably he appeared in Adam Sandler’s Little Nicky in which he appeared at the last second to save the day. Of course, who can forget his appearance in Austin Powers. The Blizzard always gets straight to the point with his cameos.
#10 Keith Richards
The real-life basis for Captain Jack Sparrow. Keith Richards was brought on to the Pirates franchise in the third film as Sparrow’s father. Richards would go on to play Sparrows father in 3 other subsequent Pirates sequels offering sage advice to Jack prior to the start of his adventures.