Friday, 22 April 2011

Musicians who try to act too

Pop stars have entered the film world with mixed results. Only some stuck to roles that are similar to their music careers. This has not necessarily led to good acting performances. Prince, pictured above, was decent in Purple Rain as a kid who wants to make it big in music, but he was terrible in Under the Cherry Moon.

Many pop stars enjoy performing, which may prompt them to try acting too as they can then express themselves through a different medium. They can also take on a second career and earn more money, if they wish. However, not every singer makes a good actor.

Rapper 50 Cent was awful in the movie, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He plays a drug dealer with hip hop dreams. He's a walking stereotype and we don't care about him. He wastes our time; that's all.

Eminem did a much better job with 8 Mile. Yes, he plays himself but the film is well-directed and entertaining. It has humour and cool rap battles. Eminem is a man possessed when he's rapping in the film, kudos to him. The soundtrack was good too.

Music folks can also do comedy, sometimes. Snoop Dogg captured the character of Huggy Bear brilliantly in the Starsky and Hutch remake. Yet, Steve Tyler and Christina Milian were part of the big pile of swamp turd that was Be Cool. This film is a shoddy sequel to the clever Get Shorty.

Singers and rock stars do not have to megalomaniacs and take on leading roles in serious films, which they may mess up. Jack White played a quiet but likeable character in Cold Mountain.

Alanis Morissette played God in Dogma. She didn't have to speak which made her more believable as an supernatural being.

Finally, the best performance by a musician in a film has to be Bjork in Dancer in the Dark. Her character works to look after a son even though she is suffering from a disease which will make her go blind eventually. She finds strength in musicals.

One notable rock star I cannot end this post without referring to, is David Bowie. He was O.K. in The Hunger, awful in The Prestige and exceptional in Labyrinth. His performance in Labyrinth was referenced in the television masterpiece Flight of the Conchords. Interestingly, it is chosen as an era of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust was, but it was a film role and not a career persona.

Alistair Anderson

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