Did you know for instance that Ryan Gosling is also a musician? When he was romantically involved with Rachel McAdams in 2007, he formed ‘Dead Man’s Bones’ together with Zach Shields, who was dating Rachel’s sister at the time.
Jada Pinkett Smith is the lead singer of ‘Wicked Wisdom’, a heavy metal group, we kid you not. Don’t expect some total headbanging Finish death metal, but it’s not exactly a Katy Perry cover band either.
If you’ve seen the 2012 movie ‘Les Miserables’, it should come as no surprise that Russell Crowe has a golden set of pipes. The Aussie star has been in multiple bands since the nineteen eighties, but his most famous one is probably ’30 Odd Foot of Grunts’.
Russell isn’t the only actor who’s been in music for decades already; Kevin Bacon formed ‘The Bacon Brothers’ with his sibling Michael back in 1995. Or what about Keanu Reeves and ‘Dogstar’? He joined as a bassist back in 1991 and we spoke to him about it just a couple of years later.
Quote: Keanu Reeves
“Yeah. We did a tour this summer across the States. And we are writing new songs. Still like each other. And I like the songs and it’s been fun to play.”
The two most successful acting musicians are probably Juliette Lewis and Jared Leto though. Both of them started out making movies and series before forming a band on the side, but if we skip ahead to the present day, we find them to now be as well known as musicians as they are on screen. Both Lewis’ ‘Juliette and the Licks’ and Leto’s ’30 Seconds to Mars’ are renowned the world over.
So why is it that so many actors find a second home in music? Well, according to movie star and singer Jamie Foxx, the two art forms are not that different.
Quote: Jamie Foxx
“I think the music is what helps the acting. Because acting is a rhythmic thing. Even when you are doing lines as Electro. The whole world can see me, who I truly am. And who are you? You don’t know? I’m a.. that’s like musical. So when you see a lot of.. that’s been my assessment. A lot of great actors, espcially comedic, they usually have a music background. Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy. There’s a certain, Richard Pryor, he played the drums. So there’s a lot of.. music and acting go hand in hand.”
And that’s probably why a lot musicians try their hand at acting as well. Heck, even Harry Styles scored a role in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’. And more surprisingly, he was good in it too! From Rihanna to Miley Cyrus and from Ed Sheeran to Justin Timberlake, the list of singers trying their chops in Hollywood is endless. And for the reasons Jamie just mentioned, they mostly seem to blend in effortlessly. In some cases they don’t even really feel the difference between the two kinds of performing. Take Janelle Monae for example.
Quote: Janelle Monae
“Well one thing that people don’t know about me, I guess, is that I studied acting, as well as music at the American Music and Dramatics Academy in New York city. And I have written shirt plays, short stories. I have been in plays, pretty much all my life growing up. So I don’t look at myself as a musician or an actor, but a story teller. An artist story teller wanting to tell new, exciting, moving universal stories in unforgettable ways.”
Whether it’s actors turning to making music or singers finding their way to Hollywood, we expect this trend won’t be slowing down any time soon. But since that means we get so see even more of our favorite stars, we say; keep it up!