Five times huge recording artists proved they are just as good at acting

There is just no end to some people's talent is there?

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 18th Oct 2018.
Originally published: 17th Oct 2018

Image: Warner Bros Pictures

Some of us are yet to discover our talent in life. It’s natural, and usually takes a frustratingly large amount of trial and error before finding something we are gifted at, never mind making a seven figure pay check from. On the flip side to this, there are the chosen few who are born and destined for greatness, and this may not be in just one field. Whilst we would all love to sing, dance or perform in front of a camera for a living, there are sub-humanly talented people who can do more than one of these things, with great ease, and absolutely kill it! How unfair.

But it is only fair that these brilliant creatives get a cheeky mention in our humble article, to draw attention to how incredible they actually are. Although we had to whittle it down with difficulty to a top 5, we believe that these stars deserve special recognition for their efforts. So, these are the 5 best singers turned cinematic superstars, and the movie we think won viewers hearts.

1. Lady Gaga - A Star is Born

 

The most recent blockbuster in the list, 2018 saw pop star and visual experimental sensation Lady Gaga climb the shiny steps to the Hollywood hall of fame co-starring alongside Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born. Gaga has been in the public eye for some time now, and as of 2016, had managed to sell 27 million albums and 146 million singles to her fans spread all over the world. A truly astonishing feat. And she hasn’t exactly been an outsider as an actress either.

The pop queen killed it in her first major acting role as Elizabeth in American Horror Story: Hotel. But this year, Gaga made the leap and blew audiences out of the water as protagonist Ally in an emotive, engaging musical romance about a woman struggling to make it as a professional musician. A slight hint of irony. She not only performs original songs but brings fans both tears of sadness and joy with her on screen relationship with Cooper and her battle with her own personal demons. Be sure to catch it as it sadly sales out of the cinemas in the next couple of weeks. 

2. David Bowie – Labyrinth

The man from mars that requires no introduction. Bowie hasn’t exactly struggled with establishing his name to a worldwide audience. Throughout his lavish career, Bowie has excelled in pioneering great rock n roll music that live on throughout future millenniums as emblems of a time when a god once walked on planet earth. But Bowie was not only untouched in the music industry. In 1986, Bowie turned his attentions to the silver screen, as he was offered the role of Jareth, better known as the Goblin king, in the musical fantasy film Labyrinth.

Whilst this was a risky career choice for the star, he defied all expectations of an underwhelming popstar cameo, to bringing one of the most loveable characters in cinema to life. Although Jareth was ultimately a bad guy, we love him for the man beneath the tight silver jumpsuit. With the right amount of cheese that you could expect from an 80’s cult classic, Labyrinth launched Bowie’s acting career to soaring heights. He later made cameo’s in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Prestige’ and ‘Everybody Loves Sunshine’. But most people can agree that Labyrinth was the inception and soaring height of his time as an actor, and man, that hair! 

3. Jared Leto- Requiem for a Dream

From bad guy Jareth to bad boy Jared, 30 Seconds to Mars frontman and cologne model Jared Leto is no stranger to the fame and fortune that being a naturally talented, and painfully beautiful man can offer. But before Jared found his knack for being close to the edge, he initially became recognised, if not popularly, for his role as Jordan Catalano in the 1994 show My So-Called Life. Skip forward six years and whilst his band were starting to become renowned for their torn rock anthems, Jared took to the screen again. This time, to play heroin addict Harry Goldfarb in the harrowing film Requiem for a Dream.

For anybody who hasn’t seen this film, we cannot recommend it enough. For those who have, then you have endured your fair share of sleepless nights. A mix between gritty, hallucinogenic cinematography, desperate characters and a plot to make your spine shiver, the film quickly gained recognition as a cult classic for being truly original and a terrifying insight into the dangers of prescriptive drugs and the sheer brutality of heroin addiction. Jared rightfully gained critical acclaim for his performance, and later went on to land many roles, including everybody’s favourite villain, the Joker in Suicide Squad.

4. Will Smith- The Pursuit of Happyness

 

Will Smith started out as everyone’s guilty pleasure under the alias The Fresh Prince. His modest fame became increasingly popular when his show ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ first aired on NBC which ran until 1996. Of course, this show launched Smith’s career to dizzying heights. Whilst the world had to wait until 1997 to get jiggy with it, it was acting where Smith fully flourished in the proceeding years. Smith went on to take leading roles in fan favourites Bad Boys and Men in Black, however, he gained nominations for academy awards for two films.

Whilst his performance as sporting giant Muhammad Ali in Ali is captivating, it’s his performance as stockbroker Chris Gardner in sob-inducing film The Pursuit of Happyness that really demonstrated how eclectically gifted Smith is. He took time away from the bad cop, fist wielding roles of the past, to take on a truly visceral role as a fragile father on the brink of homelessness, who begs to provide for his family. Well it may not be a CGI extravaganza, the film will unquestionably reduce you to tears and will get you thinking about what happiness is, where we may find it, and who can we share it with. We all saw a side to Smith that we didn’t know existed, but we are sure glad that we did. 

5. Beyoncé- Austin Powers

 

 

The fifth member to complete this list is the queen bee herself, Beyoncé. Although we could talk for hours about her domination of the pop industry for the past decade or so with girl group Destiny’s Child, to her solo stuff, and her marriage to rap legend Jay Z, we are obligated to leave that for another day. Instead, we are focusing our attention on Knowles’ dip into acting, where she once again found herself to be sitting on the thrown as mother of the hive.By the time 2002 came around, she was blissfully unaware that she would steal the show in films such as The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls and the imminent remake of The Lion King in 2019 (she will steal that), and she took the plunge with her cinematic debut as Foxxy Cleopatra, an undercover FBI agent in the hilarious Austin Powers trilogy.

She may not have received critical acclaim for the role, but for such a talented, inspirational musician to take a step back and prove how grounded she is by appearing in a satirical masterstroke like this, deserves a mention alone. It may be a comedy, but queen B’s witty one liners and thirst for the revenge after the death of her partner solidifies just how multi-dimensional she is as a performer. She is a mega talented, versatile star, and clearly casting directors share our opinions, as she continues to be cast in blockbuster roles to this day.