Cher, Justin Timberlake, Queen Latifah, Frank Sinatra, Will Smith, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez have all had successful movie roles. They were always primarily musicians, though, who enjoyed great success when they chose to moonlight as actors. The crossover tends to happen in the other direction, too. Many celebrities who are primarily talented actors have a musical side as well. Here are 10 amazingly talented actors who are wonderful musicians as well.
1. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is so talented at the guitar that he could play for a band. When British rock band Oasis saw his artistry on the instrument, they featured him on their song Fading In-Out, in 1997. When he played the guitar in the movie Chocolat, he wasn’t faking it. It was real. The song I wonder is fun yet meaningful as well.
2. Keanu Reeves
When he isn’t busy playing The One in The Matrix movies, Keanu Reeves is a world-beating rock guitarist and singer. He even had his own band. It was called Dogstar, and was active until a few years ago. His singing talents are awesome, though he’s an immensely talented actor.
3. Jared Leto
Tough guy Jared Leto has an Academy Award under his belt (for his portrayal of a transvestite in The Dallas Buyers Club.) Before he found major success in acting, though, he made more money with his music. He and his brother Shannon are part of a highly successful alt-rock band called 30 Seconds to Mars. They have sold more than 10 million albums.
4. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling and his friend Zach Shields have a folk rock band called Dead Man’s Bones. They have a successful Halloween-themed album about ghosts and goblins. The Oscar-nominated Canadian actor doesn’t play professionally anymore, though.
5. Kevin Bacon
While Kevin Bacon is best-known for his strong screen presence, his country pop band Bacon Brothers (that he played in with his brother), has 7 albums out. Their latest release was in 2011. Even though Kevin Bacon is a talented actor, his real passion is singing. Hopefully, he’ll never stop using his incredible talent.
6. Russell Crowe
Australian tough-guy actor Russell Crowe had a successful rock band called 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. They had a good run until the year 2005. The last time they put out an album was 11 years ago. But still, I’m sure, many of us remember a fantastic singing talent of Russell Crowe.
7. Zooey Deschanel
Zooey’s movie parts often show her singing or playing an instrument. The songs are usually all hers. She’s close to music in real life. Not only does she sing and compose, she plays the guitar and piano too. During the National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, Deschanel sang God bless America at the arena.
8. Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson once auditioned for a stage presentation of The Sound of Music. While she wasn’t accepted, the experience made her think about improving her musical skills. Working on them over time, she got so good that she actually released her own album in 2008. It was called Anywhere I Lay My Head.
9. Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich has been deeply involved in music for decades. Her 1994 folk album Divine Comedy was an average hit. She also played in her own band in the 90s – one she called Plastic Has Memory. After a break, she recorded a song called Electric Sky in May 2013. To tell the truth, I didn’t know about that.
10. Jeff Goldblum
A musician for decades. He’s played a regular, weekly jazz show in Los Angeles for a quarter-century. He even had his own orchestra at one time – the Mildred Snitzer Orchestral. Now that he is a good father he sings songs to his son Charlie.
So many famous movie stars have serious musical roots that one would need to wonder if there was a fundamental connection between the two art forms. One day, science could discover such a relationship. But now we can simply enjoy these multi-talented celebrities and discover our own hidden talents that we all have.