10 actors turned musicians

4th Jul 2012 | 14:25

10 actors turned musicians
Russell Crowe
Sideline: Frontman of Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts/ The Ordinary Fear Of God

Since the advent of sound in films, there’s been a tradition of movie stars dipping their toes into the music world and, for better or worse, it’s still going strong today. Here are 10 famous actors-turned-musicians for your viewing pleasure - we wouldn’t recommend listening to them though...

Russell Crowe

Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife… and frontman to various tune-murdering rock bands, cinema’s grumpiest man keeps plugging away. Since his worst-name-ever outfit Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts derailed in 2005, Russell Crowe has struck back in The Ordinary Fear Of God, revealed by a cursory dip into YouTube to be just as lumpen and gruff-voiced as you would imagine.

10 actors turned musicians
Kiefer Sutherland
Sideline: Playing for the hell of it

Generally found gouging a fish-fork into a terrorist’s armpit as Jack Bauer, Sutherland is a laidback rock dude in his downtime, collecting vintage Gibsons that he’s mercifully never used on some all-star covers album. “I’m the guy who’s playing for the joy of it,” he says. “I get lost for hours…”

10 actors turned musicians
Hugh Laurie
Sideline: Blues music

It’s hard to know which requires the greater suspension of belief: watching the Prince Regent from Blackadder play a hard-bitten New Jersey physician on House, or hearing him strum Leadbelly’s You Don’t Know My Mind. And he’s not bad. As Bertie Wooster used to say: “Crikey!”

10 actors turned musicians
Kevin Costner
Sideline: Kevin Costner And Modern West

Since 2007, the former bodyguard and wolfdancer has led country-rock outfit Modern West, whose second album Turn It On is apparently big in Germany. No, of course we haven’t heard it. We’re not middle-aged divorcees…

10 actors turned musicians
Richard Gere
Sideline: Guitar collecting

In October 2011, the self-taught silver fox auctioned a collection including a ’31 Martin and a ’58 Flying V formerly owned by Albert King, raising $936,438 for charity. Hopefully, this means he has no guitars left, and will never again be able to scar humanity with his cover of No Woman, No Cry.

10 actors turned musicians
Jared Leto
Sideline: Thirty Seconds To Mars - though really it's his day job now

It’s been a hard life for Jared. Toasted by Tinseltown, bunked up with Cameron Diaz, shifting gears to straddle arenas with Thirty Seconds To Mars… There’s only a certain amount of luck in the world, and this man is hoarding it.

10 actors turned musicians
Jack Black
Sideline: Tenacious D

Black kept the wolf from the door with King Kong, but you just know he was waiting for the director to shout “Cut!” so he could return to his true love: dicking about and doing knee-slides with Kyle Gass as half of Tenacious D.

10 actors turned musicians
Jeff Bridges
Sideline: Jeff Bridges & The Abiders

A strummer since adolescence, it probably wasn’t a huge stretch for Bridges to play country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, while last year even saw a self-titled album helmed by T-Bone Burnett. “Everyone assumes that you can’t possibly be good at two things,” he says, modestly.

10 actors turned musicians
Johnny Depp
Sideline: Turning up un-announced to other people's gigs

Like a man going through the Big Checklist of Male Fantasies, when Johnny Depp isn’t playing pirates or fondling Vanessa Paradis, he’s in fanboy mode, making Shane MacGowan look even uglier during a 1994 TOTP cameo and guesting on slide for Oasis’s Fade In-Out.

10 actors turned musicians
Steven Seagal
Sideline: Steven Seagal & Thunderbox

Whispering, looking intense and borrowing Francis Rossi’s ponytail made Seagal a huge 90s action star – which presumably funds his passion for watery Chicago blues with titles like Alligator Ass. We’re bursting to make a sarky comment about his back catalogue, but we’re scared he’ll come and put us in a chokehold.

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