Reel to Real: Double act
You might remember when I wrote about how musicians and movies tend not to mix, and if you do, congratulations on being such a great fan of my column.
But lately, I’ve been thinking about the other side of that coin. Some musicians really can act and here are the ones you should be paying attention to.
The Beatles are some of the most massive superstars the world has ever seen, so it made sense that they got a number of movie roles. What’s great about them, though, is that they were genuinely funny.
The fabulous four didn’t just woodenly read lines and try to look surprised when wacky antics occurred, but rather they had great charisma and played off one another, as if they were a comedy troupe that happened to break into some really great music every other scene.
The humor’s British, and the movies were made in the ‘60s, so expect a slight disconnect. But don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of laughs anyway. Try watching “Help!” or “Yellow Submarine” to start with.
Tom Waits is another figure that crosses from music to movies on a pretty frequent basis.
He played the devil in “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus” and will be appearing in this year’s “Seven Psychopaths.” He’s also an incredible musician, and was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.
I grew up listening to “Franks Wild Years,” and to hear his voice, you’d imagine him as exactly the kind of figure who would beckon you in a dark alley and make an offer on your soul.
Zooey Deschanel may have secured her place as queen of the manic pixie dream girls, but no matter how super quirky she gets, there’s no denying she’s done some outstanding acting and singing. “Thieves” is one of the most played songs on my iPod, and she’s gotten high praise for her performance in “500 Days of Summer.”
If you’re looking for a well-known actor who can also make it musically, look no further than the House cast.
Hugh Laurie is a great pianist and guitar player, and Jesse Spencer plays violin.
Go to YouTube for a great video of him and another violinist doing “Eleanor Rigby.”