Six Actors That Are Also Musicians

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Some people are naturally good at everything. There are plenty of those utter bastards that only need to try their hand at something for a moment to somehow discover a hidden aptitude for it. We all know one of those people. A DJ that’s also an incredible painter. A designer that could slam out Hendrix’s Voodoo Child any day of the week. A writer that can sculpt a masterwork out of just about any material. Sometimes we hate them, sometimes we wish we were them.

The beautiful people of Hollywood are no exception. While some like Leo DiCaprio stick to what they’re good at, others possess gifts far from the field that makes them millions. Jamie Lee Curtis is a patented inventor. Pierce Brosnan is a secret fire eater. Bob Dylan makes sculptures out of iron.

There’s also a surprising amount of famous actors that play music on the side. Some like Bruce WIllis, William Shatner and Lindsay Lohan have released god awful assaults on the eardrums, but some aren’t half bad. Here’s a few of those.

 

RYAN GOSLING

He’s the boy next door that’ll beat a stranger half to death for merely looking at you and then make amends by having flowers sent to your work,  Ryan Gosling isn’t just the guy that made your ‘giney tingle when you watched Drive, he also performs under the alias Baby Goose in goth-rock duo, Dead Man’s Bones.

Having been a former member of The Mickey Mouse Club alongside Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, it’s hardly surprising that Gosling has a decent voice inside him, but he plays a variety of other instruments in the band as well.

The actor met bandmate Zach Shields back in 2005, and soon they discovered a mutual love for the Haunted Mansion Ride at Disneyland, as you do. Naturally this led the pair to start a band that write songs about ghosts and monsters. In 2013 their track In The Room Where You Sleep, taken from their 2009 self-titled album, was added to the soundtrack of horror film The Conjuring.

They’re actually quite good.

 

JAMES MARSTERS

He’s probably best known for his role as the Billy Idol inspiring badass vamp Spike in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but James Marsters is another famous actor with a musical sideline that you may wish you’d heard sooner.

Ghost Of The Robot, in which Marsters plays guitar and sings and shares the stage with his son Sullivan, are a Los Angeles based rock band that have actually put out a decent number of records for a group fronted by a busy actor. They released new album Bourgeois Faux Pas midway through last year and have even been reviewed as sounding “very much like a new-age type of Beatles.”

Anyone that watched Once More With Feeling, the musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer that saw the Scooby gang forced to sing and dance by a demon, will already know that Marsters has a bit of a knack for vocal stylings, but we strongly suggest you give Ghost Of The Robot a go. They’re surprisingly impressive.

 

JADA PINKETT-SMITH

As a parental pairing that have spawned a son that spouts meaningless drivel that could only be seen as philosophical by someone that had never heard of philosophy before and a daughter that makes the sort of music we’d like to listen to in space, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith have a lot to answer for- but as actors and musicians we’ll let them off. Yep, you heard right, the Fresh Prince isn’t the only member of that ultra-rich ultra-weird family with an actual talent for sound.

Surprisingly enough though, Jada probably couldn’t make music much more different than her husband if she tried really, really, really fucking hard. In her own words- “I listened to all kinds of metal as a kid. I would always look at Axl Rose and say, ‘Why aren’t there any chicks out there doing this now?’ I always wanted an opportunity to get out there and rock out.”

Honestly we’re impressed. With Wicked Wisdom she’s even made us momentarily forgive her for ruining Scream 2 with that utterly ridiculous death throe of hers. If anything it’s interesting to see an actor so-surpass our expectations of what they were musically capable of.

 

CHRISTOPHER MINTZ-PLASSE

We first fell for him as Superbad’s McLovin back in 2007, with roles in Role Models and Kick-Ass further cementing that jubilant and vast affection, and for a few years now he’s been the awkward nerdy kid we laughed at whilst secretly wishing he was our best friend. But apparently there’s more to Christoper Mintz-Plasse, who we can’t help but always refer to as Christopher Mint-Peas, than we originally thought; he used to play drums for The Young Rapscallions.

Mintz-Plasse used the paycheque he received from Superbad to buy his first drum kit and start a band with his friends Taylor Messersmith, Jonathan Sanders and Nick Chamian. Though judging by their Facebook page it would seem like they’re no longer active, The Young Rapscallions sounded like a hybrid of Pearl Jam, The Strokes and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, with a vibe that gave the very real impression that they had a lot further to go.

 

ZOOEY DESCHANEL

Goddess and one half of what has the definite capacity to be a phenomenally great sister/sister porn tag team, Zooey Deschanel has never made it a secret that she’s musically talented, after all, the theme song to New Girl is a shortened and edited version of her track, Hey Girl, but really, have any of you actually explored her music?

She & Him, the duo in which Deschanel makes sweet music with M. Ward, are an impressive, if niche, collaboration of talents. Zooey’s voice is enchanting, it weaves perfectly with Ward’s instrumental efforts, creating something that’s robust yet delicate, warm yet breezy and cool.

Classics, their latest album, was recorded live and features, amongst other things we’re sure,  full brass, strings, piano, bass, guitar, drums and flute. It’s a memorable record that sticks in your head long after you let it be still, an emotive and engaging piece of music that lifts the spirit and the soul.

 

MICHAEL CERA

He may have been a household name thanks to Arrested Development several years previously, but Michael Cera, like Christopher Mintz-Plasse, first came into our hearts as the awkward and desperate for love Evan, but it wasn’t until 2014 that we truly discovered him as a musician.

It was that year that Cera took to Bandcamp to release True That, an unusual collection of 18-21 tracks of varying lengths of swiftness. It was a strange record that has, by some, been described as being “all melancholy, alternative, and adorable” and having “pleasant instrumentals” and “wistful vocals”. It was, however, a record that we struggled to get into, an acquired taste of weirdness.

But True That isn’t…that. Back in 2010 Michael Cera contributed Mandolin to the Weezer song Hang On. After that he signed on as a touring member of Mister Heaven;y and joined Clark Duke in The Long Goodbye. He also played bass and sang backup vocals for music in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

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