FEATURE: Top 5 Actors Who Shouldn’t Be Musicians (But Are)

Written for the 405

It makes a weird kind of sense that actors would give music a try. Surely, being successful in one sector of show business means diversifying should be a doddle! Enough of them certainly try, and I emphasise the word “try”; seems that it’s a fair bit harder than it looks. Maybe more of them should make a go of, I don’t know, being trapeze artists. Then we wouldn’t end up with Juliette and the Licks.

Let’s leave aside the more mediocre, tedious stuff – Dogstar (Keanu Reeves’ Bon Jovi-supporting rock act), Bruce Willis’ blues-rock, Hugh Laurie’s recent uh blues-rock – and look at the real failures. They might be able to act Roger Daltrey off the screen but, man, these guys are lousy musicians. For your consideration I submit: five actors who should stick with their day jobs.

1. Jared Leto

Let’s get this one out of the way quickly. Like tearing a plaster off, rather than slowly peeling it away, it’s less painful that way. Formed in 1998 but only really coming to prominence with 2005’s A Beautiful Lie, 30 Seconds To Mars are based around Leto screaming/whining in a thoroughly emo, unbearably earnest and thoroughly thumpable way above faux-epic guitars on songs that are as deep as a Beverly Hills swimming pool.

If the music of 30 Seconds To Mars is an accurate representation of the red planet’s atmosphere, it’s no surprise we lost the Beagle 2. An interesting side-effect of his terrible band is that whenever something bad happens to a character of Leto’s in a film – losing an arm to gangrene in Requiem for a Dream, no longer being able to get a reservation at the Dorsia in American Psycho – it’s hard to feel any sympathy.

****2. Russell Crowe

Russell “Punchy” Crowe’s band is called Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts. What more do you want? Well, okay, they’re now called The Ordinary Fear of God (which makes approximately 45% more sense than their previous name) but they continue to put out an unsurprising brand of Neanderthal pub rock with choruses that only add to the whole mid-life-crisis vibe, such as “I want babies / Just not right now” on ‘She’s Not Impressed’. They’ve been going since 1992, so I guess no-one dares tell Crowe that nobody really is. We are not entertained!

****3. Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan seems like a really nice guy. He just makes some poor decisions. Adding to a list that already includes Rush Hour 3, The Tuxedo and the stunts where he has dislocated his pelvis and broken his fingers, toes, nose, both cheekbones, hips, sternum, neck, ankle, and ribs, is his illustrious and long-running singing career. Most of his compositions sound not unlike X-Factor winner’s songs, with the oblique references to belief in one’s self and facing insurmountable odds having more basis in the kung-fu films they serve as theme tunes for. Which, admittedly, is a little cooler Joe McElderry covering Miley Cyrus. But no less formulaic or MOR.

****4. Tom Felton

Not intent with bothering Harry Potter over the course of eight films, Draco Malfoy has gone and inflicted the world with some startlingly sub-par acoustic guitar noodlings that would have Ed Sheeran nodding off (or foaming at the mouth) under the name Feltbeats. Ten points from Slytherin, or something.

****5. Robert Mitchum

Okay, so Mitchum kinda already quit his day job by, well, dying, but on the evidence of his 1957 album Calypso – Is Like So…!, he is best remembered for his appearances on the silver screen. Using an acting technique which has since fallen out of favour known as “racist impersonation”, Robert Mitchum approximates a West Indies accent to get through a selection of memorable novelty calypso songs, including the “stand-out” ‘From a Logical Point a View’ (a cover of Roaring Lion’s fondly remembered ‘Ugly Woman’).

Listen up bachelors, because Mitchum has some words of wisdom! Apparently marrying a pretty woman is a big no-no, because she will likely break your heart. The alternative? “Better marry a woman uglier than you”, because, allegedly, she’ll be glad for the attention, be unlikely to cheat, and will make your dinner on time. Erm, cheers Rob. Still, you were good in The Night of the Hunter.

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