When Dan asked me if I could contribute a Top 10 list for the site, I was happy to do so. This idea came up. A list of people who act and sing, some of them started out as a singer and began acting… some others started acting and got into singing. However, one thing is true about the people on this list: They should quit singing, and just focus into their acting careers because they do it much better.
The list is ordered by the balance of quality music against quality acting roles, as well as success in sales/awards.
Sorry, Justin Timberlake! You’re not on this list – You can take that as “she thinks I’m a good musician” or… “she thinks I’m an awful actor,” or – you suck at both, whatever suits you best.
10. T.O.P (Choi Seung Hyun)
Seung-hyun Choi, better known as Korean boyband member T.O.P, just delved into acting with 71 into the Fire, which got him a nod at the Asian Film Awards for Best Newcomer. Not too shabby, considering his debut on Korean series IRIS – which spawned a movie – was received with comments for overacting.
That recognition might beat the best-selling music pop idol status, in which he usually sounds as if Sean Paul was singing in Korean.
9. Gwyneth Paltrow
I believe that I’m one of the few people who still genuinely likes Gwyneth Paltrow, even after her role on Glee and her performance at the Grammy Awards. But truth be told, people don’t like her… and after performing Cee Lo Green’s Forget You, people downright despise her.
Obviously, besides quit singing, she should stop telling us how to eat healthy, and what rich people visit in Hong Kong. But there was once upon a time – not long ago – when Gwyneth was still a pretty good actress with pretty good roles, like Two Lovers.
Never-aging wax-like Cher has looked exactly the same ever since I can remember. Her discography is filled with tons of dance-club friendly tracks that most gay people love to dance to, but of very little substance. Though, Cher can deliver in a performance vocally, it seems she’s best received on the big screen. Not shabby with an Oscar on the bag.
She seems to do great with a hybrid between movies and music: Movies Musicals! I have to admit I did love her performance of You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.
7. Scarlett Johansson
Most of the times, we love to hate her, and it’s true Scarlett Johansson’s movie career has been on the cold side for a while, but even I have to admit that her acting it’s a hundred times better than that insipid album she released a while back.
Please, Scarlett. Don’t quit your acting job.
6. Chris Lee (Li Yuchun)
Chris Lee’s got three studio albums, as well as a live compilation album, an EP and a mini-album on the market since she won the Super Girl singing competition – like American Idol but only for girls.
She’s known for her androgynous look, her humble personality, her (funny) Latin numbers, and she ended up surprising people when she showed up on Teddy Chan’s Bodyguards and Assassins as the boyish Fang Hong. She was emotional and feisty when needed, and the role earned her a nod for Best Newcomer at the Asian Film Awards, as well as Hong Kong Film Awards nominations for Best Supporting Actress and Best New Performer.
Not bad for a debut. Next up for her, Tsui Hark’s The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate with Jet Li and Xun Zhou.
5. Kou Shibasaki
Most of us probably know her as crazy b!tch Mitsuko on the bloody Battle Royale, but as many Japanese idols – feisty Shibasaki needs to sing vapid-sounding pop. She’s got four albums expanding to 22 singles, and three compilations.
She’s got a selection of Japanese series and films like Galileo, Orange Days, Maiko Haaaan!!! and Ohoku – in which she plays a female Shogun.
Next up for her is her Hollywood debut as Mika on Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin, alongside Tadanobu Asanao, Hiroyuki Sanada and Rinko Kikuchi. What a Japanese cast!
4. Juliette Lewis
A lot of people felt a straight-forward film like Conviction was taken to another level when Lewis showed up on screen. She often seems to elicit those comments lately when she’s on screen, yet the eccentric Juliette keeps on jamming with her band.
A discography that’s received lukewarm reviews, while every small role she’s got on film gets some sort of praise for her. She’s certainly never the weak link in some rather bland films.
So what is it about actors, music and a live audience?
3. Kevin Bacon
I actually don’t hate Kevin Bacon’s turn to music, and he doesn’t seem to want to turn into a musician. Kevin Bacon’s band with his brother seems like a genuine project out of music passion… and brotherly love.
However, we can’t deny that the success of The Bacon Brothers is anything like Kevin Bacon’s success. He’s been making music for nearly 15 years now, but people still seem surprised to hear he’s in a band.
Kevin Bacon, a nice guy and an actor through and through.
2. Billy Bob Thornton
There’s something inherently wrong with a band when your biggest claim to fame is that your lead vocalist is an Oscar-winning actor. Even worse, said lead loses his cool after an interviewer refers to him as an actor. Because he is a musician now.
The thing is that Thornton is a much MUCH better actor than a lot of the singers trying to make it as actors. He’s won all those awards for acting with good reason! Plus, being a musician seems to make him ten times the @sshole that he used to be as an actor.
1. Kazunari Ninomiya
Most of us know him as the scrawny Saigo on Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima. Little would suspect that Ninomiya is a member of Japan’s current favorite boyband, Arashi. Their discography is filled with saccharine pop tunes with danceable tunes that they can’t dance, and vapid lyrics of young love.
Spawning from an agency of male idols, Johnny’s Entertainment isn’t known for its batch of talented performers, and no one predicted Ninomiya would be one of the few that could be making it outside an idol career…
If only he could quit…
That’s it folks. What do you think of the list? Anyone missing? Anyone that should be left out?
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