A while back, I made a list of 15 movie stars who tried to launch singing careers. Because what they really want to do is sing! Actors are fascinating, because they are very, very vain. It's not that these people aren't talented singers -- SOME of them are -- but do we need music from them? Are they not "expressing" themselves enough as professional actors? They need ANOTHER outlet? The best part of these songs and videos isn't that they would try to be rock stars. It's that they think they should.
1. Jada Pinkett Smith
What is funnier about Jada Pinkett Smith and her metal band, Wicked Evolution? The name Wicked Evolution, or Jada Pinkett Smith's "rock hair?" Xenu does not approve. Make sure you get past the 2:00 mark, when she starts to dance and REALLY "feel" it. Woo joke here!
2. Christopher Lee
Either Christopher Lee really wanted to start a singing career or he was kidnapped by D&D players and held hostage in front of a green screen. Either explanation is plausible.
3. Brigitte Nielsen
Look what the 1980s hath wrought. This sounds exactly like a song that would show up in a second or third-tier teen movie. Probably during a montage of characters studying for a test? The video is hilarious, made only more so when the giant Condom People show up. Brigitte Nielsen will always look like one of the paintings on the wall at the barber shop I went to as a kid. Does anyone else get the feeling this was never meant to be heard outside of Sweden?
4. Peter Gallagher
I don't know. Peter Gallagher sings just fine, and how nice it is that he was able to make a music video featuring his O.C. wife. But there is a lot of music in the world, much of which comes from people who want to do ONLY THAT. Did Peter Gallagher really feel like there was a Peter Gallagher-sized hole in all of music? Like, it's fine that he wants to sing. But does he NEED to? Has his music contributed as much to the world as his work in Center Stage? I say no.
5. Minnie Driver
Anyone who saw Good Will Hunting or that one club scene in GoldenEye already knows that Minnie Driver can sing. Her music career is a lot more legitimate than most of the other people on this list, and while the song has a little bit of a generic post-Lilith Fair sound, it's still pretty good. I would listen to this. Maybe in a Starbucks, where the CD would be sold, but I don't drink coffee. What I'm saying is that this song is nice. I LIKE THEM APPLES.
6. Jackie Chan
Did you know that in addition to being one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) kung-fu stars of all time, Jackie Chan is a very accomplished and successful singer? And that he has released TWENTY albums? Twenty. Two-zero. In 2007, he released "We Are Ready," the "official one year countdown anthem" of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. What's better -- that there is a ONE YEAR countdown anthem to the Olympics, or that the name of the song suggests that Beijing was ready a fully 365 days ahead of schedule? Where does Jackie Chan find the time to put out 20 albums AND make The Tuxedo?
7. Bill Paxton
Man, this thing is gold. Bill Paxton had a band called Martini Ranch for most of the 1980s, and this song, "Reach," clearly finds them at the peak of their creative powers. Paxton doesn't do much singing on the song, but the video is directed by James Cameron, which explains why it cost $150 million dollars. Watch for cameos from half the cast of Aliens, plus one from Kathryn Bigelow as a hot biker chick. The whistling on the song is credited to Judge Reinhold.
8. Shawnee Smith and Missi Pyle
Character actresses Shawnee Smith (the Saw movies) and Missi Pyle (Josie & the Pussycats) aren't exactly household names. It makes sense that they would team up as musical duo Smith & Pyle, probably because "Oh, That Girl & Her, You Know, From That Movie" is too long to fit on the marquee of a tasteful rock club.
9. Val Kilmer
We all knew that Val Kilmer could sing, because he was great in Top Secret! and did a good job imitating Jim Morrison in The Doors. But this? This is madness. I ask again, WHO ARE THE PEOPLE PUTTING THESE VIDEOS TOGETHER? This one is downright scary. This person has more pictures of Val Kilmer's kids than I have of my own. If you're feeling really ambitious, listen to Kilmer and Kate Bosworth covering "If You Could Read My Mind," from the movie Wonderland, which I sort of already talked about here. Not great, guys!
10. Danny Cooksey
Ok, so this one is a bit of a cheat because Danny Cooksey was more of a TV star. But SOMEONE needs to occupy the honorary Edward Furlong slot, and since they played bike-riding besties in Terminator 2, it only seemed fair that it be him. The alternative was Jared Rushton, who played opposite Furlong in Pet Sematary Two and now plays in a band called Deal by Dawn. Look it up!