Pop singers can turn in Oscar-worthy movie performances, some more regularly than others. Here’s our pick of the best musical movie actors.
1. Will Smith. The undisputed king of acting singers, and he can’t even sing. He has played superheroes. He has played Muhammad Ali. He has played a futuristic cowboy who hates giant metal spiders. There’s nothing he can’t do. Pictured: Ali (2001)
Nobody could have guessed that an American Idol reject would win an Oscar for her raw performance in Dreamgirls. Or, admittedly, follow it up with a disappointing bitpart in the Sex and the City film. Pictured: Dreamgirls (2006)
3. Mark Wahlberg. He may have his numerous detractors but, given the right director, Wahlberg can be genuinely riveting to watch. Yes, he made The Happening – but, seriously, you try acting opposite wind. Pictured: The Fighter (2010)
4. Frank Sinatra. When he put the right amount of effort in, Sinatra could be a compelling screen presence. He even won an Oscar for From Here to Eternity. He also made Cannonball Run II, but shush. Pictured: From Here to Eternity (1953)
5. Cher. For someone with such an immobile face, Cher has enormous range. She won an Oscar for Moonstruck. She was heartbreaking in Mask. She turned up for work on Burlesque. That’s dedication. Pictured: Mask (1985)
6. Bette Midler. She has spent the last decade and a half playing identically brassy bitparts in terrible films, but Midler had real power once. Admittedly only in other terrible films, but beggars can’t be choosers. Pictured: The Rose (1979)
7. Eminem. To be fair, he has only really played himself – albeit a mumbling, monotone version of himself – in 8 Mile. But playing yourself can be harder than it looks. Exhibit A: Spice World: The Movie. Pictured: 8 Mile (2002)
8. Mariah Carey. Naturalistic and unshowy, Mariah Carey was a genuine revelation in Precious. Not that anyone has got more than three minutes into Precious without wanting to slash their wrists, obviously. Pictured: Precious (2009)
9. Sting. Calling Sting a more tolerable actor than singer sounds like a backhanded compliment. That’s because it is. Watch Brimstone & Treacle and you can almost forgive him for Shape of my Heart. Almost.
Pictured: Brimstone & Treacle (1982)
10. Justin Timberlake.
Timberlake’s determination to be an actor rather than a singer hasn’t paid off yet, but he’s sticking with it. Hopefully he will come good soon, or God help us all.
Pictured: The Social Network (2010)