Acting Up: music stars who’ve made it in the movies

Acting Up: music stars who’ve made it in the movies

Which is your favourite Martin Kemp: Spandau smoothie or Eastenders bad boy Steve Owen? Hopefully not Reggie Kray…

In any role, he’s a class act. Of course, when Kemp switched from strummer to screen star, he wasn’t the first musician to make it through the barricades.

The Bramall | Elvis dancing in Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Presley made acting dovetail perfectly with his music career, appearing in 31 movies. But not all musicians have mixed the two so comfortably. Mariah Carey’s Glitter and Britney’s Crossroads are no Jailhouse Rock. Others have tried on the Serious Actor costume and fallen a little short: witness Sting’s uncomfortably earnest turn in 70s sci-fi Dune. (Also his pants.)

David Bowie’s soporific performance as an alien in The Man Who Fell to Earth barely felt like acting. But as Jareth, the Goblin King in Labyrinth, he found the perfect vehicle for his sexy weirdness, and he got to keep singing too.

The Bramall | David Bowie in Labyrinth

Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was named for his rapping alter-ego, but his charm, comedian’s timing and acting chops (plus some sharp writing) turned this 80s TV show into a classic, over a remarkable 148 episodes. Hollywood soon beckoned; a string of action favourites like Men in Black and Independence Day and two Oscar nominations followed.

It’s now become a family business: Jaden and Willow, his children with fellow actor Jada Pinkett-Smith, are now celebrity movie stars and musicians in their own right.

The Bramall | Willow Smith whips her hair back and forth

Even Harry Styles, formerly of One Direction, has added acting to his repertoire with a role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.

harry styles dunkirk


Ever wondered which career they prefer? Now’s your chance to find out, at our Audience with Martin Kemp at the Bramall on Friday 3rd November. For an evening of banter and reminiscences of the good gold (GOLD!) days, I know this much is true: you should book your tickets now!

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