Alongside music, Hollywood is another outlet that helps people with their personal wellbeing.
A great album uplifts the spirits and can make you feel better in yourself, and a good film can do the same. Often, a movie with a great soundtrack hits two birds with one stone and stands out from the crowd. Thanks to great music, films such as The Crow and even chick-flick Dirty Dancing were elevated to popularity beyond their cinematic qualities.
Sometimes, musicians cross over into films, too. Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne appeared in the 2000 release Little Nicky, as well as Austin Powers: Goldmember. Gwen Stefani (Aviator), Cher (Moonstruck) and David Bowie (Labyrinth) have all swapped the recording studio for the film studio, with moderate success. That gives their fans something extra to enjoy, another aspect of digital media where they can find solace and enjoyment.
You can even find examples of Hollywood stars appearing in bands. We’re not talking Jack Black style novelty bands like Tenacious D either; we’re talking serious rock, indie, grunge and pop bands releasing records not because of a film or tie-in but as a standalone product. To be fair to Black, Cheatsheet explains how Tenacious D are still together and touring, but they were a band that came from a film and used their success as a vehicle. In the following acts, they were serious bands not hoping to trade off the back of their famous members.
Dogstar – Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves is one of the most iconic actors of a generation. In the 1986 film Youngblood, he made his acting debut but sprung to popularity with a franchise that still endures today. Gala Spins explains how Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures cemented him as a Hollywood icon, and a sequel to the original films proved that in 2020. In the original 1989 film, Reeves played in a band called Wyld Stallyns, and it must have influenced him to start his band, Dogstar, two years later. They toured extensively, even opening for the likes of David Bowie, Weezer and Rancid. Reeves is perhaps the world’s most famous ageing indie-rock guy, and he still speaks fondly of his time in Dogstar, who broke up in 2002.
Dead Man’s Bones – Ryan Gosling
After appearing in the 2004 rom-com The Notebook, Ryan Gosling became a worldwide phenomenon, although he was already a leading man by then. In 2002 he appeared alongside Ben Chaplin and Sandra Bullock in Murder by Numbers, a loose adaptation of the famous real-life Leopold and Loeb case. In 2007, around the time he filmed Fracture, he formed Dead Man’s Bones with Zach Shields. It is believed they bonded over a shared love of haunted houses and ghosts, leading to the band’s name. They play all the instruments themselves, even the ones they have never previously touched, and only record a song three times before committing it to their albums, imperfections and all.
Juliette and the Licks – Juliette Lewis
Lewis was introduced to audiences at an early age, starring in the 1989 release National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, a popular franchise headed by Chevy Chase. Before she could be typecast as a comedy actor, she turned in a sensational performance in the 1989 adaptation of Cape Fear, with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in just her sixth movie. Since then, she’s proven to be versatile, adaptable and incredibly hard-working, with numerous TV and movie credits. She also fronts Juliette and the Licks, a band with a notable high-octane live performance. They’ve released two studio albums but are noted for those live performances, in which Lewis’s personality as an individual, not a Hollywood actor, spills out on the stage. The band has featured Hole drummer Patty Schemel and former Nirvana skin basher Dave Grohl.
- Article written by Isobel Gould
- Photo Credit: Pixabay