Keira Knightley and Maroon 5's Adam Levine in Begin Again (The Weinstein Co.)
This week’s topic is going to be left open for discussion. Lately there has been an influx of musicians tossing their instruments aside and running to get in front of the camera.
This has been going on for years and years, but lately it seems to be a trend. Is this OK for people to jump in and take over another craft when actors who are trained in it aren’t getting the opportunities?
Begin Again opened this past Fourth of July weekend starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine of Maroon 5. The film is getting great reviews, and Levine is passing the critics’ litmus test with flying colors.
This hasn’t always been the case for musicians crossing over to film, though. For example, does anyone remember Madonna in Swept Away? For those who did see it, they are shaking their heads.
Since this has been the turning trend, some musicians have decided to work on their acting abilities and tighten them up. Common, the hip-hop artist, starred in Smokin’ Aces and Wanted, and made people cringe. Since then, he’s clearly had some coaching, and “Hell on Wheels” on AMC was proof of that.
Not every hip-hop artist fails at it from the start. Ludacris has been starring in The Fast and the Furious franchise making people smile, and André Benjamin is going to star as Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side. I’m hoping he has the chops to pull off such a big personality and influential musician.
The question to ponder is: Is it fair to give these huge acting opportunities to musicians rather than trained actors? So many people move to Los Angeles with hopes and dreams of making it big. They pay thousands of dollars for headshots, classes, coaching and years of hustling to make ends meet before their big break. Then they are finally up for a role that could change their lives, and … wait for it … the lead role is given to a musician! That’s a crushing blow for an actor.
For those musicians who are talented and have the bug they need to itch, then go for it and succeed. However, those who have no desire for it and decide that “eh, I’ll give it a try,” they should reconsider and think how they feel every time a reality start gets on Auto-Tune and makes a “hit” single!