The 10 worst acting performances by musicians ever to hit the screen
A different kind of noise...
Monday brought the exciting and completely real news that Metallica frontman James Hetfield is set to make his professional acting debut in that movie where Zac Efron is playing notorious serial killer Ted Bundy.
Hetfield has been cast in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile as Bob Hayward, the first police officer to arrest Bundy in 1975.
The move reunites Hetfield with director Joe Berlinger, who helmed infamous Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster alongside Bruce Sinofsky back in 2004.
“Having spent hundreds of hours behind the scenes with James and the rest of Metallica, I have experienced his charisma and powerful presence close up,” Berlinger said in a statement.
“It seemed only natural that he would bring that same power and magnetism to a dramatic role, so when he agreed to my pitch that he be in the movie, I was thrilled.”
Safe to say that nobody really saw that one coming. It remains to be seen whether or not Hetfield will trouble the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but as you can probably guess by the headline of this piece, we're not terribly hopeful for his new sideline gig.
Hey, more fool us if he knocks it out of the park. In the meantime, let's remember 10 of the worst acting performances by musicians in recorded cinematic history...
10. James Hetfield | Some Kind of Monster
Clip via MetallicaTV
A documentary totally counts, especially if it's Some Kind of Monster.
If you've never seen SKOM, get on it. If you love Metallica, get on it. If you hate Metallica, get on it. This is the real-life Spinal Tap as Metallica try to get over the departure of bassist Jason Newsted and move forward in life with a $40,000-a-month therapist with terrible taste in jumpers for company.
The resulting fruit of their efforts was St. Anger, which goes some way to summing up how insane the whole thing is, but you really do need to sit through all 141 minutes of madness and egomania.
James Hetfield cuts a troubled figure throughout, and you end up feeling sorry for anyone who has to spend that much time in an enclosed space with Lars Ulrich. Still, for the sheer crime of having to be taught how to sing by his own band - and still making a meal of it - he takes the 10th spot here.
9. Justin Timberlake | In Time
Clip via InTimeMovie
February hasn't been the greatest month for Justin Timberlake, so we'll refrain from sticking the boot in too much and just say that his performance in lifeless 2011 sci-fi vehicle In Time was about as expressive as a very handsome block of wood.
8. David Bowie’s Accent | The Prestige
Clip via felidae
David Bowie, may he rest in peace, was an incredible human being who may have been an alien, so good was he at projecting the aura, image and mystique of someone truly bigger than life.
Doesn't mean he could nail a Serbian accent, though. His Nikola Tesla sounds eerily like Pierce Brosnan during his time as James Bond. Not the worst thing you've ever heard, but not quite convincing.
Perhaps this was a deliberate move in order to distract the viewer from how blindingly obvious Fallon's secret identity is for the entire film. If so, perhaps Christopher Nolan really is a genius...
7. Prince | Purple Rain
Clip via MovieClips Trailer Vault
Prince, may he rest in peace, was an incredible human being who may have been an alien, so good was he at projecting the aura, image and mystique of someone truly bigger than life.
Doesn't mean he could appear the least bit interested in his film debut, though.
The above trailer - complete with Deep Voiceover Man From A Bygone Era - promises so much, namely Prince's story, his music, his movie. You do indeed get all of those things, but you also get Prince sleepwalking his way through every purple-tinted frame.
6. Britney Spears | Crossroads
Clip via YouTube Movies
A transparent attempt to capitalise on the height of Britney Spears' mega-fame with a dodgy coming-of-age road trip mess of a film. Still waiting on that second lead role some 16 years later...
5. Rihanna | Battleship
Clip via Battleship
Battleship is... not a good movie. It's not even fun-bad, which would have at least been a saving grace.
Instead, Peter Berg's 2012 mix of weirdly patriotic action man bravado and old-school board game tribute is mostly deathly dull, but hey there's Rihanna as a sassy weapons specialist who sticks out like a sore thumb because Rihanna.
Still, she does get to shoot a missile into an alien's face and quip, 'Mahalo, motherfucker,' so it's not a total bust.
Clip via Sewiyorum
4. 50 Cent | Get Rich or Die Tryin’
Clip via MovieClips Trailer Vault
You can't celebrate 15 years of 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' breakthrough album without mentioning the film of the same name.
The gangster clichés fly thick and fast in Jim Sheridan's 2005 dramatised biopic. You'd think a film based on the life and times of 50 Cent would be a walk in the park for Curtis James Jackson III, and yet his big-screen moment in the sun is a damp squib.
Speaking to JOE before Den of Thieves hit cinema screens earlier this month, 50 looked back on a fairly contentious working relationship with his director:
"There was a lot of aggression," he recalled. "He just yelled at me. He told me 'You're fucking shit! People want this to be shit! You fucking get this right, 50!'"
3. Mark Wahlberg | The Happening
Clip via walkerneo
Mark Wahlberg left his Funky Bunch days behind and successfully transformed himself into one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, but he dabbled in the rap game and thus qualifies for this rundown.
It's safe to say that nobody made it out of M. Night Shyamalan's 'nature gone wrong' oddity The Happening in one piece, but Marky Mark will be remembered for the above scene for as long as he lives and beyond, for all the wonderfully wrong reasons.
2. Jessica Simpson | The Dukes of Hazzard
Clip via jessicasimpsonVEVO
Far be it from me to suggest that using a scantily-clad Jessica Simpson to sell your doomed-to-fail modern reboot of The Dukes of Hazzard to the point that you give her a supporting role in order to plaster her all over the poster is a cynical move.
Nah, she's definitely there because of her acting chops.
1. Vanilla Ice | Cool As Ice
There are bad movies, there are dreadful movies, and then there's Cool As Ice.
The above trailer takes less than 30 seconds to get to the wildly uncool point.
Yep, it's a badass rebellious stick-it-to-the-man adventure in which Vanilla Ice struts about the place in ludicrous clothes like the most ill-judged update of James Dean imaginable.
"Drop that zero and get with a hero," Ice demands, in one of the more upsetting reminders of the early 90s. Throw in a kidnapping plot and some bungling villains straight out of Home Alone and you can see how desperate the studio was to make something, anything work here.
It goes without saying that Vanilla Ice redefines terrible in Cool As Ice, but it shouldn't. His performance is a crime against the very idea of motion pictures itself, and we must never speak of it ever again.
Congrats on topping this list, though. A real feather in that oversized backwards cap.