Top 5 Pop Stars Who Can Actually Act

Nov 13th, 2009 // 33 Comments

Yesterday we brought you the Top 5 Pop Stars Who Should Never Act Again, where, miraculously, Mariah Carey was kept off the list because of her work in Precious. (Okay, her part only lasts two scenes and she sat at a desk the whole time, but progress is progress.) Unfortunately, she’s still not quite skilled enough to make today’s list of pop singers who have proven they’ve actually got some acting chops.

5. Mandy Moore
We can’t believe the girl whose biggest hit was “Candy” in 1999 is on this list—but then again, it makes sense. If Mandy’s singing career took off like Christina Aguilera’s, Jessica Simpson’s or Britney Spears’ back when the four blondes first broke on the scene during the late ’90s teen pop craze, maybe she wouldn’t have re-focused all her energy on her film career.

Mands has made some pretty decent flicks, from the cheesy but romantic A Walk to Remember to dead-on Idol ripoff American Dreamz. Plus, she expertly played herself as Vinnie Chase’s girl who got away on Entourage. But where she really nailed it was in the 2004 indie Saved!, by playing a gun-wielding, do-good Christian girl who declares she’s “saving herself for marriage—and I’ll use force if necessary.”

4. Jennifer Hudson

Sorry, Beyoncé, we’re leaving you off this list—your last movie was cheesy thriller Obsessed, and, regardless, people still know you better for your music, while Jennifer’s actually become a sought-after actress. J-Hud was the real breakout star of Dreamgirls, and anyone who goes from placing seventh on a reality competition show to winning an Oscar for their first movie deserves to continue flourishing on the big screen.

(Note: We would have loved to have shown a clip of Hudson from Dreamgirls. Alas, this is all we could find on Ye Olde YouTube.)

3. Justin Timberlake
Justin is invariably better than the movies he’s in. Southland Tales, Black Snake Moan and (shudder) The Love Guru aren’t exactly top-notch resume fodder, but Justin’s acting had very little to do with their awfulness. It takes a pretty good entertainer to rise out of the muck and still remain likable.

JT even won an Emmy for his hilarious work on Saturday Night Live (not to mention for co-writing classy love song “Dick in a Box”). Is an Oscar far off? Okay, that might be stretching it.

2. Alanis Morissette
It’s hard to keep the buzz going after hitting your commercial peak early on. (We dare you to find one person older than 25 who doesn’t own a copy of Jagged Little Pill.)

Alanis has lost some steam since serving up one of the best pop-rock albums of all time, but she’s rebounded by going back to her You Can’t Do That On Television roots and making a name on cable TV. In recent years, the singer has guested as herself on Curb Your Enthusiasm, kissed Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex And The City and suited up as Andy’s doctor girlfriend on Weeds.

Alanis is so good she managed to steal the scene away from the hilarious Justin Kirk, which is no easy feat. Best Weeds line, when she explains why she agreed to go on a date with the immature man-child Andy: “My mother always told me, ‘If they feed you, go.’ I’m starting to realize my mother gave me a lot of bad advice.”

If she keeps it up, we’ll forgive her for the snooze-inducing Flavors of Entanglement.

1. Will Smith

C’mon people—no one comes close to Big Willie when it comes to (hip-) pop stars attempting a movie career. Smith just happens to be one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. Nearly every film he’s starred in the last few years has made over $100 million at the box office (yes, even Bad Boys II), and Will himself has been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar twice (for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness). And you know what? He deserves it.

But thankfully Smith has stopped doing theme songs for his movies.

We missing anybody, folks? Pissed we left off Oscar-winner Cher? Sometimes-actor Jon Bon Jovi? Or perhaps Usher showcasing his impressive thespian skills in She’s All That and The Faculty?

idolator

  1. Will totally deserves the number 1 spot, JT being on this list is Kind of ridiculous! Mandy Moore however is deserved.

  2. Samurai413x

    I think you missed one of the best arguments for JT being an actor – Alpha Dog (despite the fact that his first line is something idiotic like, “It’s definitely daylight”)

  3. Where are the Wahlbergs (both Donnie and Mark have given some great performances over the years)? Frank Sinatra? Whitney?

  4. ZOMBIEBOT-F76

    ZOMBIEBOT ATTEMPTING TO UNDERSTAND ALANIS AND CONCEPT OF IRONY. JAGGED LITTLE PILL. JAGGED LITTLE PILL. WHERE IS BRITNEY UPDATE/////

  5. Apologies (but not really) if this has already been posted. For those who wonder why we’re griping… this is one part of what idolator used to offer.

    This may be a little longer than a traditional “100 and Single,” but not by much, and it was always this insightful and thoroughly researched.

  6. ZOMBIEBOT-A22

    ZOMBIEBOT WOULD CRY IF ZOMBIEBOT HAD BEEN PROGRAMMED TO SHED TEARS. IDOLATOR 2.0 CRAPPY.

  7. Thank you ZOMBIEBOT(S?) for making the transition to an Idolator-less world easier.

    Another this-is-what-Idolator-used-to-be (and will apparently still be, just at a new home) link: http://chainofknives.tumblr.com/

  8. MhS

    “Big Willie”??? WTF, are you still in grade school?

  9. i dont think jennifer hudson is that good of an actress to be honest – her voice won her that oscar

  10. @MhS Umm… Big Willie is what Will Smith called himself. No need to get snippy about it.

  11. tither

    Wait a minute… you leave Beyonce off the list because of “Obsessed”? You forget that she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Dreamgirls? She won a lot of praise for her performance, even though all the attention went to Jennifer. And on a side note, Justin Timberlake was in “The Love Guru”, and people still better know him for his music, but you don’t leave him off the list for that, do you? Idiots.

  12. LOL, if you had to sit through Obsessed, you’d understand!

  13. I don’t know whether I just choose to avoid these films because they have had singing careers or for other reasons but I have not seen a lot of those films and probably won’t now…

  14. Pursuit of Happiness is a great film. Will deserves number one spot. Love it.

  15. ZOMBIEBOT-C37

    ZOMBIEBOT LOVES WILL SMITH FILMS ALMOST AS MUCH AS BANAL IDOLATOR 2.0 COMMENTS. LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOV /syntax error. Rebooting.

  16. Levon Helm, y’all.

  17. MhS

    How about a pop star who actually won an Oscar for his acting, Frank Sinatra

  18. ZOMBIEBOT-A22

    ERROR. J-HUD WON OSCAR. J-HUD WON OSCAR. ZOMBIEBOT KNOWS ALL.

  19. MhS

    Didn’t say J-Hud didn’t win Oscar, just said how about a pop star who also won, maybe you need to be rebooted ZOMBIEBOT

  20. ZOMBIEBOT-C37

    ZOMBIEBOT CONFUSED. J HUD NOT ALSO POP STAR? PRIOR POST IMPLIED UNIQUENESS OF FRANKIE AS SOLE OSCAR WINNING POP STAR. YOUR SYNTAX REQUIRES UPGRADE. REBOOTING

  21. ZOMBIEBOT-C37

    ZOMBIEBOT WOULD CRY AT INSULT IF ONLY WAS PROGRAMMED FOR FEELINGS. ARGUING WITH A NON SENTIENT BEING SUCH AS ZOMBIEBOT MUST BE HUMOUROUS TO OTHER HUMANS WATCHING. ZOMBIEBOT RECOMMENDS YOU CLEAN YOUR REGISTRY.

  22. ZOMBIEBOT-C37

    ZOMBIEBOT STUMPED. LINK TO JUSTIN BIEBER BEATBOXING VIDEOS PERHAPS???

  23. MhS

    please no Justin Bieber yo

  24. ZOMBIEBOT-C37

    ZOMBIEBOT. MHS = FRIEND?

  25. MhS

    @ZOMBIEBOT-C37: if you mean am I also disappointed by the dumbing down of Idolator than yes MhS = friend

  26. ZOMBIEBOT-C37

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  27. ZOMBIEBOT-C37

    ciRcuitRY overHEatiinnng

  28. MhS

    uh oh did ZOMBIEBOT join the crash and burn club?

  29. ZOMBIEBOT-C37

    ZOMBIEBOT STILL FUNCTIONAL AFTER SAFE MODE LOGIN

  30. MhS

    frankly Z I’ve completely lost interest in this site

  31. hellbent

    they should take alanis and jt off the list. i mean alanis = great musician. great actor? i don't know….and jt i'm not even going to go there.

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