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?