Top 5 Pop Stars Who Should Never Act Again

Becky Bain | November 12, 2009 6:04 pm

Mariah Carey managed to validate her acting career by dressing down and taking a humble supporting part in depress-o-rama indie flick Precious, which opened last weekend. We can’t believe the reigning champion of Pop Stars Pretending to Be Actresses has done on-screen work people can actually enjoy non-ironically. Brava, Mariah. Our little hoochie-dressed girl’s all grown up.

Mariah’s earned our respect, but there are tons of other pop singers who, to paraphrase Mean Girls, keep trying to make this “acting” thing happen. It’s not going to happen!

After the jump, our Top 5 picks for pop stars who seriously need to leave acting to the professionals:

5. Lance Bass All Lance had to do was star in Generic Romantic Comedy #45364 On the Line to land a spot on this list. Sorry, Lancey-pants, you’re no Justin Timberlake. Don’t be too sad, not many people are.

In any case, Bass has more than made up for his shortcomings as an actor (and an astronaut) by just being himself:  Coming out and advocating gay rights, shimmying away on Dancing with the Stars, and cameo-ing as himself in Tropic Thunder and Zoolander. (It goes without saying that none of those roles required him to memorize any lines.)

4. Britney Spears Britney, like Lance, hasn’t been in much (thank god), but her acting was so epically bad that she still wound up #4. Crossroads was horrific, but was so long ago we may have forgotten just how terrible an actress Britney really is…but then she had to guest-star on How I Met Your Mother. Twice.

More off-putting than her unflattering wardrobe or ratty extensions (it’s one thing to wander around Rite-Aid at 2 am like that, but on television?) was the simple-but-true fact that Britney has absolutely no comic timing. It was evident during her Will & Grace guest spots years before, but it’s her enthusiastic, yet ultimately flat line-reading in both episodes that showed Brit has no idea what she’s saying or how to say it.

3. Any of the Spice Girls Spice World. That’s it. Just Spice World.

2. Ashlee Simpson-Wentz People love to rag on the younger Simpson lass for all sorts of things (her infamous SNL jig dance, marrying King of the Emos Pete Wentz, getting the most obvious plastic surgery of all time, etc.), when really they should be focusing all their anger on Ashlee’s acting ability.

Ash’s atrocious thesp skills didn’t really stand out while she was on 7th Heaven (good acting would actually have been more noticeable on that show) or on Broadway, since 75% of her time onstage was talk-singing good material. But after a horrible CSI:NY episode (where she played some sort of Bonnie-ish criminal alongside hubby Pete’s Clyde) and her short lived stint on Melrose Place as nutso Violet, Ash should consider getting fired from the CW show a blessing in disguise to get back to what she does best: having cute babies, rocking awesome hair and releasing fun pop songs.

1. Madonna As if this spot could belong to anyone else but Lady M. Madonna needs her own Precious à la Mariah movie to pull her back from this top spot, but we think Hollywood’s too terrified to even give Madge another shot.

Madonna in the movies started off innocent enough – quirky or sexy lil flicks like Desperately Seeking Susan, Who’s That Girl and Body of Evidence. I’ll even give her a positive review as Breathless Mahony in Dick Tracy, since her role was more a caricature than anything else.

But there is no excuse for Madonna starring in weirdo romantic comedy The Next Best Thing or collaborating with then-husband Guy Ritchie on Swept Away—a nonsensical, migraine-inducing remake that makes Showgirls come off like it’s Gone with the Wind.

Actually, can I take this back? Madonna should be in movies, lots of movies, as long as they never had a chance at being good, because it’s mindbogglingly awful films like this that fill my little black heart with uncontrollable laughter: