If Marky Mark Can Do It, Taylor Swift Has It In The Bag: The Best Singers-Turned-Actors


News that our favorite cardigan sweater enthusiast Taylor Swift has been offered the role of Eponine in “King’s Speech” Oscar winner Tom Hooper’s big screen musical adaptation of the classic Broadway show/Victor Hugo novel “Les Miserables,” co-starring acting A-listers Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, has everyone in the MTV Newsroom in a tizzy.

If she chooses to take the role, will she be any good? We reached out to fans, who seem to want to give the Speak Now singer the benefit of the doubt, and personally think the country-pop superstar will do just fine in the role (can’t you just hear her singing “On My Own” already?), but every time a singer puts on the acting cap the critics come out with their pitchforks to proclaim that the odds are against her and most singers make for pretty crappy actors.

Well, that’s sometimes true. Madonna, who we love, hasn’t had a great run on the big screen and Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera haven’t has much luck in movies either. But there are plenty of examples of double-threat crossover successes. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites after the jump.

Mark Wahlberg
Once upon a time, major movie star Mark Wahlberg was better known as Marky Mark and scored a No. 1 hit with “Good Vibrations.” But his heart was really in acting, and after proving himself in small roles in “The Basketball Diaries” and “Renaissance Man,” he landed his big (literally!) break in Paul Thomas Anderson’s award-winning “Boogie Nights.” A string of critical and box office hits (“Three Kings,” “The Perfect Storm”) followed soon after and now he’s about as big a movie star as you can be, headlining hits like “The Italian Job” and earning an Oscar nomination for his supporting turn in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed.”

While she’s put acting on the back burner for years (save for a turn in the 2010 misfire “Burlesque”), Cher is arguably at the top of the heap when it comes to singers-turned-actors. After tearing up the ’60s and ’70s with hits like “Half-breed,” “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” and “Dark Lady,” Cher’s music career hit a rough patch (one it would go on to recover from again and again and again), so she decided to try something new in the ’80s and headed into the acting game. As it turned out, she was far better at it than anyone expected, earning an Oscar for her turn in “Moonstruck” and a nomination for “Silkwood” (she should have been nominated for “Mask” as well, if you ask us). She also starred in box office hits like “The Witches of Eastwick” and “Mermaids.”

Will Smith
Do we even need to explain this one. We mean, you know the story and he’s pretty much the biggest movie star in the world with two Oscar nominations and countless box office megahits under his belt.

Jennifer Hudson
Hudson became well-known for her astonishing voice as a contestant on “American Idol” but she proved that her pipes weren’t her only weapon. She could act too and scored an Oscar for her very first film, “Dreamgirls.” She’s gone on to scoop up accolades in both film and music, including a couple of Grammy Awards. With her obvious stage presence and ability to do just about anything, we have a feeling she could be a contender to join the EGOT society of performers who have won the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

Queen Latifah
Latifah was already a boundary-breaking figure in hip-hop when she caught the acting bug, starring in the hit sitcom “Living Single.” She continued to put out successful records as her acting career took her from the small screen to the big one. In short order she lined up a series of hits, including “Bringing Down the House,” “Beauty Shop,” “Hairspray” and “Chicago,” which snagged her an Oscar nomination.