Dazzling viewers takes talent. But the following eight actors somehow manage to do that and pursue legit paths as musicians — double threats, if you will. From Jared Leto's rock-star passion project to Mandy Moore's pop-star past, read about the musical lives of these MTV Movie & TV Award nominees, and find out if they'll take home the coveted Golden Popcorn when the show airs Sunday, May 7.
Mandy Moore (nominated for Best Actor in a Show, for This Is Us)
If you’re a true millennial, chances are your first introduction to Mandy Moore came around 1999. That was the year she broke onto the pop scene with her debut single “Candy,” a sugary ode to puppy love in the mold of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Moore made her film debut just a couple years later in The Princess Diaries, and has focused mostly on her acting career in the years since. She hasn’t released an album since 2009’s Amanda Leigh, but the This Is Us star recently said she’s considering a return to music.
Jared Leto (nominated for Best Villain, for Suicide Squad)
He’s made us swoon in My So-Called Life, sob in Dallas Buyers Club, and squirm in Suicide Squad, but Jared Leto also makes fans rock out with his alternative/electronica band, Thirty Seconds to Mars. He formed the group in 1998 with his brother Shannon, and they’ve since released four albums, the latest being 2013’s Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams.
Donald Glover (nominated for Best Actor in a Show, for Atlanta)
A true Renaissance man, Donald Glover — the creator, star, writer, and executive producer of the hit FX series Atlanta — began a rap career as Childish Gambino in 2008. His “hipster” version of hip-hop was considered an acquired taste at first, but he finally broke big in 2013 with his second, Grammy-nominated album, Because the Internet. Gambino returned last year with "Awaken, My Love!", which found him leaving rap in favor of trippy funk rock that’s equal parts James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and Pink Floyd.
Hailee Steinfeld (nominated for Best Actor in a Movie for The Edge of Seventeen)
Hailee Steinfeld rose to fame as an actress with films like True Grit and Ender’s Game, but it was her role in Pitch Perfect that transformed her into a pop star. She recorded the Jesse J–penned tune “Flashlight” for the blockbuster sequel, which subsequently scored her a record deal in 2015. Her debut single “Love Myself” and the EP Haiz followed later that year, and she’s since collaborated with DNCE, Zedd, and Machine Gun Kelly — all while continuing to shine on the big screen. Steinfeld returned last month with a brand-new solo single, “Most Girls,” and it looks like we’ll be hearing plenty more from her soon.
Riz Ahmed (nominated for Next Generation)
Not only did Riz Ahmed rack up a ton of major acting credits in 2016 — The Night Of, Jason Bourne, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — he also dropped a fire mixtape called Englistan. The British actor has been rapping as Riz MC for more than a decade and he also makes up one-half of the duo Swet Shop Boys. Riz and NYC rapper Heems dropped the full-length album Cashmere last year and played a little festival called Coachella last month.
Kristian Nairn (nominated for Tearjerker, for Game of Thrones)
Kristian Nairn's Hodor got a real hero’s ending on the latest season of Game of Thrones (R.I.P.), and now that he no longer has to lug Bran around, he can get back to being a badass in real life. The Irish actor has been a DJ for over 20 years, playing mostly progressive house and EDM. In 2014, he kicked off the massive tour, Rave of Thrones, meshing his two worlds and making GoT fans all over the world dance their faces off.
RuPaul (nominated for Best Host, for RuPaul’s Drag Race)
Long before RuPaul taught us how to sashay away on the Emmy-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race, he broke big as a musician with the hit “Supermodel (You Better Work).” That ultra-catchy bop landed on his debut dance album, 1993’s Supermodel of the World, and he’s since released 13 (13!!!) more solo albums, the latest being this year’s American.
Grant Gustin (nominated for Best Hero, for The Flash)
Before he was cast as the Scarlet Speedster, Grant Gustin attended the BFA music theater program at Elon University, and eventually left school to star in a Broadway revival tour of West Side Story. He scored his big break in 2011, when he was cast on Glee as the promiscuous and dastardly (but also mega-talented) Sebastian. Nowadays, he kicks ass as Barry Allen on The Flash, but hasn’t left his theater background behind — he recently showed off his singing chops in a magical musical crossover episode of The Flash and Supergirl.
Be sure to tune in to the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards on Sunday, May 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. And check MTV News for all your updates on the big show.