DON'T GIVE UP YOUR DAY JOB: Five actors whose musical ambitions should have never been indulged.
5. William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk)
The Canadian actor best known for his definitive role as Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek series went a little loco in the late-‘60s, combining his acting chops with a spoken-word singing career that included classic covers of Lucy in Sky with Diamonds and Rocket Man.
Shatner cashed in on his early notoriety by teaming with various indie acts in the late-1990s, and even released an LP with Ben Folds in 2006, which later became the basis of a rock-opera known as Gonzo Ballet.
Of our five pretenders to the title, Shatner should arguably be the least embarrassed by his latter-day musical exploits.
4. Stefan Dennis (aka Paul Robinson from Neighbours)
Kylie, Jason… Stefan? Just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? Dennis’ short-lived musical career followed in the footsteps of Neighbours alumni Kylie Minogue et al, but fell short by a fair margin.
If ever there was an excuse for adopting a stage persona, Dennis should have bagged it.
Yet, while a man can’t help the name he’s born with, he can help recording Don’t it make you feel good. If you ever needed proof regarding Stefan’s questionable acting talents, do yourself a favour and check out the accompanying classic 1980s film clip. Or don’t.
3. Russell Crowe (aka Russ Le Roq)
Long before his star-making turn as Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator, Russell Crowe was a struggling musician living in New Zealand, better known as Russ Le Roq (we kid you not). His one and only single was the forebodingly titled I want to be like Marlon Brando (if giving way to mainstream mediocrity and the middle age spread was the goal then he surely succeeded).
Once Crowe became famous, he embarked on a diabolical musical vanity project known as 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. Things only got worse for Rusty (and the general public) when the actor confirmed he was ditching the Grunts to go solo in 2005.
Think The Office’s David Brent singing Freelove Freeway and you’ve got some idea of where Crowe is heading. God help us.
(BTW - for an Oscar winning actor, he's rubbish in this clip).
2. David Hasselhoff (aka The Hoff)
A controversial selection this one, given the Hoff’s massive popularity in Germany and various former Soviet bloc terrritories.
Ironically, while his personal life has spiralled out of control in recent years (try YouTubing ‘Drunken Hoff’s shirtless, Wendy’s burger-eating antics in Las Vegas’ to see what we mean), Hasselhoff has managed to assuage some public sympathy, tagging a bumbling demeanour to a masterful penchant for self-parody.
He has also managed to cash in on his growing notoriety, most recently via the stageshow, David Hasselhoff: The Musical.
“It sounds like a bad joke, but it is really going to be a good show…totally campy,” he said of the musical. Touche.
1. Joaquin Phoenix (aka Bum Rap)
Various explanations have been put forward regarding Phoenix’s transformation from A-list actor to mumbling and bearded folk-rapper, the least convincing of which is that it’s all an act and the joke is on us.
Given his shambolic public appearances and the fact he’s recruited Sean Puff Daddy Combs as his manager, we’re thinking the joke is actually on him. Can’t wait for his inevitable duet with old mate Russell Crowe. Can you imagine?