Stage Fright: Celebrating the worst performances by musicians in recent films

 
 

Countless lists are made every day of the best movie roles filled by musicians, and lord knows we could fill up several lists of our favorite performances (here’s a deep cut and a hot take: we actually loved Norah Jones in Wong Kar-Wai’s My Blueberry Nights). But very few talk about the worst performances made by musicians in modern film.

With Sir Paul McCartney making an appearance in this Friday’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, we thought we’d gather up what we think are some pretty horrific film appearances made by famous musicians in the past 10 years or so.

From a dressed-down diva and an aged rock legend to “the king” and a CGI abomination, there’s proof that not everybody can make the transition to the silver screen.

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Alice Cooper, Dark Shadows

This was just a misguided adaptation of the goth classic soap opera to begin with. Tim Burton directing a cast featuring booze-weighted Johnny Depp and a bunch of other actors who were totally psyched to be working with those two legends — how could it go wrong? But, midway through the film, as the wealthy and crazy Collins family is hosting a party, everybody’s favorite rockin’ Republican shows up and makes you totally forget how awesome his cameo is in Wayne’s World. Keep in mind that Cooper is supposed to be playing himself circa 1972, and it’s fantastically silly that he looks as withered as he is here. Hell, he hadn’t even met Mae West yet, and we’re supposed to think he’s that withered! It shows just how much Burton didn’t give a shit about the quality of this one.

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