From stage to screen: do singers belong in movies?


Photo provided by: Avery Ranum

One of the most recent movies to feature a big-time star of the music world in its cast, ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ generated some controversy with the casting of singing phenom Harry Styles in one of the leading roles. Despite the skepticism from certain audience members regarding Styles’ acting ability, the movie garnered lots of publicity and earned $19 million at the U.S. box office for its opening weekend.

Annaliese Long, Features/Entertainment/Opinions/News Editor

There seems to be a phenomenon spreading throughout Hollywood where no one can settle for one kind of stardom – if a celebrity has conquered one realm of the entertainment industry, they must conquer them all. Arguably the most frequently seen scenario of this kind is a successful singer beginning to venture into the world of movies, taking on starring roles in said movies with minimal prior acting experience. 

When it comes to singers who have followed this career path, artists such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and, recently, Harry Styles come to mind. All these artists started out their careers by recording music for several years and building up a strong fan base before eventually deciding to take on starring roles in Hollywood movies (“A Star is Born” for Gaga, “Dreamgirls” for Beyoncé and “Don’t Worry Darling” for Styles).

It would be easy to spew a negative opinion on these decisions and dismiss the granting of lead roles to immensely popular singers as a quick cash-grab attempt. However, I can’t in good conscience make that claim because doing so would indicate that none of these movies or performances have any real merit, which is not true. Each of these movies stand on their own as respectable projects that exceed the shadow of their leading actor, and none of these performances come across as lazy or uncaring. 

Of course, there is a certain sense of unfairness to be found within these kinds of situations. For anyone beginning in the industry, there are many challenges and uphill battles to be faced, from getting your name out there to landing roles that will earn you more recognition. It certainly can’t be encouraging to any of these aspiring actors when they see other people being given roles that will undoubtedly get significant attention and success simply because they are already famous. Regardless, it is still my belief that anyone who has a passion and desire to be involved in the making of a movie should be allowed to, whether they are already famous or not. 

Money is undoubtedly a motivating factor behind the decision to cast singers in big-budget movies – there is no denying that. But, the way I see it is that as long as the actors that are cast take their job seriously, put in the work to hone their craft, and churn out solid performances, there is no real issue behind casting singers in movies.