Earlier this week, news came out that John Wick and Matrix star Keanu Reeves is bringing back his grunge band Dogstar. After two decades of the band being broken up, it’s going to be awesome to hear what new music they have to share.
Acting is already an immersive artistic experience, so to have the ability to act in movies and perform in a band is incredible. But Reeves isn’t the only actor with this talent, for there are other actors who have also performed in bands.
With that in mind, we did some research and compiled a list of 10 Hollywood actors who have performed in bands.
Of course, we have to shout out Jack Black. When he isn’t starring in a Star Wars show or voicing Mario’s nemesis Bowser, Black rocks out alongside Kyle Gass in Tenacious D. Some months ago, the band teased that they are working on new music, so here’s hoping we get to hear those tunes soon.
Jada Pinkett Smith – Wicked Wisdom
Back in the day, the Matrix, Gotham, and Menace II Society star fronted a nu-metal band called Wicked Wisdom. In 2005, Sharon Osbourne saw Wicked Wisdom perform and was amazed by them; this inspired Osbourne to invite Jada Pinkett Smith and the band to play Ozzfest 2005. It would be awesome if Smith ever decided to bring the band back, but it’s also great to see her daughter Willow following in similar footsteps.
Vera Farmiga – as part of The Rock Academy’s band
The Conjuring and Godzilla actor has made quite an impression on the metal community. When not acting, Vera Farmiga teams up with the Rock Academy’s band and performs with them, sometimes covering heavy metal classics. Farmiga has covered an Iron Maiden song, a Black Sabbath track, and more recently, Slipknot‘s “Duality.” Maybe Farmiga should consider making a metal covers album.
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Ryan Gosling – Dead Man’s Bones
Along with his amazing performances in Drive, Blade Runner 2049, and Barbie – we know that movie is going to be a classic – Ryan Gosling also has a band. Dead Man’s Bones is a rock/darkwave act that has, at the time of this writing, released one studio album. Wildly enough, that album, which featured a children’s choir, actually inspired Behemoth to use a children’s choir on one of their albums.
Keir Gilchrist – Whelm & Phalanx
Among Keir Gilchrist’s various movie and TV roles, he is most well known for his role in the cult horror classic It Follows. That said, outside of acting, Gilchrist has fronted a couple of metal bands. Between his work in the grind act Whelm and the death metal band Phalanx, Gilchrist sure does have a love for extreme music.
Michael Cera – Mister Heavenly
The Scott Pilgrim actor once toured with the indie rock band Mister Heavenly and played bass for them. While Michael Cera may play awkward characters in some cinematic projects, the actor is not shy at all about rocking out on stage with a band.
Joe Keery – Post Animal
That’s right folks, Stranger Things‘ Joe Keery (who plays Steve in the show) used to be in a band. Post Animal is a psychedelic garage rock band that has three studio albums, their most recent being 2022’s Love Gibberish. When Keery was in Post Animal, he used to contribute drums and guitar parts to the band’s music.
Michael Shannon – Corporal
If you are interested in more laid-back music that embraces a folky sound, then you should check out Michael Shannon’s Corporal. Along with being one of the most brilliant actors working today, Shannon has a beautiful singing voice and is one hell of a guitar player.
Juliette Lewis – Juliette and The Licks
That said, if you want music with more of an upbeat energy to it, then you should tune in to Juliette Lewis’ Juliette and The Licks. Lewis’ band rocks big time – we dare you to listen to their song “Hot Kiss” and see how long you last before you start bobbing your head or dancing around the room.
Jamie Campbell Bower – Counterfeit
Yet another Stranger Things actor makes the list. Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the big bad Vecna in Stranger Things, used to be in a punk/hardcore band called Counterfeit. While the band only ever released one album and a handful of singles, their music was thrilling as hell. Fun side note, in preparing for his Stranger Things role, Bower listened to a lot of black metal.