15 Actors/Actresses Who Starred In Popular Music VideosPublished on September 28, 2016. Updated November 10, 2019
Many a celebrity has crossed over their fame into other facets of the Hollywood machine and, while television and films go together perfectly, it is always fascinating to see music pulled into the mix. Obviously singers and bands have stardom all their own, but fans can’t get enough of it when big name acts line-up big name actors and actresses to star in their music videos. Several celebrities have even got their start by making cameos in music videos while other big stars have simply taking their acting skills to music videos while they were already well known actors, just helping the song and band’s popularity. A lot of entertaining music videos have become more movie-like and for that a lot of big celebrities have been enlisted; check out 15 of the best here.
15. Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis has made a lot of money as the quintessential action star in Hollywood and while he is definitely an iconic A-list actor, he had no problem lending his fame to the band Gorillaz for their “Stylo” music video in 2010. In typical Gorillaz fashion, there is a lot of weird stuff going on, but Willis just does what he is known best for –chasing and shooting the bad guy.
14. Sophia Bush
One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush is a great actress as all the show’s fans will tell you and she also does a great job as the lead in Passion Pit’s “Carried Away” music video from 2013. In the video Bush stars as one half of a dysfunctional couple who are going through good and bad times in their relationship.
13. Eddie Murphy
Back in 1992, Eddie Murphy was in the prime of his career coming off of the success of Beverly Hills Cop and what better way to gain further success than to star in a music video by none other than Michael Jackson? In Jackson’s “Remember the Time” video Murphy plays an Egyptian Pharaoh who has to find ways to entertain his “bored” queen. Of course, the only person capable of entertaining her is Michael Jackson.
12. Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone got on the Hollywood radar and officially became a teen idol after starring in the 1993 film The Crush. After winning two awards at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards for her role in the film, Silverstone’s star rose even more quickly when she was cast in not one, but three music videos, and most impressively they were all for the mega band Aerosmith. Silverstone appeared in “Cryin” first and then was cast in “Amazing” and “Crazy.” She also starred in “Amazing” alongside Jason London who many know from the hit film Dazed and Confused.
11. Scott Eastwood
After Scott Eastwood made a his presence known as the lead in 2015’s The Longest Ride, it was clear that there was another leading man claiming his place in Hollywood. As Eastwood’s resume and fanbase grew, not much could have been better to get him even more recognized than when Taylor Swift cast him as her lead for the music video for her single “Wildest Dreams.” While Swift is known for starring alongside a lot of hot men in her music videos, Eastwood is without a doubt the hottest and most famous.
10. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Enrique Iglesias was one of the biggest singers on the planet in the late ’90s and early 2000s, so it only made sense he hook-up with one of the hottest actresses at that time for the video for one of his biggest songs, “Hero.” For the video, Jennifer Love Hewitt was cast as Iglesias’ love interest in which Iglesias plays a criminal being chased by his enemies. The video also features another well known name, Mickey Rourke as one of the men trying to catch him.
9. Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox
The mashup of Eminem and Rihanna for the song “Love the Way You Lie” was huge for the music world and still stands as Eminem’s best-selling single. Understandably, they needed to make an impressive music video as well, enlisting British actor Dominic Monaghan as well as Megan Fox to star as the video’s main couple. Tackling the issue of domestic violence, the video was meant to be very powerful, something that heavily relied on the two actors according to the video’s director Joseph Khan. “We wanted to make a specific story about two people, Meg and Dom, not a video that was representative of all couples or all domestic violence situations […] I just want people just to be able to identify with the characters and recognize that they’ve seen relationships like this […] Megan was the key to this video.”
8. James Van Der Beek
James Van Der Beek. No matter what he does the actor will always be known best as Dawson Leery on the iconic teen drama Dawson’s Creek, but the actor definitely surprised many when he turned up in a music video by none other than Kesha. In “Blow” the actor stars as himself, a nemesis of Kesha’s, and the entire video is strange, yet funny, as the two even exchange words, “Well, well, well. If it isn’t James Van Der Douche,” she says and he replies with, “I don’t appreciate you slander-Beeking my name, Ke dollar sign ha.” Afterwards he explained why he agreed to be a part of the video, stating: “The pitch is, ‘Unicorns and lasers and a James Bond tuxedo?’ I just said, “Why not!?”
7. Robert Downey Jr.
Before Robert Downey Jr. made his way back to the peak of Hollywood fame as Iron Man in both his own franchise and the Avengers franchise, he was Robert Downey Jr. the drug addict. Fresh out of rehab, Downey Jr. began his climb to the top with one of his first roles being in the music video for Elton John’s “I Want Love.” The whole video was shot in a single-shot style by director Sam Taylor-Wood, the director of Fifty Shades of Grey, and follows Downey around an empty mansion as he lip-syncs to the song.
6. Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf has gone through a lot of changes personally and professionally after becoming known from his roles in Even Stevens and then Transformers. Probably his strangest acting role to date is in Sia’s “Elastic Heart” video in early 2015. The video shows LaBeouf along with young dancer Maddie Ziegler caged and positioned as animal-like, communicating only by movements and touch. As a result the video stirred up quite a bit of controversy from those saying it appears pedophilic. Sia defended her video by stating, “All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play these two warring ‘Sia’ self states. I apologize to those who feel triggered by ‘Elastic Heart.’ My intention was to create some emotional content, not to upset anybody.”
5. Scarlett Johansson
The boy bander gone rogue Justin Timberlake has had a phenomenal solo career and has been able to do much more with his music videos than many other artists. As such, he decided to produce his video for 2007’s “What Goes Around… Comes Around,” as a short movie. Including a lot more than just the song, with real dialogue and a story to tell, Timberlake and the director decided on using “real” actors, most notably Scarlett Johansson. The video was loved by fans and in 2007 won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction.
4. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie has been around Hollywood for a long time and, after her many accomplishments and famous major to Brad Pitt, many forget where she got her start and the answer is a Meat Loaf music video. In 1994, Jolie had only appeared in a few small projects before starring in the music video for “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through.” The video was directed by none other than Michael Bay who also directed two other Meat Loaf videos, and portrays Meat Loaf as a fortuneteller who helps a runway teenager (Jolie).
3. Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, Danny McBride
The Beastie Boys have been musical powerhouses for decades, so it is not surprising that it isn’t hard to persuade stars to appear in their musical videos. Unfortunately, the failing health of “MCA” (Adam Yauch) meant he could no longer appear in videos, so for 2011’s “Make Some Noise” the guys got Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, and Elijah Wood to portray Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock. The three party through out town and are joined by several other celebrity cameos including Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Ted Danson, Kristen Dunst, Orlando Bloom, Will Ferrell and more.
2. Rupert Grint
Musician Ed Sheeran and actor Rupert Grint have some things in common: they both have red hair, extremely successful careers and are both adorable. After many comparisons were made between the two, Sheeran decided to include Grint as the star of his “Lego House” video in 2011. At first it seems Grint is impersonating Sheeran but, as the video goes on, it is revealed that he is a mentally unstable stalker of the singer. Although Grint is internationally famous after portraying Ronald Weasley in the Harry Potter films, people still confuse him with the singer. “People think I’m Ed Sheeran. They compliment me on my music career and I just play along with it! It’s never too bad, you get the odd person staring at you but it’s pretty manageable.”
1. Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken. Absolutely no one saw this coming when the iconic actor starred in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” video. The video was directed by none other than Spike Jonze and was filmed in the lobby of the LA Hotel and features Walken dancing and jumping around to the music. What many people did not know was that Walken trained as a dancer before his successful acting career and he even won the award for Best Choreography at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. Walken later stated that he took the part as a chance to do “something different,” but mostly agreed to it because of the involvement of Jonze.