Watching Bradley Cooper sing while looking into Lady Gaga’s eyes in the 2018 film A Star is Born was a treat. Cooper held his own with his husky voice next to a phenomenal singer like Gaga in his directorial debut, and their duet Shallow was a musical collaboration that worked wonders.
Cooper, however, is not the only actor in Hollywood with a magical voice. Here are six other actors who have put their singing talent on display in their films.
Another extraordinary actor who delivered dreamy soundtracks in his films is Ryan Gosling. The first movie he sang in was Blue Valentine (2010), where he starred opposite Michelle Williams. The romantic drama surrounding the couple’s courtship, marriage and separation had Gosling write and perform some of the songs along with the band, Grizzly Bear. Strumming on his ukulele, Gosling sang You Always Hurt the One You Love, while Williams tap-danced in front of a store in the memorable scene from the film.
Gosling’s musical talent was further explored in La La Land (2016). He performed City of Stars as a solo as well as a duet with co-star Emma Stone. And together they performed A Lovely Night.
The Oscar-winning actress collaborated with pianist George Winston for their 1985 album, The Velveteen Rabbit.
The first film Streep sang in was the 1990 comedy-drama, Postcards from the Edge. She sang a number of songs in the film, including I’m Checkin’ Out with Canadian country rock band Blue Rodeo. In the musical comedy, A Prairie Home Companion (2006), she sang the songs Gold Watch and Chain, My Minnesota Home and Goodbye to My Mama. In the 2014 Disney movie, Into the Woods, she sang Stay with Me. The biopic Florence Foster Jenkins, about a New York heiress known for being a philanthropist with a terrible singing voice, had Streep go from singing terribly to singing flawlessly as the character dreamt of singing impeccably at an opera on her deathbed. In Mary Poppins Returns (2018), Streep sang Turning Turtle along with actress Emily Blunt. She also sang along with the ensemble cast of the 2020 musical comedy, The Prom, which is adapted from a Broadway musical of the same name.
The films where we get a good dose of Streep’s vocals are Mamma Mia! The Movie (2008) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018), where she performed many songs by the iconic band ABBA.
Music has been a major part of Johnny Depp’s career. Prior to acting, Depp was a guitarist and he has over the years collaborated with several bands and musicians. He played the guitar for the soundtrack of his 2000 film Chocolat.
The film where we got to hear Depp sing for the first time was Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). The dark drama musical has Depp sing alongside other stars like Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman. In Into the Woods, Depp sang Hello, Little Girl with actress Lilla Crawford.
With the much-publicised trial against his former wife Amber Heard now behind him, Depp has revived his musical career with the album 18, which was launched this year in collaboration with guitarist Jeff Beck.
The gruff and handsome King Leonidas from the movie 300 may not have broken into a musical when facing the Persians, but actor Gerard Butler has given some memorable musical performances with his dreamy deep voice. In the romantic drama musical, Phantom of the Opera (2004), Butler played The Phantom and exhibited his vocal range in a number of songs, including the breath-taking The Music of the Night.
He also playfully sang Mustang Sally in the romantic drama P.S. I Love You (2007), and his version of the song Galway Girl wooed us and Hilary Swank’s character in the film.
Kate Winslet, known for her role as Rose in Titanic, had a short musical number in her first film Heavenly Creatures (1994) where she sang Sono Andati, also popular as Juliet’s Aria. Winslet’s most memorable musical performance was in Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001), which was the animated adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel A Christmas Carol. Winslet sang the movie’s title song, What If, lending her powerful voice to the track and making it a classic.
His distinct voice and brand of comedy are not all that Will Ferrell brings to the table. The former Saturday Night Live cast member has shown his singing and songwriting genius in the title track of the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He sang Legendary Anchor Ron Burgundy Welcomes You to His Album: A Life, A Song in praise of his character in the film as well as the concluding track Ron Burgundy’s Sign Off. Ferrell also joined the rest of The Channel 4 News Team in the track Afternoon Delight.
Ferrell displayed his singing in the 2020 Netflix romantic comedy musical Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, where he played a musician aiming to win the coveted Eurovision Song Contest. Collaborating with musicians like Tiesto and My Marianne, Ferrell delivered haunting performances. His vocals enliven the quirky song Volcano Man and add a layer of depth to the song Husavik/My Hometown.