Jeff Bridges has a new album. And no, it’s not what you’re thinking. Remember, this is the man who convincingly and Oscar-winningly played a country musician in “Crazy Heart.”Video: ‘Little Bit of Love’ for Jeff Bridges (on this page)
More evidence: the self-titled release arrives in stores thanks to respected Blue Note records, it’s produced by the impeccably tasteful T Bone Burnett and features appearances by singer-songwriter credibility machines Roseanne Cash and Sam Phillips. So get those William Shatner thoughts out of your head. Bridges will still probably always be more known for his acting, but this isn’t a joke.Story: Jeff Bridges is country solid on new album
Of course, the same cannot be said for every actor turned singer (or vice versa). Let's take a look.
Uses both acting and singing muscles with equal aggression, but chooses fewer hit film roles than hit singles. “Selena,” and her best film, Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight,” are notable exceptions, but have you seen “The Back Up Plan” or “Gigli?”
Stick To: Singing and being a surrogate mama to “American Idol” kids.
At the height of his 1980s powers, he released the Rick James-adjacent jam “Party All The Time” and it moved insane copies in spite of how bad it really was. Since then he’s only had serious opportunity to prove his vocal abilities in the movie “Dreamgirls.”
Stick To: Acting
Like no one else in recent memory, this Oscar winner has managed a complete 180-degree image makeover from humorlessly chilly to loose, funky “Glee” MVP, selling the PG edit of that Cee-Lo song with the unrepeatable name and killing at hilariously impersonating historical figures like Wallis Simpson.
Stick To: Whatever she wants. The woman has a cookbook now, too.
He’s grown up on screen and we’ve followed every step he’s taken. Except for those side trips to Bacon Brothers-land.
Stick To: Acting. Even when you’re miscast in an “X-Men” movie.
Who could have imagined that the young sex symbol/serious actor possessed a husky alto singing voice this compelling?
Stick To: Acting. But keep on surprising us with music from time to time, OK?
Yes, he put out two country CDs. He also sang a duet with Amy Grant over the closing credits of “The Postman.” You don’t want to know about any of this.
Stick To: Acting
He started out as a child variety show performer on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and sidestepped into pop stardom before returning to non-musical, mostly comedic, appearances in movies and TV. But he’s kind of great at both now so it’s not like leaving him off this list was even an option.
Stick To: Everything except a Paltrow-like cookbook.
He’s a comic. He’s an actor. He’s a singer. He’s a talk radio host. He has an Academy Award. He’s had a number one album. You know who else has accomplished that? Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Bing Crosby. And that’s it. And even they never had talk shows. So if you have something to say about this, make sure you mention that fact.
Stick To: Whatever he wants.
Dave White is the movies critic for movies.com.
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