Renner joins a long line of thesps trying to make a move to the world of music
Jeremy Renner has realised what we always knew: everybody is in love with actors, constantly, but especially when they’re not acting in movies, doing that thing they do in their downtime where they grow their hair out and can’t seem to dress themselves. That’s why this month he’s ambled down the sadly furrowed path from screen to music, and released the first of a threatened many singles, Heaven Don’t Have a Name, a “rock reworking” of the dance number he featured on to zero acclaim last year, Heaven (Don’t Have a Name).
But how to sum up a song by a 48-year-old man known for playing Hawkeye in the Avengers universe? Well he sounds like he would have done really well in the auditions round of The X Factor 10 years ago, before missing out narrowly on making the live shows in the Overs category to Jamie Afro. That’s what he sounds like. Renner is not the first actor to decide he is charismatic and talented enough to do singing as well, nor will he be the last: in fact, it’s such a robust trend we can sort actor–singers into four distinct categories, thusly …
Actors first, singers second, the talent pronounced and appreciated by all whom it touches: this is basically just Hugh Jackman, really, but also encompasses Jamie Foxx, Nicole Kidman, Party All the Time-era Eddie Murphy, Zooey Deschanel (the music she does is good but the ukelele covers she has inspired are very bad). The exemplar of this form, the actor–singer to end all other actor–singers, is Bradley Walsh.
These are the actors who are “in a band” as a hobby, like your brother after the Christmas he got a guitar, but due to their real-world fame sometimes the horrors they produce bubble up and become mainstream. I am mainly talking about Johnny Depp, but it also includes Keanu Reeves, Russell Crowe and controversial casting’s Scarlett Johansson.
Rare, but Disney had a good line in them in the mid-aughts: Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron and pre-ankle tag Lindsay Lohan. And Cher, but Disney doesn’t own Cher, does it? That would be carnage.
Sort of don’t count, really, because they only ever appear in one film, and it’s almost always a remake of A Star Is Born. But for further context, think Christina Aguilera in Burlesque. Exactly: fine once, but you never want to have to see her try to act again. It is almost as if they’re entirely different vocations and crossover between the two of them should never be attempted, ever. Almost!