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Top 12: Movie stars that you didn't know could sing



Not only does Kate Winslet have an Oscar, she's had a No 1 single too

Not only does Kate Winslet have an Oscar, she's had a No 1 single too

Gwyneth Paltrow, as the perkily named Holly Holliday, sang in the hit TV show Glee

Gwyneth Paltrow, as the perkily named Holly Holliday, sang in the hit TV show Glee


Not only does Kate Winslet have an Oscar, she's had a No 1 single too

We're not talking about singers who have transitioned into acting, like Jennifer Lopez. Nor the actors with successful side careers in bands, such as Jared Leto or Zooey Deschanel. Or even those who frequent big-screen musicals: Meryl Streep, Renée Zellweger and Hugh Jackman, etc. No, these are the talented actors with a musical secret weapon up their sleeves.  Rory Cashin counts them down....


You might think back to the time he was confessing his love via song in Top Gun, but the real evidence of the Cruiser's singing ability can actually be found in flop musical Rock Of Ages. While it crashed and burned critically and commercially, Cruise found a way through the wreckage thanks to his searing performance as Stacee Jaxx, and his multiple appearances on the movie's much-better soundtrack.


As she won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance as June Carter in Walk The Line, you might already have an indication that Witherspoon can sing. But in that case, it was more of an impersonation, and the real hidden talents can be discovered in the fantastic animated movie Sing, in which she voices a pig named Rosita, and brings the roof down with her performance of Taylor Swift's Shake It Off.


Another awful film is hiding some great talent from the world. I Saw The Light was a boring and lacklustre biopic about country-music legend Hank Williams, but there is no detracting from Hiddleston's performance, and his singing abilities. Unfortunately, though, the reception of this one was so bad it could potentially stop Hiddleston from ever testing his high notes again.


The youngest entry on this list. Don't worry if you don't know of Feldstein (sister to Jonah Hill), because she is sure to have a long, storied career. Even in the small number of entries on her CV to date, she has left a huge impression - What We Do In The Shadows, Booksmart, Neighbours 2 - and she has already shown off her singing talents in Lady Bird with Saoirse Ronan, which then netted her the lead role in Hello, Dolly! on Broadway.


There are probably two groups of people who know that Clint can sing, and they're likely to be separated by about three decades. The first group remembers his lovelorn prospector 'talking to the trees' in 1969 musical Paint Your Wagon. For the rest, it's the 2008 dark drama Gran Torino, in which he sings the closing credits song about... his car. Either way, Clint definitely has some late-in-the-day Johnny Cash elements to his voice.

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Gwyneth Paltrow, as the perkily named Holly Holliday, sang in the hit TV show Glee

Gwyneth Paltrow, as the perkily named Holly Holliday, sang in the hit TV show Glee

Gwyneth Paltrow, as the perkily named Holly Holliday, sang in the hit TV show Glee



There was a run earlier in her career when the queen of Goop was all about merging acting and singing. She appeared in several episodes of the hit TV show Glee as Holly Holliday, and got everyone's attention with her rendition of CeeLo Green's Forget You, which was used as a sort of free publicity for her upcoming musical-drama movie, Country Strong. There was also Duets, another musical drama, in which she duetted with Huey Lewis and Babyface!


If you've ever seen (500) Days of Summer, then you already know that JGL can sing, as he attacks that karaoke mic with gusto.But to properly uncover the depths of his talents, you have to look up the many, MANY YouTube videos of Joseph singing hit songs while killing time at home. How nobody in Hollywood has snapped him up to put him in a proper musical yet is beyond us.


Unlike some of the other entries on this list, Knightley's one big outing as a singer was greeted with very positive reviews and decent box office, so it is surprising that she hasn't returned to it since. Begin Again, written and directed by John Carney, the man behind Once and Sing Street, has Knightley on the soundtrack singing alongside Adam Levine and CeeLo Green, and she more than holds her own.


Before he made it to the big time, Oscar Isaac was lead singer for a ska band, and was a member of more musical outfits before the acting side of his career took over. It wasn't until his performance in the Coen brothers' hit drama Inside Llewyn Davis that the world at large was made aware of his lovely singing voice - yes, that is actually him singing in that movie - so maybe once he's done being in Every Blockbuster Ever, we'll get to see him stretch those cords again.


Considering she began her career in musical theatre - including playing the title role of Annie on Broadway - it is a surprise we don't get more of SJP singing in the acting side of her career. The 2018 movie Here and Now was bad, but it proved SJP can still knock it out of the vocal park when she wants to. With the Sex and the City revival confirmed, maybe we'll finally get to see her take on a big musical number? Oh, the thoughts of Carrie Bradshaw belting out New York, New York…


As if being the acting heartthrob he so quickly became during the Twilight years wasn't enough, he also had some songs on the movie's soundtrack, which goes some way to explain how his popularity practically knocked the world off of its axis. Since then, he seems to have only kept his musical abilities for the smaller movies - How To Be, Damsel and High Life all feature R-Patz on the soundtrack. Sadly, it seems unlikely he'll provide the new theme song for the new Batman movie.


Did you know that Kate Winslet had a No 1 single? Written and produced by Steve Mac and Wayne Hector - the guys behind the majority of Westlife's songs - What If went to the top of the charts in Ireland (and several other countries), accompanying the soundtrack to 2001's Christmas Carol movie, in which Winslet co-starred with Nicolas Cage. She hasn't released any other music before or since, and hasn't sung in a movie since then (as far as we can remember) either. It isn't as if her career has been left wanting - seven Oscar nominations and one win to date - but it would be a shame if Kate didn't find herself in a musical. A new take on Titanic, perhaps?

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