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Top 10 ​Best Bands Featuring Movie Stars

VO: Matt Campbell

Script written by Q.V. Hough

Who said actors had to stick to the screen? Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors and Actresses with Bands. For this list, were focusing on working actors, which means that Taylor Momsen of “Gossip Girl” has been excluded given that she focuses more on music.

Special thanks to our users Warren Spencer for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Actors and Actresses with Bands

Who said actors had to stick to the screen? Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10Actors and Actresses with Bands.
For this list, were focusing on working actors, which means that Taylor Momsen of “Gossip Girl” has been excluded given that she focuses more on music. Also, Donald Glover of “Community” didn’t fit our criteria, as Childish Gambino is his stage name – not a band.And finally, we’re excluding artists like Carrie Brownstein, who was part of prominent band prior to her acting career.

#10: Juliette Lewis
Juliette and the Licks

As the daughter of Hollywood character actor Geoffrey Lewis, this future rocker emerged on the late 80s TV series “I Married Dora”.And less than five years later, Juliette Lewis earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in “Cape Fear”, but it was a Blondie concert that led her to music. With the 2004 release of … Like a Bolt of Lightning, Juliette and the Licks unleashed their gritty rock androll aesthetic, while a follow-up album produced the title-track hit “You’re Speaking My Language.” Although the band initially called it quits after three releases they earned fans such as Dave Grohl and managed to share stages with Queens of the Stone Age, Motorhead, and Chris Cornell.

#9: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Got a Girl

Some know her as a beloved scream queen of the 21st century, and some know her as Ramona Victoria Flowers from “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”. But it was the latter that first introduced Mary Elizabeth Winstead to composer Daniel Nakumura aka Dan the Automator. With an appreciation for French pop music, the duo collaborated together on a 2014 album entitled I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now. With Winstead's breathy, powerful vocals and the James Bond-like feel of the music, Got a Girl beautifully conveys a unique retro vibe, complemented by the leading lady’s grace and natural charisma.

#8: Toni Collette
Toni Collette and the Finish

Beginning her acting career in the early 90s, this Australian actress established herself with acclaimed performances in films such as “Muriel’s Wedding”. And considering her later roles in “The Sixth Sense” and “Little Miss Sunshine”, Toni Collette has become one of the most respected Hollywood actresses of her time. But in 2006, she developed a musical side project with husband Dave Galafassi called “Toni Collette & The Finish.” Ethereal and emotive, the group’s lone album captured the attention of Toni’s native Australia andbeyond, thus allowing the vocally rich actress to break the mold, so to speak.

#7: Kevin Bacon
The Bacon Brothers

Since Kevin Bacon's 1978 debut in “National Lampoon’s Animal House”, he’s essentially worked with everybody in the business, yet it’s a musical relationship with his own brother Michael that is often overlooked. Since 1995, The Bacon Brothers have been performing traditional country music infused with a jam band influence. And while their sound isn’t necessarily constructed for Top 40 radio, they’ve surpassed expectations with their brilliant style of play and lasting commitment to their brotherly love of music.

#6: Jason Schwartzman
Phantom Planet

By the time this offbeat comedic actor made his film debut in Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore”, he’d just secured a record deal for his band Phantom Planet. Formed in 1994, the group began playing L.A. gigs while the members were still in high school, ultimately releasing their landmark single “California” nearly a decade later. With Jason Schwartzman’s acting career in full bloom, he left Phantom Planet behind, but later formed his own solo project called Coconut Records, as heard in the opening of HBO’s “Bored to Death.” Withunbelievable timing, Schwartzman managed to became a rock star while simultaneously becoming a rock star of modern comedy.

#5: Steve Martin
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

First emerging on the scene in the early 70s, Steve Martin has since amassed a vast resume in comedy. But what you may not realize is that he’s also a serious banjo enthusiast. By developing his skill set with some help from John McEuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Martin’s comedic exercises have allowed for a demonstration of his musical talent, and with less pressure. But in 2009, Steve began a collaboration with the Steep Canyon Rangers, which led to a Grammy nomination for the 2012 release “Rare Bird Alert.” Decades after his last comedy album, Steve Martin remains a well-recognized performance artist, but for an entirely different genre.

#4: Ryan Gosling
Dead Man’s Bones

These days, this handsome actor has reached the Hollywood A-List, but he came to fame initially as a member of “The Mickey Mouse Club”. In fact, it’s been rumored that Ryan Gosling was actually a better singer than fellow mouseketeer Justin Timberlake. Whatever the case, though, Gosling returned to music in 2005, but with a slightly different vibe – a monster vibe. Forming Dead Man’s Boneswith pal Zach Shields, Gosling released one album, enlisting the help of the Silverlake Conservatory’s children’s choir. It’s not what one might’ve expected from the noted actor, but given Ryan’s dedication to the monster angle, Dead Man’s Bones managed to find their way to into the hearts of critics and fans alike!

#3: Zooey Deschanel
She & Him

You may not remember this endearing actress from her early role in “Almost Famous” or even from 2002’s “The New Guy”, but you likely know her as Jess Day from “New Girl”. However, Zooey Deschanel is also an accomplished musician as one half of the pop act “She & Him.” After years of performing in Los Angeles, she appeared on Coconut Record's album Nighttiming, which preceded her debut album alongside noted musician M. Ward. With an enchanting folk sound, the duo has produced a variety of albums, ranging from traditional releases to Christmas and even a cover album in 2014. All in all, She & Him is not just an interesting side project for Deschanel, but one that has earned serious critical acclaim and commercial success.

#2: Jack Black
Tenacious D

Theoretically, one might believe that this comedian developed his band through fame and fortune, but it’s the other way around. By 1994, Jack Black’s most notable role might’ve been as “Wasteland Scrap” in “Demolition Man”, yet he became a true guitar hero after forming Tenacious D alongside Kyle Gass. Even so, the group wouldn’t release an official album until 2001, this coming after the success of their self-titled HBO series of the late 90s. Demonstrating an obvious passion for music and a knack for lyrical poetry, Tenacious D has set themselves apart through performance bravado and pure artistry.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Billy Bob Thornton
The Boxmasters
Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson and the Nasty Delicious
Adrian Grenier
The Honey Brothers

#1: Jared Leto
Thirty Seconds to Mars

From a teen heartthrob on “My So-Called Life” to an Oscar winner for “Dallas Buyers Club,” this “Suicide Squad” star is undeniably a legit rock star as well. Formed in 1998 - one year before Jared Leto appeared in “Fight Club”, the group focused more on the music itself rather than fame or fortune, and eventually landed a record deal before releasing their debut album in 2002. Due to the assistance of legendary producer Bob Ezrin, Leto and company delivered a powerhouse debut, and they solidified their sound with2005’s A Beautiful Lie. Respected in both the movie and music industries, Jared Leto has successfully balanced both worlds.
So, do you agree with our selections? Who is your favorite actor or actress with a band? For more musical Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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