I watched the video of Bill Nighy doing a cameo appearance on the track ‘Free’ by Florence and the Machine. And I challenged myself to come up with 10 actors who have appeared in music videos. As a keen fan of music I knew I could rise to the challenge!
10 Actors Who Have Appeared In Music Videos
Let’s start with the video that started me on this quest.
Great vocals and dramatic video (as always) from Florence and The Machine in the video dedicated to the Ukraine, ‘Free’ (2022). In this one Florence plays herself and Bill Nighy plays her anxiety. A great concept.
Here is my personal choice of 10 actors who have appeared in music videos, in no particular order. These are ones that I remember watching and had an impact – not all good by the way. They are a mix of UK and American actors.
1. Sir Ian McKellan
Not one but two videos have had cameos by Sir Ian McKellan. Most recently he appeared in ‘Listen To The Man’ (2014) by George Ezra. But my favorite is his appearance in ‘Heart’ (2003 Digital Remaster) by The Pet Shop Boys (one of my painting music favorites). He plays this alternately creepy and groovy vampire! Check it out.
2. Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman appeared in two videos with Texas. In the most recent, ‘Start A Family’ (2015) he actually speaks and sings – his voice has always had the ability to make me go weak at the knees! So I am surprised to report that my preferred video is actually ‘In Demand’ (2000). Great twist at the end.
3. Hugh Laurie
Hugh Laurie has also made cameos in two music videos that I can remember. The most recent is with Annie Lennox in ‘Walking On Broken Glass’ (1992). But my favorite by far is much older, with Kate Bush, ‘Experiment IV’ (1986) where he starred with several other actors – Dawn French, Del Palmer Peter Vaughan, Richard Vernon. Great sound and great story.
4. Eddie Murphy
I remember the first time I saw Eddie Murphy and Iman in the (long) video for ‘Remember The Time’ with Michael Jackson. Confession time, music is great, didn’t like the video. See what you think.
5. Christopher Walken
A cameo in Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Weapon of Choice’ (2001) was incredible casting for Christopher Walken who originally trained as a dancer. But, first let me point out that Fat Boy Slim comes from Brighton – as a Brighton girl I am delighted to include one of his videos in my list. What can I say, just sit back and enjoy!
6. Robert Downey Jr
All recorded in one take, Robert Downey Jr’s appearance in the Elton John music video ‘I Want Love’ (2001) is a tour de force.
7. Chevy Chase
This is an oldie but goody! Chevy Chase stars with Paul Simon in his music video ‘You Can Call Me Al’ (1986). A real foot tapper and such fun!!! Watch and enjoy!
8. Diana Dors
Another rousing dance piece by Adam And The Ants. I confess two things. One I have danced this dance on many an occasion and two, I dressed as Adam Ant at a fancy dress party. But I digress. ‘Prince Charming’ (1981) features Diana Dors as a fairy godmother. Great fun!
9. Robin Williams
‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ (1988) by Bobby McFerrin is an amazing a cappella song that really has the feel good factor. And the music video features Robin Williams along with Bill Irwin.
10. Donald Sutherland
Final confession (for this blog post anyway). I am a Kate Bush fan! So I had to include her music video ‘Cloudbusting’ (1985) featuring Donald Sutherland. Anther combination of a great story and great music.
I hope I have introduced you to some new videos with actor cameos. If I had to boil the list down to favorites they would be ‘Experiment IV’ with Hugh Laurie, ‘Weapon of Choice’ with Christopher Walken and You Can Call Me All with ‘Chevy Chase’. Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!