From action flicks like the "X-Men" franchise to musicals like "Les Misérables," Australian actor Hugh Jackman has proven he can tackle any character in any genre of film. Most recently in 2017, Hugh slipped back into singing-and-dancing mode to portray circus founder P.T. Barnum in the biographical musical "The Greatest Showman." In honor of the movie star and Broadway actor's 51st birthday on Oct. 12, 2019, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at more action stars who've shown off their talents in movie musicals. Keep reading for more…
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Recognize the ripped rocker in this pic? It's none other than Tom Cruise, who's made billions at the box office playing superspy Ethan Hunt in the action-packed "Mission: Impossible" film franchise. But in 2012, Tom took on the role of Stacee Jaxx — an unreliable rock star — in the musical comedy "Rock of Ages," which co-starred Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta. As for questions about whether or not Tom actually sang in the film? The answer is yes, with the help of five-hour-a-day voice lessons and a little Auto-tune.
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"Captain Marvel" star Brie Larson might play one of the most powerful women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but did you know she also appeared in a romantic musical called "Basmati Blues" alongside Utkarsh Ambudkar? Brie starred in the 2017 film as Linda, a scientist who's sent to India to sell genetically modified rice to farmers and ends up (of course) falling in love. As an homage to Bollywood, the musical combines singing, dancing and sweeping scenescapes of the Indian subcontinent.
We know Gerard Butler from his many action films like "300," "Law Abiding Citizen" and "Geostorm," but do you remember when he took on the lead role in the 2004 film adaptation of "The Phantom of the Opera"? As the masked titular character, the Scottish actor surprised us with his vocals as he belted out raw and emotional tunes like "The Music of the Night" and "The Mirror."
Dwayne Johnson has been an action movie star since he headlined 2002's "The Scorpion King." But after joining the "Fast & Furious" franchise and making even more physically demanding adventure flicks, he switched gears and sang his heart out playing demigod Maui in "Moana," Disney's 2016 animated musical.
British actress Emily Blunt's action-movie resume includes films like "Looper," "Sicario," "Edge of Tomorrow" and "Wild Target." But it's her work in musicals like 2014's "Into the Woods" and 2018's "Mary Poppins Returns" (seen here) that left us singing. Both roles earned Emily Golden Globe nominations and proved she can carry a tune just as beautifully as she can pull off a fight scene.
Chris Pine helped save the world as a heroic pilot in "Wonder Woman," stopped a runaway train in the thriller "Unstoppable," rebooted the titular CIA spy in "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" and led dangerous missions as Captain James T. Kirk in the updated "Star Trek" film franchise. But he also showed off his vocal chops — he can more than carry a tune — when he played Cinderella's Prince opposite Anna Kendrick in the 2014 movie musical "Into the Woods."
From "Bad Boys" to "Independence Day" and so many more, Will Smith has carved out a niche in Hollywood as a top action star. That's why we loved the onetime rapper's 180-degree flip for the role of Genie in the 2019 Disney musical "Aladdin." Spoiler alert: Will sings "Prince Ali" in the movie and now we'll never get that tune out of our heads.
The cute guy in the center of this pic is none other than Ansel Elgort in a scene from his upcoming musical debut in Steven Spielberg's 2020 remake of "West Side Story." Before Ansel landed the role of Tony in the film, he made us swoon in action flicks like "Baby Driver" (co-starring another guy on this list — Jamie Foxx!), "Divergent" and its sequel, "Insurgent."
It makes perfect sense that Grammy- and Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx would star in a movie musical. Though he's known for his work in action films like "Collateral," "Baby Driver," "Sleepless," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "Law Abiding Citizen," Jamie happens to have an incredible singing voice. In 2006, he wowed us all with his smooth vocals when he played Curtis Taylor Jr. in the Academy Award-winning musical "Dreamgirls" alongside Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy. Although this film is considered fiction, it's also loosely based on the early career of the musical group The Supremes and Jamie's character, Curtis, was reportedly based on Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.
While there will never be a role more perfect for Uma Thurman than that of assassin Beatrix "The Bride" Kiddo in the action-crime thrillers "Kill Bill: Volume 1" and its sequel, we have special reverence for her work as Swedish actress Ulla in the musical comedy "The Producers." The 2005 film allowed Uma to strut her stuff as a blonde bombshell willing to do anything to to get a part in the play "Springtime for Hitler."
Pierce Brosnan played Sam in the musicals "Mamma Mia!" and "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again." Prior to his foray into the world of musical movies, Pierce spent several years as an action star, taking on the coveted role of James Bond in the 007 films "Tomorrow Never Dies," "The World is Not Enough" and "Goldeneye."
Scottish actor Ewan McGregor has several adrenaline-pumping films under his belt including "Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace" and its two sequels, "The Island" and "Son of a Gun." Of course, he also took a melodic turn in the 2001 musical drama "Moulin Rouge!" in which he played a poet named Christian who falls madly in love with a singing courtesan.
It was a refreshing change of pace to see Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper headline one of the biggest music films of 2018 as Jack, a musician struggling with addiction, in "A Star is Born," which he also directed. Bradley really sold himself as a singer and completely made us forget that he's the same guy who also played Navy S.E.A.L. Chris Kyle in the Academy Award-winning biopic "American Sniper" and Templeton "Face" Peck in "The A Team."
We're basically in full freak-out mode after learning that "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw," "Thor" and "Star Trek" franchise actor Idris Elba is starring in a musical! The handsome Brit returns to the big screen on Dec. 20, 2019, in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical "Cats." In the movie, Idris plays Macavity — a feline character based on Sherlock Holmes' No. 1 nemesis, Dr. Moriarty.
Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling might not be the first guy who comes to mind when you think action star, but he has several flicks on his resume including "Blade Runner 2049," "The Nice Guys," "Gangster Squad," "Drive" and "Only God Forgives" that show he's definitely got what it takes to keep us on the edge of our seats. Of course, that made his performance as Sebastian in the Academy Award-winning musical "La La Land" even more impressive. The film, which features Ryan singing and dancing like a modern-day Fred Astaire, led his co-star, Emma Stone, to her first Oscar win.
We're just going to say it: Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe — who's known for his action and dramatic films, such as 2000's "Gladiator" — should definitely not make any more musicals. His turn as obsessive police inspector Javert in the 2012 musical "Les Misérables" was hard to watch at times, but only because the poor guy can't sing. Fortunately, Russell's strengths as an actor helped carry him through, helping him deliver a powerful, complex character representation of one of the biggest villains in this iconic musical.
Christian Bale was still a teenager when he sang and danced his way through the Disney musical film "Newsies" in 1992. He grew up to become not only an Oscar nominee (and winner) for his dramatic portrayals of troubled or brilliant men but a certified action star thanks to his physically demanding performances in movies like the "Dark Knight" trilogy, "Terminator: Salvation," "Exodus: Gods and Kings" and more.
We actually love John Travolta in musicals. To date, one of his biggest film achievements is the 1978 musical "Grease," which cannot and should not ever be remade because it's perfect. However, when John decided to play Edna Turnblad in the 2007 musical adaptation of "Hairspray," we didn't have the same reaction. Traditionally, Edna was a drag queen, so John's interpretation of her — as a woman — ruffled some feathers. Controversy aside, John's at his best when he's in action films like "The Taking of Pelham 123," "The Punisher" or, of course, in musicals like "Grease."
We first fell in love with Welsh actor Taron Egerton when he played Eggsy in the action flicks "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and "Kingsman: The Golden Circle." However, 2019 gave us an all new way to look at this talented star thanks to his role as iconic musician Elton John in the musical biopic "Rocketman." Aside from delivering a powerful performance, Taron also sang in the film. In fact, Elton himself complimented Taron's rendition of "I'm Still Standing." As if that weren't enough, Elton and Taron actually performed together at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, which is probably the biggest stamp of approval any legendary star can give an actor who plays him.
Although Johnny Depp's fallen off his Hollywood throne in recent years, there's no denying his success as a top-grossing action star. The star is best known for his work as Captain Jack Sparrow in the adventurous "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise, but Johnny took a magnificent turn as the lead in the 2007 musical "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," in which he sang songs like "A Little Priest" and "Epiphany" with such incredible passion and flair, he was nominated for a best actor Oscar.