What is there to do over the holiday stretch when people are out of work, the industry goes somewhat quiet, and life simply plateaus for everybody for a couple of weeks? The answer is easy: binge watch television shows on Netflix!
I couldn’t be more guilty of that way to pass time and keep myself entertained, especially as of late, and I have become entirely too sucked into The CW’s Hart of Dixie. It has been during my stay in BlueBell, Alabama that I have seen cameos by some of our favorite country stars and former guests, including Danielle Bradbery (as herself), which made me think about those country artists who tried their hands at acting.
You may know about some of these singer-songwriter-musicians’ time in front of the camera, or you may learn something new here today. ‘Tis the beauty of the feature we like to call Country Music #CMchat’s 7 Quick Clicks. Tell your parents and teachers what an educational website this is; it’s the truth!
1. Laura Bell Bundy
I started with Laura for a few reasons. First and foremost, she is what caused me to write this article. For those who don’t watch Hart of Dixie, Laura had a recurring role on the show, and her character reminded me of the way she depicted Elle Woods on Broadway in Legally Blonde: The Musical. Yes, Laura is a former Broadway star too, having performed in shows such as Hairspray, Wicked, and the aforementioned musical adaptation of the Reese Witherspoon hit movie. This was all before she signed with Big Machine Label Group and became a full-fledged country artist. She was also in Jumanji, along side the late Robin Williams, as a child, and has starred in hit television shows such as Guiding Light, How I Met Your Mother, and Anger Management. If you haven’t taken time to fall in love with Laura’s debut album Achin’ and Shakin’, watch her in any of her roles, before and during her country music career, and you will fall in love with her and, therefore, find yourself head over heels for her music. This is truly a crossover sensation waiting to happen.
2. Carrie Underwood
While we are on the subject of live shows, not only has Carrie blown us away with her pipes, she has also attempted to win over some hearts through taking on roles on the big and small screens. Most notably, Carrie braved the role of Fraulein Maria in the live television remake of the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein award-winning musical The Sound of Music. While critics’ views on the first ever live television production ranged from positive to downright humiliating, one thing can be said for Carrie’s performance: it was brave and no one else on this planet could have sung the songs that Julie Andrews made parts of history. And, in other trivia, Carrie also had a role in Bethany Hamilton’s biographical flick Soul Surfer. I’ll refrain from making any inappropriate something in the water references and move on…
3. Tim McGraw
Once Tim was given a go at acting, Hollywood yelled “I like it, I love it! I want some more of it!” which is evident by Tim’s lengthy filmography credits to date. In fact, for as many albums as the Grammy Award winner has, he has just about that many roles in films. Perhaps the ones we are all most familiar with are Friday Night Lights, Flicka, Four Christmases, The Blind Side, and Country Strong, all of which were released in the first decade of the 2000’s, proving that Tim is a true professional at juggling movies, music, touring, and family. Watch Tim in any of these roles and you will find yourselves realizing that Mr. McGraw isn’t just a real good man and singer, he’s also a respectable actor.
4. Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers didn’t just sing a song called “The Gambler,” he acted in the television movies of the same name. In fact, the original The Gambler received such acclaim from critics and viewers that it garnered four sequels, much to the delight of fans. It appeared that Kenny then caught the acting bug, as his credits increased substantially following his success with the western film. As Kenny says, “you gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,” and it seems that Kenny’s acting career was a hand that was worth holding.
5. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton did far more than work 9-to-5 during the height of her career. While she was becoming one of the most renowned country artists of our generation, she was also working at The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, helping mend hearts while curling hair in a sleepy town in Steel Magnolias, showing us how the finer folks live in The Beverly Hillbillies, and making guest appearances on hit shows like Designing Women, The Simpsons, Reba, and Hannah Montana. And while Dolly has been nominated for (and won) several Grammy Awards, her nominations list far exceeds musical acknowledgments. Dolly has also been nominated for Golden Globes, Primetime Emmys, and CableACE Awards; all for her acting skills. While Dolly’s original intent might have been just “travelin’ thru” as an actress, she solidified her place in history as a noteworthy one, indeed.
6. Billy Ray Cyrus
If you have read this far into this post, it is time I come clean about something rather embarrassing. If you have read this far into this post, you deserve a good laugh at my expense, so it’s only right for me to share this. . . . I LOVE Hannah Montana. The show, the movie; if either came on today, I would unplug my computer, put my phone on silent, and enjoy myself some mediocre acting and pure silliness. With that being said, Billy Ray Cyrus mended his achy, breaky heart and was adopted into the Disney family to play the realistic role of father to Miley Stewart, who was played by his real-life daughter, Miley Cyrus (previously named Destiny, but that is a story for another day). While he dabbled in other roles from time to time, it was the role of washed up singer Robby Ray for which he is best known. Once he became everyone’s favorite Disney father, it was clear that Billy Ray’s career had been jumpstarted once again and he returned to music as well. I think it’s safe to say that his catapult into the spotlight ensured that he would have the best of both worlds.
7. Clint Black
What greater way to be killin’ time than to give another entertainment genre a try? That must have been country legend Clint Black’s state of mind when he decided it was time to take a short hiatus from music and give some acting roles a whirl. Clint’s most memorable on-screen affiliation is likely the mid-nineties film Maverick, but that is not where the buck stopped for the man with the staple cowboy hat. In fact, Clint danced between television and film, receiving acting credits on shows such as Kelly Ripa’s Hope and Faith, King of the Hill, and The Larry Sanders Show. However, Clint’s love for country music never wavered and he bid farewell to a life of acting, seeing nothin’ but the taillights (at least for the time being).
Who are your favorite country stars gone actors/actresses? Let us know by leaving a comment here or tweeting us @CMchatLIVE!