You might not have realized this, but about a quarter of the actors in Hollywood have appeared in music videos, and a substantial amount of those had even gotten their start from appearing in them, as well. Many of the ones that got their start in the music video business hadn’t any previous professional acting experience, but they sure did have some talent. Alicia Silverstone (The Crush, Clueless, Batman & Robin) is one of those actors that got her start from music videos, for example. She appeared in a few of Aerosmith’s songs alongside Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv.
Other times, you get a really experienced actor appearing in a music video – like Tom Hanks in Carley Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You,” which was pretty comical. Or Kathy Griffin in Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady.” The list goes on and on…
1. Raphael Saadiq’s “Good Man”
- Starring: Chad Coleman
- Year of release: 2008
You might recognize this song from Netflix’s Luke Cage, in which the singer, Raphael Saadiq, sang his song in the first episode of the series, “Moment of Truth.” Mr. Coleman is most famous for his role as Tyrese in AMC’s The Walking Dead, but some of his other credits include films like, The Green Hornet and Horrible Bosses as well.
2. Korn’s “Thoughtless”
- Starring: Aaron Paul
- Year of release: 2002
Before Aaron Paul got the role as Jesse Pinkman in the beloved series Breaking Bad, he was trying to find acting work, and he found it in music videos. He not only appeared in this great song, he also starred in Everlast’s “White Trash Beautiful.” You could say that these roles pretty much kicked off his career, so without them, there probably wouldn’t be a very successful Aaron Paul.
3. Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush”
- Starring: Keanu Reeves
- Year of release: 1991
Almost everyone knows who Keanu Reeves is nowadays, he’s been in incredible movies like the Matrix franchise, John Wick, and Speed. Did you know that he was in a music video? I didn’t either…
4. Gorillaz’s “Stylo”
- Starring: Bruce Willis
- Year of release: 2010
Like with Keanu, Bruce Willis is one of those actors that almost everyone knows, but for those who don’t know a thing, he’s most famous for his roles in films like the Die Hard franchise, Pulp Fiction, Looper, Red, and The Sixth Sense.
5. Marilyn Manson’s “Heart-Shaped Glasses”
- Starring: Evan Rachel Wood
- Year of release: 2007
Marilyn Manson is known for being a freaky character, though he is a pretty good musician. It came as a surprise that a girl like Evan would appear in something like this, and obviously she did (that, and a lot of kissing!). The 29-year-old actress is most famous for her roles in The Wrestler, HBO’s True Blood, and HBO’s newer series West world. But wait, she’s appeared in another!
6. Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends”
- Starring: Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood
- Year of release: 2004
Jamie Bell is widely known for his roles in King Kong, 2015’s Fantastic Four, Snowpiercer, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, as well as the AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies.
7. P. Diddy’s “Bad Boys For Life”
- Starring: Ben Stiller
- Year of release: 2001
Ben Stiller is a beloved comedic-actor known for his role as Derek Zoolander in the Zoolander movies, he’s also appared in Tropic Thunder, DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, as well as many other funny films. He’s been through a quite a bit of craziness lately – He recently battled cancer, and he and his wife go divorced.
8. Korn’s “Rotting in Vain”
- Starring: Tommy Flanagan
- Year of release: 2016
The 51-year-old is an incredible Scottish actor, who’s best known for playing “Chibs” in FX’s Sons of Anarchy series. He’s also been seen in films like Braveheart, The Gladiator, Sin City, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, and many other great works, including this music video.
9. Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”
- Starring: Alexander Skarsgård
- Year of release: 2008
Alexander Skarsgard is best known for his roles as vampire Eric Northman on HBO’s True Blood, Meekus in Zoolander, Brad Colbert in HBO’s miniseries Generation Kill, and Tarzan in The Legend of Tarzan. He’s an incredible actor, so if you haven’t seen any of his work, you should totally check him out!
10. The Roling Stones’ “Anybody Seen My Baby?”
- Starring: Angelina Jolie
- Year of release: 1997
At the time of the video’s release, Angelina Jolie was fresh off of the film Gia. She is now one of the most famous actresses in the world, and well-known for both her long relationship with Brad Pitt (though they sadly split) and her philanthropic work and activism. This isn’t the only music video she’s appeared in, however. The other is Korn’s “Did My Time,” in which she appeared for one of her Lara Croft films. (What’s up with Korn?)
11. Beastie Boys’ “Make Some Noise”
- Starring: Seth Rogen as Mike D, Elijah Wood as MCA, Danny McBride as Ad-Rock, and cameos by just about everyone in Hollywood
- Year of release: 2011
The Beastie Boys have had such an impact on pop culture, that they called in all their friends for this video. This is a fun one in which you get to find a who’s who list of Hollywood celebrities. They are *takes a breath*: Will Arnett, Kirsten Dunst, Rainn Wilson, Jason Schwartzmann, Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Rashida Jones, Ted Danson, Amy Poehler, Mary Steenburgen, David Cross, Orlando Bloom, John C. Reilly, Jason Bateman, and Jack Black. Along with Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride starring as the Beastie Boys themselves. ENJOY! (Man that was a mouthful!)