8 A-list actors you forgot starred in music videos


L to R: Zendaya, Idris Elba and Rupert Grint.


Left to right: Zendaya, Idris Elba and Rupert Grint

Actress Emma Stone has revealed she will star in the music video for Paul McCartney’s next single.

The La La Land actress joins a long list of Hollywood A-listers who have been recruited by music stars.

Casting director Amanda Tabak says garnering talent for music videos helps the project “feel more special”.

“It obviously gives the video a much greater audience,” she tells the BBC.

However, Tabak says using well-known actors doesn’t necessarily mean a video will be shared far and wide.

“It’s not dependent on the talent that a music video gets talked about,” she says. “I think it really depends on the narrative of the video, whether it required somebody at that level.

“I’m sure people just think an actor walks down the street, bumps into someone from a band and says, ‘Yeah, lets do a video together!’ But it doesn’t work quite like that!”

Tabak suggests that much like films, the quality of a music video is more down to whether the actor is right for the director’s vision and script.

Take a look at eight actors whose performances have blown us away in music videos:

1. Shia LaBeouf in Elastic Heart by Sia


Despite the one-set location and unremarkable costumes, it is almost impossible to take your eyes off of Shia’s emotional performance.

The actor is seen contorting his body, climbing the sides of a massive birdcage and dance-fighting with frequent Sia-collaborator Maddie Ziegler.

Despite the video’s controversy, Sia tweeted: “All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play these two warring ‘sia’ self states.”

2. Eddie Murphy in Remember The Time by Michael Jackson


As with many of Michael Jackson’s music videos, Remember the Time was promoted as a short film in its own right. At nine minutes, it was one of his longest and most elaborate productions.

Set in ancient Egypt, Murphy played a pharaoh who attempts to entertain his bored queen (who happened to be played by the flawless supermodel Iman).

After the first two entertainers fail to get a smile from the royal couple, the actor summons the King of Pop. Jackson plays a magician who serenades the queen to reminisce about the time they fell in love, much to the pharaoh’s dismay.

3. Zendaya in Versace On The Floor by Bruno Mars

Atlantic Records

After delivering an entertaining performance of Mars’ hit 24K Magic on Lip Sync Battle, The Amazing Spider-Man actress got a phone call from the man himself offering her the lead role in his video for Versace on the Floor.

The ’80s-style video gained more than three million views in less than 24 hours. Both the singer and Zendaya can be seen living their best lives donned in Versace, naturally.

4. Robert Downey Jr in I Want Love by Sir Elton John


This was filmed in one continuous shot and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Sir Elton felt Downey was a perfect choice and gave the Iron Man star his first acting job since leaving rehab in 2001.

The video took 16 takes and Taylor-Johnson said they used the very last one “because he was completely relaxed by then… It’s so pertinent to what he’s going through, and the way he underplays it is fantastic”.

5. Rupert Grint in Lego House by Ed Sheeran


The Harry Potter star portrays another famous redhead. Or rather, a crazed fan obsessed with the singer.

From cute gestures like dressing up as Sheeran to more sinister acts like breaking into his tour bus, the whole thing would have seemed super creepy if it wasn’t starring Ron Weasley.

Since the video came out in 2011, more and more members of the public are mistaking Grint for the singer.

When James Corden asked how often the actor gets mistaken for Sheeran, Grint said: “It’s 50/50 now.

“Leo Sayer came up to me and said ‘I love your music!’ thinking I was Ed and I just play along.”

6. Christopher Walken in Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim

The video sees Walken dancing through an empty hotel lobby before flying around and then eventually going back to sleep. Can’t say we can relate!

The video won Fatboy Slim six prizes at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, where the Oscar-winning actor was given a Moon Man trophy for best choreography.

His training in tap dancing and musical theatre definitely came in handy.

7. Tom Hanks in I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepsen

604/School Boy/Interscope

This was a little unusual within Hanks’ repertoire, and the beloved actor landed a role in I Really Like You after a night of dining with friends.

Hanks is actually good mates with the singer’s manager, who was speaking to him about a male lead for the video, “And Tom was like, ‘Well why don’t you guys ever ask me?'” Carly Rae told ABC News.

8. Idris Elba in Lover of the Light by Mumford & Sons

Idris Elba doesn’t only star in this video, he co-directed it too. The star plays a blind man who takes us through his morning routine, which suddenly changes when he decides to leave his walking stick at home.

While the video is powerful and poignant, Marcus Mumford wasn’t afraid to admit he didn’t totally get it.

“I think we understand it, I think we do,” he told MTV News. “It’s nice to have something that’s a little more challenging to understand.

“But [Elba] was great, we sat and talked and shared some ideas and visions, and he’s one of our favourite actors as well,” he said.

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