The video may have killed the radio star, but it certainly didn’t hurt many actors’ careers. There’s a long history of celebrities making music video appearances, and for many new actors or models, it was a great breakthrough.
For example, before Naomi Campbell was one of the world’s first supermodels, as a 13-year-old girl, she appeared in two videos for the 1980s giants Culture Club: “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” by 1983 and 1984 “Mistake No. 3.” She literally went from being a fanatic fan of the band to getting quick cameos on her videos.
“He was my childhood idol and I’m glad to be able to call him a personal friend. I used to sit outside his house with my friend for hours with magazines or whatever else we wanted him to sign,” Campbell said during a 2017 question-and-answer session with Pueblo and Country magazine.
Years later, Campbell took on a truly iconic music video role in “Freedom! ’90” by George Michael, although she claims it was a complete role change, since by then she was a full-fledged star and Michaels had to beg to get it and her fellow catwalk stars to sign. “I used to throw eggs at [George Michael’s] van because I was a big fan of the Culture Club,” she said during the same event.
Bruce Springsteen put Courteney Cox on stage in ‘Dancing in the Dark’
Before she was in Friends, Courteney Cox was just a girl in jeans dancing with the Chief. In 1984, when MTV was still playing music videos on a 24-hour cycle, Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” appeared on televisions across the United States several times a day and ended up being just the break for the then-new actress. Cox needed it.
In the video, Cox plays a totally American girl next door, simply dancing with her friends at a Springsteen concert, when she gets the surprise of her life: the Boss pushes her on stage to dance with him! According to retrospective author Kelsey Miller’s Friends, I’ll Be There For You: The Friends’, the video was just Cox’s “third job”, and she didn’t even know what she was auditioning for when she got the gig.
What is even more interesting? Springsteen didn’t even know that Cox was an actor. According to his own book, Born to Run (via the Stellar Rostrum ), he thought he was pulling a random fan on stage, but video director Brian De Palma arranged it all. “Thereafter, [Cox] reserved a constant stream of television concerts, making special announcements also in commercials,” Miller wrote.
Given the good fortune he enjoyed from his first music video, it’s no wonder Cox was also going to star in “A Long December” by the 90s band Counting Crows.
Aerosmith revived its career through music videos starring Alicia Silverstone
Aerosmith started making records in 1970. In the following decade, the video age killed many radio star races from the 70s, but Aerosmith got on the wave. The band even managed to cross genres and connect with a new generation of fans when they collaborated with Run-DMC on an infused hip-hop version of “Walk This Way” in 1986. But the possibly most famous Aerosmith videos were made on ’90, which restarted the group’s career.
According to Rolling Stone, the magic dust of rockers’ rebirth in the 1980s had faded in 1993 and looked like Aerosmith’s record, Grip, could have ended in failure, after the first single, “Livin’ on the Edge”, he could not cause a real stir. Enter the now legendary videos of “Cryin'”, “Amazing” and “Crazy”.
Launched between 1993 and 1994, the trilogy benefited from the cast of “rising star” Alicia Silverstone, who had just come out of her role in the film in The Clash. Within a year of Aerosmith’s videos, she landed the starring role in Clueless, which officially propelled her to A-list celebrities.
Fun fact: In “Crazy,” we also have one of our first glimpses of leader Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv, who of course became a big star in her own right. And to complete the band’s apparent goal of creating the 90s and early 2000s star roster, there were also Josh Holloway, Steven Dorff, and Jason London.
In the 2000s, Aerosmith continued its trend of choosing actresses in music videos
After the band’s success with their music videos led by Silverstone in the early ’90s, is it no wonder that Aerosmith stuck to the formula for big-budget movie videos starring beautiful actresses? The rockers did it again in 2001 when they chose Mila Kunis in their video for “Jaded.”
In the video, Kunis plays an unhappy young woman who seems to have trouble with reality. The style of the video was a witty and surreal departure from the band’s raucous ’90s. And while Kunis was already appearing as the cheeky teenager, Jackie Burkhart, in the comedy, ‘ 70s show, she was not immune to be dazzled in the presence of rock legends according to Guitar Junky.
“It was a great honor working with them,” Kunis told the New York Post of the experience. She added: “What is so radical is that Steven Tyler introduced himself to me. And it was great because it’s so realistic. There is not a person on this planet who does not know who he is.”
Of course, since then Kunis has become quite recognizable internationally as she finally turned her music video fame into a successful career on the big screen. Today, she keeps herself busy raising her family with her husband Ashton Kutcher, her co-star on That 70’s show.
A young Eva Mendes browsed Will Smith’s 1998 jam ‘Miami’
If you don’t love Will Smith’s music, you could be dead inside. In 1998, he did the bop, “Miami,” along with a music video that gave us a glimpse of a young Eva Mendes. She appears around the 1:10 mark as a sexy young woman riding in a convertible with a friend as Smith was welcomed into The Magic City.
Between the beaches, the parties, and a breakdown of salsa, what’s not to love?
In 2016 GQ shared an inside look at Mendes’ appearance. “It was going to be a battlefield nurse that Will falls in love with, like in a Florence Nightingale situation, but that plot was cut at the last minute,” said Mendes, who later worked with Smith on the 2005 film, Hitch. Meanwhile, Smith joked: “Years later I told Eva … that ‘Miami’ was a sort of prequel to Hook but she did not like that. She said it didn’t make any sense.”
While Mendes became a successful actress in her own right, she actually started in other music videos, including “Se a Vida é” by Pet Shop Boys and “Hole in My Soul” by Aerosmith (this band knows how to make a video!). And by 2023, Mendes was ready to meet Smith once again on a Hitch proposal below.
Alyssa Milano played a cheerleader in Blink-182’s ‘Josie’ music video
Alyssa Milano was a child actress who made a name for herself in the popular ’80s comedy Who’s the Boss. When that show ended in 1992, she starred in a series of soapy made-for-TV movies and cheesy B-list movies, eventually landing on the classic ’90s nighttime soap, Melrose Place.
In 1998, she made a scorching appearance in the Blink-182 music video for her single, “Josie,” playing the cheerleader’s love interest to singer-songwriter Mark Hoppus’ awkward childish runner … with comical results, of course.
The duo seemed to get along well behind the scenes as well, as Hoppus recalled on a deleted AMA Twitter October 2019. After a fan asked, “What was your favorite memory when filming Josie’s video?”, she revealed: “At the end of the shoot, Alyssa Milano gave me a note saying ‘Let’s go’ with her phone number and I, silly and someone else, thinking ‘I wonder if you really want to hang out’, ‘and never calling’.
In writing these lines, nothing is known about this particular anecdote from the history of the rock star from Milano itself. Still, one has to wonder if Hoppus ever kicked himself for not following, especially since the actress-activist had an even more successful career on television, and eventually ended up on shows like Charmed, My Name is Earl and Insatiable.
Channing Tatum showed off his dance moves in Ricky Martin’s ‘She Bangs’
Long before viewers passed out from his performance as a male exotic dancer with big dreams in Magic Mike, 20-year-old Channing Tatum made his way through the sexy English music video for Ricky Martin’s 2000 hit, “She Bangs”. You can catch a glimpse of him dancing at the 1:04, 1:31, and 2:59 marks of the murky themed Underwater clip.
Now worth a whopping $ 50 million, Tatum reportedly earned $ 400 over the course of his five-day session, which also marked his first on-screen dance concert. It basically helped launch his career, but it was not the only music video in which the actor-dancer appeared.
He can also be seen in videos of songs by Twista, Sean Paul, Ciara, and Pink. And by going from extra video to starring in box office hits like Magic Mike, GI Joe, and LEGO. Movie franchises aren’t a bad career at all, Tatum has doubts Martin remembers his initial performance.
Joking that “[Martin] would never recognize me,” Tatum admitted he doesn’t remember “much” about The Late Late Show concert with James Corden in 2017. “We were in the Bahamas and I was one of three men … and About 200 women who were more beautiful than anyone I have seen at the time, “he explained with a smile, adding,” We partied a bit.”
Matthew McConaughey broke hearts in Trisha Yearwood’s ‘Walkaway Joe’ music video
Before he told us all to “Look at the leather, man” in his decisive role as Wooderson in Dazed and Confused, a young Matthew McConaughey played the boy our parents warned us about in the 1992 music video for “Walkaway Joe” By Tricia Yearwood.
The song tells the story of a heartbreaker (McConaughey) that leaves a pretty girl in a jerk, stranded by the side of a road in her stonewashed denim. It was definitely not “well, well, well.”
The video marked McConaughey’s second role that year, the first being the portrait of Larry Dickens, a 1978 murder victim, in Unsolved Mysteries. During an interview with IMDb First Credit, the actor revealed that the killer was finally caught when the advice of witnesses came shortly after the episode.
We all know that McConaughey has come to find success on the A list, showing his rank with his Oscar-winning turn. Dallas Buyers Club, his incarnation of the odd but endearing Rust Cohle on HBO’s True Detective and of course doing a ton of silly romantic comedies, but now we know where he came from.
As Yearwood herself recalled People in 2014, “He was chosen by local talent in Austin, Texas, where the footage was filmed. The performance with [collaborator] Don Henley was shot in Nashville, so I never met Matthew. ” However, she joked, “If you ever want to be in another Trisha Yearwood video, I won’t audition you.”
Former child star Elijah Wood made his screen debut in Paula Abdul’s ‘Forever Your Girl’
As a barely 8-year-old baby, Elijah Wood made his acting debut in the music video for Paula Abdul’s 1989 pop hit “Forever Your Girl.” The video, directed by future Emmy winner and Oscar nominee David Fincher, plays on the theme of kids as adults, with Wood playing the cutest frustrated businessman you’ve ever seen. Considering American idol, Abdul was already a megastar in the music world at the time, the concert turned out to be the big leap Wood needed to start his career.
From there, Wood went on to take roles in films like Back to the Future Part II, Radio Flyer, and The Good Son. He even appeared in other music videos, such as the Cranberries’ “Ridiculous Thoughts” in 1995.
Of course, the former child actor eventually became a bona fide superstar in 2001, when he landed the role of Frodo Baggins The Lord of the Rings trilogy. but he will still happily remember his first on-screen concert (as Abdul will). “That was very exciting for me. I’ve never worked as an actor in anything,” Wood told the AV Club in 2014, saying, “[It] was fun playing the part.” He added: “But what stands out the most in my mind is meeting Paula Abdul. I just thought it was too cool.”
RuPaul wowed viewers in The B-52s ‘Love Shack’ music video
RuPaul’s first on-screen appearance was in this fun 1989 music video. A colossal hit for the B-52s, “Love Shack” peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the video featured the fabulous drag queen dancing in a funky afro combo and matching sleeveless top.
“The big story … is that they wanted to do a Soul Train line [in the video],” RuPaul later said Billboard. “It wasn’t going well. So I had to step in and say ‘OK, listen. This is how you do Soul Train Line’… They were very impressed.’
So how did this iconic appearance come about? “Ru was a drag queen in Atlanta, and a group of people came to New York and we all started hanging out,” explained Cindy Wilson, a member of the band. “That was a great time for us, as well as a really difficult time: the AIDS crisis.”
She recalled that filming the video was “really wonderful,” however, “because there was a wonderful feeling of coming together, being dumb, and looking forward to the future.”
While the RuPaul’s Drag Race Host became a star in its own right, it all started in a “little old place where we can get together.” Naturally, RuPaul was more than happy to return the favor when he invited the B-52s to be guest judges on the show almost 30 years later.