Universal via Everett Collection
Plenty of singers try their hand at acting… some successfully (Cher, Barbara Streisand) and others not so successfully (Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, etc.). There are times, though, when we're bowled over by the musical talents of our favorite actresses.
Whether it's voicing an animated heroine or taking an unexpected role in a big budget musical, these actresses have proven that they have the pipes to belt out a tune while still delivering top-notch acting performances.
When many people saw the credits for Disney's Frozen, they assumed that Bell was just providing the speaking part for Anna, that surely it was someone else singing on "Love Is an Open Door." Even some hardcore Veronica Mars fans had lost sight of the fact that Bell came from a musical theater background or forgot about her appearance in Refer Madness: The Musical.
So, a lot of people find Hathaway pretentious and annoying… it doesn't change the fact that the girl can sing. Audiences were surprised when her character started singing in one of her early films, Ella Enchanted, but by the time of Les Miserables, we were all aware that she had the ability. Still, her powerful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" surprised just about everyone.
When Seyfried was first starting out in Mean Girls, we thought she was just another soap opera actress (she appeared on As the World Turns and All My Children) making a jump to the big time… which she subsequently did with her role on HBO's Big Love. Little known to the public, she had training in not only musical theater, but opera. It wasn't until 2008's Mamma Mia! that audiences got a taste of her singing… and then came her performance as Cosette in Les Miserables. C'est magnifique!
Stone doesn't sing much because of some vocal cord issues, but when she was younger she was part of VH1's In Search of the New Partridge Family. She also did some backing vocals for the remake of The Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like" from The House Bunny. It was her performance during the school assembly scene of Easy A,where she rocked the disco classic "Knock on Wood," that left audiences wondering if it was really her voice. It was indeed, and she was spectacular.
For years, Streep was known as the premier actress of her generation, though not as a performer with any musical ability. Starting with 2006's Prairie Home Companion, however, Streep has been unafraid to put her voice out for public consumption. She looked like she was having a blast playing the lead in Mamma Mia! opposite Seyfried and will soon be back on the big screen playing the Witch in the film adaption of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.
Despite starting her career doing Broadway musicals as a girl, the new "It" singing actress first came to notice with largely non-musical roles in Twilight and Up in the Air (although we did get a glimpse with her karaoke version of "Time After Time"). It wasn't until she killed as the reluctant a capella participant in Pitch Perfect that audiences fell in love with her voice. The actresses even scored a hit single with her version of "Cups (When I'm Gone)" from the soundtrack. With roles in Into the Woods and Pitch Perfect 2, we'll get plenty of opportunities to continue enjoying her vocal talent.
Her work with M. Ward on their She & Him projects have turned Deschanel into a legitimate recording artist, but she's still better known for her acting in movies like (500) Days of Summer and her TV show New Girl. Every Christmas the actress pops up in one of her earlier film roles as Will Ferrell's love interest in Elf singing holiday classics and she's set to appear in Barry Levinson's musical comedy Rock the Kasbah.
Adams may be a five-time Academy Award nominee and might turn heads on the red carpet with her plunging necklines, but she knows her way around a song as well. The actress made a believable live-action Disney princess in Enchanted, including taking center stage during the big production number "That's How You Know." She apparently likes to sing in kiddie fare, because her other big on-screen musical moments mostly happened with Jason Segel, Kermit and Miss Piggy in The Muppets.
Paltrow's mother, Blythe Danner, started her film career in the musical 1776 and she has an uncle that's an opera singer, so she comes by her vocal abilities honestly. After making her on-screen singing debut in Emma, she starred in her father Bruce Paltrow's Duets, where her collaboration with Huey Lewis on Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'" spawned an adult contemporary hit. Besides having a recurring spot on TV's Glee, Paltrow also got her twang on in Country Strong.
Sharon Mary Cicero, the former president of Madonna's Maverick Films company, has died, aged 53. The prominent producer passed away on 12 March (14) following a long illness.
Cicero began her career in the entertainment industry as an agent at Creative Artists Agency, but left in 1992 to become president of Madonna's Maverick Films. In 1993, she was named Vice President at Longbow Productions.
She produced a number of TV movies in the U.S., including 1996's The Summer of Ben Tyler, starring James Woods and Elizabeth McGovern, Forever Love in 1998 with Reba McEntire and Tim Matheson and Acceptance in 2009, which starred Mae Whitman and Joan Cusack.
The fifth season of NBC family drama Parenthood kicks off on Thursday, September 26th at 10 PM ET, and there aren't enough tissues in the world to get us ready.
We can always count on the Braverman clan to make us feel things. Sure, modern life has made us cynical, immovable robot-people. But then cancer patient Kristina (Monica Potter) teaches her autistic son Max (Max Burkholder) to slow dance or Jabbar (Tyree Brown) calls Crosby (Dax Shepard) "Daddy" for the first time, and we robot-people melt into puddles of emotion, kind of like when all the black-and-white people turn into color in Pleasantville.
While it's difficult to imagine anything that could make us more weepy than little Victor's adoption ceremony, we're sure that the Parenthood creative team has some heartwarming and heartbreaking moments in store for this year. In an effort to store up the emotional reserves and spare our loved ones our worst ugly-cry faces, let's attempt to guess how our fictional extended family will hit us where it hurts.
This 30-second promo spot for the new season confirms what producer Jason Katims predicted at this year's Paleyfest: the premiere leaves off eight to nine months after the events of the season four finale. Jasmine (Joy Bryant) has given birth to a happy and healthy baby, which means that there will be plenty of opportunities to swoon as senstive Crosby falls in love with another kid. (Shepard must have drawn some inspiration from his real-life new dad status.) Ray Romano's grumpy photographer Hank is clearly back in the picture; hopefully perpetual man-fixer Sarah (Lauren Graham) will finally be lucky in love. Amber (Mae Whitman) seems as in love with ex-soldier Ryan (Matt Lauria) as she was when we last saw them, window-shopping for wedding rings. But the casting of All American Rejects' frontman Tyson Ritter may hint that their relationship will be tested. (Haven't you learned not to trust rock stars yet, Amber?) Rough waters might also be ahead for Sydney (Savannah Paige Rae) and Victor's (Xolo Mariduena) mom and dad; Sonya Walger will play an architect who will get close to contractor Joel (Sam Jaeger), and David Denman will be an unemployed dad who helps workaholic Julia (Erika Christensen) transition into being a stay-at-home mom.
Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina have weathered her breast cancer ordeal (and how adorable is Potter's new shoulder-length cut?), but is she out of the woods for good? Max made huge strides at his mainstream school last year, but his Asperger's still presents constant challenges. Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) brushed off his family's worries about his heart problems in season four; was that foreshadowing for a serious health scare? Drew (Miles Heizer) had a tumultuous year with Amy's pregnancy and the move into and out of Mark's apartment. How will college pressures weigh on the unexpressed emotions he's still holding in? We assume that Haddie (Sarah Ramos) now knows that her parents kept the truth from her about the severity of Kristina's diagnosis. Does she resent them for their good-intentioned lie?
Whatever happens, we can be sure that Parenthood will wage war on our tear ducts with no shortage of grace and nuance. In fact, we can't wait to be destroyed by this TV family all over again.
More:TV's Top Dogs — A Show's Best FriendOur Predictions for 'Breaking Bad' Spin-OffTop 10 Returning Comedies to Watch
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
As we start at the beginning we see how the hideous mass murderer Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski) is born right in a meat-packing warehouse. His grotesquely obese mother is forced to continue working by a sadistic boss even after her water breaks. The boss sees the monstrous child and throws it in a rendering vat where a twisted family finds it and rears it. A few decades later the Texas town around them has slowly died away and the baby turns into a giant who enjoys slaughtering well lots of things. Then Leatherface’s uncle Hoyt (R. Lee Ermey) becomes the sheriff who likes the flavor of human flesh after acquiring a taste as a POW in Korea. Soon Hoyt Leatherface and the rest of the family began to like it too getting motorists to stop along their route. Along come two brothers Dean (Taylor Handley) and Eric (Matthew Bomer) with their girlfriends Chrissie (Jordana Brewster) and Bailey (Diora Baird). The boys are suppose to be going off to serve in Vietnam and this is their last hurrah. But Dean hasn't told his brother that he's actually going to run off to Mexico with Bailey because he doesn't want to experience the horrors of war. Little does he know what horror truly is. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise has included in the past the likes of Oscar-winning Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey (Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and The Lord of the Rings’ Viggo Mortensen (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) so anything can happen to these young actors' careers. Of course Leatherface is the most important character and Bryniarski returns to the role and plays it well and not like the sniveling drag queen the character became in later sequels. Other familiar faces from the brilliant 2003 remake of this 1974 Tobe Hooper classic are brought back for this prequel including Ermey and the grotesque cannibal family: Luda Mae (Marietta Marich) Uncle Monty (Terrence Evans) and the horribly obese Tea Lady (Kathy Lamkin). They are as evil as ever and the prequel explains why Uncle Monty is a double amputee why Sheriff Hoyt has no teeth how Leatherface cuts skin off people and why the family has such a taste for human flesh. The victims are typical in their struggle to survive but Bomer as a brave soldier is particularly poignant as he desperately fights while becoming a play toy for Leatherface. Brewster (The Fast and the Furious) and Bomer (The O.C.) don't need a horror movie to boost their careers but they help create victims you really care about. Director Jonathan Liebesman pays proper homage to what Hooper created but perhaps too much. So much of it is familiar that TCM: The Beginning is quite predictable. The characters are a lot more (pardon the pun) fleshed out than in the other films and very likable but the murders aren't particularly gruesome. And what about the actual chainsaw? The chase through the woods with the crazed hacking killer is the most memorable and chilling moment but there isn’t any such scene in this prequel. The focus is more on the evil rather than the torture—i.e. when Luda Mae washes Bailey's face tenderly and sings "You want to look good when the company comes." Creepy yes. Blood-curdling grisly? Not so much.
Based on the award-winning children's novel by Natalie Babbitt the story is set in 1914 as Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel) a rich girl on the brink of maturity longs for change in her life. Her domineering mother (Amy Irving) has plans to turn her into a respectable lady but Winnie is one spirited lass who wants nothing to do with the rigid conformities of her time. In fact she'd much rather escape into the woods surrounding her house. Getting lost one day Winnie stumbles upon Jesse Tuck (Jonathan Jackson) a boy unlike any she's ever met before. He and his family--father Angus (William Hurt) mother Mae (Sissy Spacek) and brother Miles (Scott Bairstow)--live hidden away in a little cabin on a lake and they warmly accept her as one of their own. Winnie realizes the Tucks are different ageless somehow but once Winnie starts to experience the Tucks' freedom and simple way of life she contemplates never going home. That and the fact she and Jesse have fallen in love. Still the Tucks harbor a powerful secret no one else must know about--ever--but an evil man (Ben Kingsley) tracks them down threatening to expose them and profit from the "secret." Luckily things have a way of working out for the Tucks one way or another. It is Winnie who ends up making the tough decisions--life forever with her beloved Jesse or a life with a beginning a middle and an end. Sure I could come right out and tell you what the film's big secret is but then that might spoil the fun of finding out for yourself (although I've given plenty of clues).
The fresh new talent of Bledel Jackson and Bairstow adds to the film's youthful appeal while the veteran actors compliment them nicely. Bledel best known for the WB's Gilmore Girls plays Winnie with the right amount of fiery spirit and endless curiosity while Jackson with those full lips and floppy hair plays the love-struck Jesse perfectly. You believe instantly that Jesse has fallen deeply in love with Winnie; however it's Bledel's performance where there is a problem. She is great at being the spunky Winnie but is somewhat stiff and unconvincing as the smitten one which takes away from the film's romantic scope a bit. Bairstow is quite good as brother Miles a character who shows how the Tucks' "secret" has a dark side. When he tells Winnie the truth about his family and how damaging it has been to him it is a moving and powerful scene. Kingsley as the malevolent Man in the Yellow Suit (that's the character's name I swear) expertly plays upon the film's main theme: the wish by most humans to be able to live forever. Kingsley's greedy eyes tell it all. Hurt and Spacek do a nice job as the simplistic elder Tucks while Irving and Victor Garber deftly play the contrast as Winnie's parents. Each however show how they love their children and will protect them at all costs.
Tuck is definitely one of the more beautiful films to watch certainly up there with other such children's stories as The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. Shot in the wooded areas of Maryland the film is full of lush green tones and spectacular vistas. Director Jay Russell is no stranger to heartwarming films having directed the endearing My Dog Skip and knows how to deal with environment. Watching the two young lovers running through tall grass or jumping into pool with a cascading waterfall honestly would make any girl want to go into the woods to find a handsome guy who'll sweep her off her feet. Russell handles the romantic elements as well. Careful not to make it too melodramatic he sweeps you up into the magic of the story while delving into the film's moral dilemmas and life choices the characters must deal with. Unfortunately he can't bring out the best performance from his leading actress but the rest of the film makes up for it.