It’s a thin line between the silver screen and the concert stage — just ask any actor that’s stepped off a set and into a concert venue.
Over the last few decades, it’s become much less of a rarity to see artists move between media — today’s Grammy winner could be tomorrow’s talk show host — but there’s still a peculiar thrill watching those known primarily for work in Hollywood entering another realm.
There are plenty of A-list names that have bounced between film, TV, and music: Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Jared Leto, and Grand Prairie’s own Selena Gomez are just a very few of the top acts at home on stage or in front of a camera.
Another name to add to that list is superstar Keanu Reeves, who, when he isn’t dishing out pain as John Wick or saving the world in The Matrix films, plays bass for the Los Angeles-based alt-rock trio Dogstar, which has reactivated after a 21-year hiatus and is gearing up to release its first album in 23 years, Somewhere Between the Power Lines and the Palm Trees, on Oct. 6.
Dogstar will play to a sold-out Granada Theater on Sept. 26, as part of a national tour to support Palm Trees. To help get you ready for the sight of an action star plucking the bass on Lower Greenville, here are five movie stars-turned-rock stars.
Most are probably familiar with Goldblum as the urbane, dryly funny presence in the Jurassic Park series or Wes Anderson’s films, but the Pennsylvania native has also spent much of the last 30 years occasionally performing with the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra in and around Los Angeles (as well as the odd national tour). The outfit has released three albums to date, including its latest, Plays Well with Others, earlier this year.
A child actor who broke out in 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and later, 2007’s Gossip Girl, the Missouri-born Momsen quit acting altogether in 2009 and became the lead singer for the rock quartet The Pretty Reckless, which has endured for more than a decade. Its fourth and latest album, Death by Rock and Roll, was released in 2021.
Billy Bob Thornton
In many interviews over the years, Oscar-winning actor, writer, and director Billy Bob Thornton would tell people that music, not acting, was his first true love. That’s been borne out by Thornton’s continued involvement in the California-based rock band The Boxmasters, which has been a going concern for more than 15 years. The band’s latest studio album, ’69, dropped earlier this year.
The London native rose to film fame in the 1990s, thanks to roles in now-classic films such as Grosse Pointe Blank and Good Will Hunting. In the mid-2000s, however, Driver stepped away from the movies and released a pair of surprisingly great folk-pop records (2004’s Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket and 2007’s Seastories), before taking a breather from music. Her latest record, to date, is 2014’s Ask Me to Dance.
Long before Crowe turned heads in Hollywood, the New Zealand native was entertaining raucous crowds as a member of the rock band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, which lasted from the 1980s up through 2005, when Crowe began collaborating with Canadian singer-songwriter Alan Doyle. As he found film fame, music took a backseat, but he couldn’t quit it outright, as Crowe and Doyle now perform with a band called Indoor Garden Party.
Dogstar at Granada Theater, Dallas. 8 p.m. Sept. 26. Sold out.
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.