Turns out our pop stars aren’t just content with acting in their music videos, they want something more. Like an appearance in an actual movie. For many of the musicians who briefly appeared in films this year, it wasn’t their first time on the big screen. But are they getting any better? Do we have a Crossroads situation coming up? (Maybe.) Here’s how 2014’s attempts stacked up.
5. Taylor Swift in The Giver
First, something that is not Taylor Swift’s fault. From the early marketing of The Giver, it seemed like Taylor had an actual part in the film — that we’d see more of her than the one-minute clip that was released online. But as you’ll learn if you actually see The Giver, Taylor Swift is basically in one scene. (She is briefly seen running away in another scene.) She plays Rosemary, a literal figment of Jeff Bridges’s memory, projected as a hologram-type figure, teaching him how to play the piano. And she doesn’t even teach him how to play “22.” Such a letdown!
4. Justin Bieber in Behaving Badly
This year, Justin Bieber made a cameo in a 0% Rotten Tomatoes movie called Behaving Badly that starred his then-girlfriend (and maybe again-girlfriend, but that’s besides the point) Selena Gomez. According to Gilbert Cruz, who so bravely sat through the entire thing, Bieber is featured in a “brief cameo, in which he floats by the camera dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit. He says nothing and is never referred to nor seen again.” As someone who has sat through both (both!) Bieber documentaries, a “brief cameo” is the perfect amount of screen time for Bieber. (Not to mention that the dude had been prepping for his run in an orange jumpsuit for some time now.)
3. JoJo in G.B.F.
G.B.F. (or “Gay Best Friend”) isn’t JoJo’s first dip into movies (Aquamarine, anyone?), and you could call this one more of a role than a cameo. But she holds her own as Soledad Braunstein, overachieving president of the high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance in a school “without gay kids.”
2. Lady Gaga in Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For
First: I admit, I have not seen Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For in full yet, so take this ranking however you wish. But from the snippet of Gaga as a diner waitress that’s included in the trailer, she appears to fit perfectly in the neo-noir world of Sin City, and that’s crucial for a movie so dependent (entirely dependent?) on style. We’re gonna give her the benefit of the doubt.
1. Nicki Minaj in The Other Woman
This is the perfect pop-star cameo. Nicki plays Cameron Diaz’s wisecracking co-worker, who has a few choice lines but doesn’t talk enough to make it obvious that Nicki isn’t an actress (which is not to say she can’t act, but don’t push it). Having any musician in a film can automatically takes people out of the moment, and that’s a bad thing. With Nicki, you get everything you could want from a cameo and mostly important: It’s believable! Nicki gives great relationship advice.
Bonus entry: Drake in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Yes, this came out in December of 2013, but opening your movie with Drake wearing a chic ‘70s look? That’s a good idea.