The flow of talent between the music and film industries is steadier than ever before. As performers gain celebrity status, they look to expand their presence in the entertainment world, with agents and executives only too happy to indulge them. Knowing that their existing fan base will follow them into a new genre, these stars are considered safe investments, at least safer than an unknown.
Elvis Presley was one of the first stars to successfully negotiate a change of genre in the middle of his career. His good looks, fine voice and universal appeal made the transition easy. Early roles demanded little in the way of acting ability, allowing Elvis to ease into the film industry. Eventually, he took on slightly more challenging movies, although the critics were never really convinced of his acting chops. Still, his movies were huge commercial successes and established a precedent for musicians hoping to become actors.
Several years later, Barbra Streisand proved that women could successfully bridge genres as well. After taking the music industry by storm with her 1963 debut, she was an Oscar-winner five years later. Her talent as a performing artist has allowed her to excel in theatre and on television, as well as in the music and film industries. Continue reading