How to Play a Rock Star in a Movie

The casting of the upcoming CBGB’a movie has been a drawn-out process scored by endless commentary from fans who think they know better than filmmakers. Even the classic bar’s regulars got in the game. Not too long ago, Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys told us, “Hell, get Johnny Depp to play me!” Now it’s been announced that there is a new round of cast members, including former Roseanne star (and current The Big Bang Theory player) Johnny Galecki as manager Terry Ork and actress Mickey Sumner as Patti Smith. Perhaps the most controversial casting, though, is Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who, The Hollywood Reporter found out, will be playing Iggy Pop. 

The musician has plenty of experience behind the camera, having composed music for video games, TV, and movies, and he’s also appeared in plenty of rockumentaries in his capacity as a band member. But can he actually play the role of a musician?

He can start by checking out these clips below, showcasing what we consider fine examples of actors playing rockers.

The Velvet Goldmine 

With Jonathan Rys Meyers as Brian Slade and Ewan McGregor as Curt Wild—clearly Pop influenced—this should be Hawkins’ go-to movie for Iggy inspiration.


La Bamba

Lou Diamond Phillips played Ritchie Valens in this 1987 movie about the rocker who died at 18 in a plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.


The Rose

Bette Midler made her screen debut in this movie, based loosely on the life of Janis Joplin. Pop never had Janice’s pipes, so singing like this won’t be a worry for Hawkins, but still a good role to study.


Sid and Nancy

For a taste of 1970s rock, what’s better than the Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb in this 1986 classic?


The Doors

To capture some of pop’s slithering sex appeal, checking out Val Kilmer’s performance in Oliver Stone’s The Doors would be a smart idea. Kilmer’s magnetic, insane, and overwhelmingly alluring Jim Morrison raised the bar for playing rockers.


Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains

The 1982 punk cult classic featuring a young Diane Lane and Laura Dern is required viewing for anyone who should be allowed to be punk, let alone play one on the screen. Absolutely essential viewing.

Afternoon Links: Drake’s Got A New Girl, Jim Morrison’s Old House Set Aflame

● Drake spent his holidays in L.A. with a new girl, Dollicia Bryan, the video vixen who has in the past been connected to Reggie Bush and Rob Kardashian but not so much Kris Humpheries. [YBF]

● Someone set fire to the Hollywood Hills house Jim Morrison used to live in, the one said to have inspired the Doors’s "Love Street." [Radar]

● The courts have upheld rapper C-Murder’s murder conviction, rejecting his claims that he was denied a fair trial and maintaining his life sentence. [MSNBC]

● You’re going to have to get all your "ginormous"’s, "man cave"’s, "baby bump"’s, and "occupy"’s out before the new year, at which point they will be, according to Lake Superior State University, banned from the english language for good. (Also for one last time:) Thank you in advance. [Gawker]

● As the NYT‘s Jon Caramanica sees it, new mainstream rock is really just "zombified" old mainstream rock. "It lacks nutrients," he writes. "How else to explain the critical consensus around a band like Foster the People?" [NYT]

● Meet Carrie Brownstown, Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag rocker and Portlandia comedienne, as she wishes to be known. We promise, you’ll love her. [Sixth Floor/NYT]

● Amongst the 25 things you might not know about Kris Kardashian? She makes makes good guac. [Us]

Previously Unheard Doors Song to be Released

Forty years ago, The Doors released L.A. Woman and introduced the world to Jim Morrison’s anagram alter ego, Mr. Mojo Risin’. In January, Rhino is releasing a 2-disc box set commemorating the album’s four-decade anniversary, complete with alternate takes of classic tracks like “Love Her Madly” and “Riders on the Storm.” Most exiting for Doors fans will be the inclusion of a previously unreleased original Doors tune, “She Smells So Nice.” We bet she did, Jim, we bet she did.

The album’s producer Bruce Botnick recently found the recording of “She Smells So Nice” while looking through L.A. Woman’s session tapes. Rolling Stone has an exclusive preview, which you can listen to here. It is classic Doors stuff, with meandering instrumentals creeping behind Morrison’s simple blues phrasing—er, we mean poetry, Jim Morrison’s poetry. Take a look at these “She Smells So Nice” lyrics for yourself:

“I’m going home, I’m going home and laying down.
I’m going home, baby, I’m going home and laying down
Gonna switch on the television, I’m going to drown.”

To add to all that cosmic energy, “She Smells So Nice” is an anagram for “Scheme Less Lions.” Heavy stuff, man. Heavy stuff.