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Movie Date: Can Actors Really Sing?

Friday, January 07, 2011 - 01:11 PM

A promotional image for the film "Country Strong" (Sony Pictures)

The new backstage celebrity drama "Country Strong" hits theaters Friday, and the big question on everyone's mind is, can Gwyneth Paltrow actually sing? Rafer and Kristen weigh in with their opinions, as well as their thoughts on what's worse: actors who sing, or singers who act (and as a bonus, Kristen gives listeners the chance to decide if the worst thing of all is podcast hosts who sing).

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Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer

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Comments [3]

Larry Conroy from New York

Of course many actors can sing and sing well. As Annie Mcgill puts it, the presentation of a song and the communication of the lyrics contribute to the apparent singing abilities of actors such as Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly. They're not equal in tonal quality to people who are simply (?) professional singers, but their presentation puts the song over and they become "actors who sing" Personally, I studied with David Craig so that I would be able to "put across" a song in those musicals in which I appeared over my five decades and counting in the acting profession. Mr. Craig enabled many of the stars who have appeared on Broadway to really entertain an audience as "actors who sing". Its an actor's job to master as many of the skills which most people do not even realize are needed to enable any actor to be ready to go into any role for which they audition. Skills such as: Singing, voice, teleprompter, ear prompter, camera skills, voice over, audio books, stagecraft, make-up, microphone techniques, stage combat, movement, dance . . . the list goes on and on. If it were not for the actor, this world may have been, and would be, a much less colorful and entertaining place.

Jan. 10 2011 08:56 AM
Annie McGill from Wyoming, PA

I don't think that you can generalize whether or not actors can sing. Obviously, some can, some can't. What can make the difference is how they present a song and communicate the lyrics. For example, Fred Astaire didn't have a strong voice, to say the least, but was so expert at "delivering" the musicality and message of a song that you didn't think about his singing skill. I saw Gwyneth Paltrow on the TV show, GLEE last month and was amazed at how well she sang and performed in the musical numbers.

Jan. 08 2011 12:40 PM
katie

Screen actors used to be able to sing and act and dance... Double and Triple-threats are still out there. I know them. They just aren't "pretty" enough to be in movies, evidently (although I think they are). Hollywood should go find these people (I think Broadway might be a good place to start looking... just a guess) and put them in movies. Enough of this actors-who-try-to-sing B.S.

Jan. 07 2011 05:39 PM

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