In honor of Anne Hathaway’s superb performance as Fantine in the latest musical adaptation of “Les Miserables,” that got us thinking about some other actors who come from the same ilk as Ms. Hathaway. She is not a professionally trained singer nor has she ever had a music career either on stage or in the recording booth. Sure, she flirted with singing at the Academy Awards or Saturday Night Live, but when she gave that powerhouse performance that almost single handedly saved a subpar adaptation, it genuinely surprised people.
Musicals have often been filled with actors who were not known for their singing or dancing ability. But, that question of doubt and expectations often leading to wonderful surprises. Thus, we look at the top ten musical performances by a “regular” actor, which of course is a supposition. There is no difference between a regular actor and a musical actor. But, to steer this away from digression, the criteria is simple:
The films have to be a musical or contain musical elements. Thus, biopics of music stars such as “Walk the Line” are eliminated despite the great performance by Joaquin Phoenix. These films must be musicals. The actor of the musical must do their own singing thus a performance such as that of Natalie Wood’s in “West Side Story” or Deborah Kerr in “The King and I” are both eliminated as they were both dubbed by Marini Nixon. And finally, these actors must not have any professional musical stage experience or recording experience.
There are one or two exceptions that break these rules but that are what the comment section is for.