Jason Aldean sang that Music City was just Hollywood with a touch of twang while Shawn Mullins called Los Angeles “Nashville with a tan.” A side effect of the similarities between the two is a cross mingling of artists. Actors release albums and singers find their way to the big screen. Many country singers have made their way to the movie screen, so please note that this is not a comprehensive list of country singers’ acting credits. If that’s what you’re looking for, might I recommend IMDB. Yes, Glen Campbell was in the first “True Grit” and we all know Billy Ray Cyrus was in the “Hannah Montana” movie. Instead, this is a look at the best roles country singers have had. These are the success stories.
1. “The Blind Side” // Tim McGraw
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her part in “The Blind Side,” but the film is also Tim McGraw’s best role to date. While watching this film, you aren’t thinking to yourself, “Hey, that’s Tim McGraw!” you’re thinking, “Hey, that’s Mr. Sandra Bullock.” Many critiques can explain why this is a phenomenal film, but it is without a doubt the singer’s best appearance.
2. “North” // Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire’s best role is surely going to bring some debate. However, if you haven’t seen “North” — starring Elijah Wood, Bruce Willis, Jason Alexander, Julia Louise Dreyfus and more — you’re missing out. The film’s premise is that Elijah Wood, North, has been granted the right to audition new parents and along the way he meets Ma Tex (Reba) and Pa Tex (Dan Aykroyd). There’s fringe, a musical number and overacting. It’s amazing. What makes it Reba’s best role? She pokes fun at country stereotypes with the elegance and comedy that only Reebs can.
3. “The Rainmaker” // Randy Travis
“The Rainmaker” is a heavy movie about a rookie lawyer in Memphis, played by Matt Damon. It involves domestic abuse, elderly abuse and an epic battle with an insurance company to save a dying boy’s life. But levity comes in the form of our own Randy Travis. The singer plays a juror who Damon and his associate Danny DeVito pretend to contact in order to prove their opposition has tapped their phones. The result is an irate Travis and a much needed laugh.
4. “Steel Magnolias” // Dolly Parton
“Steel Magnolias” has become a defining representation of life in the south. Dolly Parton’s portrayal of Truvy, the gossiping hairdresser that a small town centers around, has become idolized, imitated and iconic. While her resume includes “9 to 5” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” it’s likely her name will be closely associated with “Steel Magnolias” for years to come.
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