From Justin Bieber to Neil Young: a roundup of Canadian musicians acting

From Justin Bieber to Neil Young: a roundup of Canadian musicians acting

It was only a matter of time before Bieber fever infected Hollywood, so the news that Justin Bieber will be launching his acting career in September’s season premiere of CSI comes as no surprise to anyone. Canadian pop stars generally like to lay low from the acting biz, but when they come out, they make it worth our while. Here, a roundup of some of our country’s most ridiculous musician cameos >>

(Photo-illustration: Neil Young by Steve Jurvetson, Justin Bieber by Kerosene Photography, TV by William Hook)

Alanis Morissette

Yes, that was angry Alanis making out with Carrie during a game of spin the bottle on Sex and the City. A decade ago, she had a thing for Kevin Smith comedies, playing God in Dogma and That Woman in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. She’s also played a doctor on Weeds and an anesthesiologist lesbian lover on Nip/Tuck. When Morissette picks roles, they’re pulp, sometimes homoerotic and often hilarious.

Nelly Furtado

We’ll have to wait until TIFF to see Furtado in her first big production, as a hockey fan in Score: A Hockey Musical, but she did guest-star as a professional shoplifter in CSI: NY in 2007. Maybe Bieber’s next role will be in a hockey musical, then?

Gordon Lightfoot

The ’80s were not kind to Gordon Lightfoot. The folk singer starred as U.S. Marshal Morrie Nathan in the 1982 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid spinoff Harry Tracy–which pretty much no one saw. Then, in 1988, he guest-starred as an alcoholic musician in a romance series called Hotel. We figure he blames the bottle.

Neil Young

If it’s better to burn out than to fade away, we should be glad Neil Young’s acting career crashed and burned a long time ago. In the late ’80s, Young appeared as a truck driver in the schlocky romance Made in Heaven, in the romance thriller Love at Large and the teen angst drama ’68. Young did try to make a comeback, though, directing, writing and starring in 2003’s Greendale. The movie was made to complement a concept album he recorded with Crazy Horse.

Shawn Desman

Remember that guy—the hip-hop one hit wonder from Toronto? Desman (who goes by his birth name, Shawn Fernandez, in his acting credits) had bit roles because of his dance background in 2001’s Kirsten Dunst teen romcom Get Over It and as a dancer in 2007’s aptly named How She Move. The former dance instructor also appeared as himself in Jessica Alba‘s Honey and on the soundtrack.

Justin Bieber

The Biebs will attempt to overcome his syrupy sweet rep on CSI by playing “a troubled teen who is faced with a terrible decision regarding his only brother—a decision that leads him into an explosive confrontation with the C.S.I.s.” Risqué. We don’t have a clip of Bieber’s acting skills yet, but remember that time when he went on a talk show and said he didn’t know what the word “German” meant? Well, let’s assume he was acting.