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Arguably the biggest rapper in the world, Drake's acting career is probably most talked about among musicians here in Canada, despite being a single role from pretty much a decade ago. That’s because being part of the Degrassi franchise is pretty much the most Canadian thing an actor can do.
Formerly the most popular artist in the world, the length of Morissette’s acting resume might surprise you. While many people are aware of her stint on the kids sketch-comedy show You Can't Do That On Television and her turn as God in Dogma, Alanis has appeared in a number of TV-series (including Curb Your Enthusiasm and Weeds), movies, off broadway plays, and bizarrely, two Brazilian soap operas as herself.
9 Canadian musician/actor double threats
Super awesome Ottawan Dan Aykroyd is a comedy legend. The SNL O.G. penned and starred in smash hits such as Ghostbusters and the less smashing Coneheads. Aykroyd takes his love of the blues just as seriously, though. The creation of The Blues Brothers with John Belushi as support resulted in not only two successful movies but also one of the highest selling blues albums of all time.
After endearing himself to Canadians with his The Great White North sketches and subsequent Strange Brew feature film, Second City alum Rick Moranis went on to star in Hollywood blockbusters including Ackroyd’s Ghostbusters andHoney, I Shrunk The Kids. He’s maintained the love of music that saw him begin his career as a Toronto DJ in the '70s, releasing a number of albums that, though comedy based, feature some legit musicianship.
Lovably awkward good guy Michael Cera showed off some of his bass chops in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World while simultaneously bringing Canadians joy by acting in a movie shot in Toronto that didn’t pretend to be New York. Offscreen, he’s involved in a number of indie-rock projects and in 2014 released his debut solo album True That.
It’s hard to say which is more mind-boggling: the fact that Tom Green and his juvenile brand of humour became a worldwide phenomenon or that Green is a legitimately solid rapper with a Juno-nominated hit that preceded his TV and movie career. Regardless, the guy’s given us so many laughs we’ve even forgiven him for Freddy Got Fingered.
Hugh Dillon is a member of that very select group whose acting and musical exploits are held in equally high regard. As the singer of The Headstones, he experienced both critical and commercial success until their initial breakup in 2003. During that time, he revealed some serious acting chops in the cult hit Hard Core Logo and has gone on to star in lauded TV series such as Flashpoint and The Killing.
The most surprising thing here may be that Neo is Canadian. Born in Lebanon to English and American parents, the naturalized Canadian became Hollywood royalty during the '90s while maintaining a Nichols Cage-esque mystery as to whether he’s an awesome or terrible actor. At the same time, he held down the bass in the pretty okay but mercilessly shit on grunge band Dogstar - ridicule which likely directly led to the Sad Keanu meme.
While the time-tested statement ‘every musician wants to be an actor and every actor wants to be a musician’ might be a gross exaggeration, there’s definitely a heck of a lot of examples of these crisscrossing categories. As for the results of such attempts at Renaissance Man/Woman status – well, they vary, to say the least. It’s not always about talent, either; the fact that a performer rose to prominence in one field can just as likely ensure unjust failure in the other as it can unwarranted success.
The U.S. have their Justin Timberlakes and Jennifer Lopezes, and we’ve got a solid line-up of double threats as well. Check out the gallery above for 9 of Canada’s favourite musicians/actors.