Five Film Directors Who Are Also Amazing Music Composers
We have a kind of love affair with the legendary actors we recognize for creating the iconic roles in cinema. We expect them to be accomplished actors whom we know and respect. We are however surprised when we discover that their talents far exceed their acting skills. After all, when their performances are so good, it can be hard to tell the actor from the character. Learning that our favorites have taken on director roles is another surprise, and a step further from our expectations.
It turns out that there are beautiful actors who have become outstanding directors. What’s quite amazing, however, is that some are also good musicians in their own right… we just didn’t know that. The vast abilities of some of our most beloved actors are amazing. Here are five with more than remarkable musical skills.
When Hopkins was interviewed in 2012, he noted that he had been composing music all his life and wished he had attended music college. But, he thought he wasn’t smart enough in school, so he settled for becoming an actor instead. He composed distant star in 1986, and the song reached position number 75 in the UK Singles Chart. He also composed The mask of timeperformed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2008. In 1990, Anthony Hopkins made his directorial debut with the film Dylan Thomas: Journey home.
In 1996 he played the role of Ieuan Davies in the film August, which he also directed. The film is an adaptation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, but set in Wales. While Hopkins is primarily an actor, we had to include him due to his musical gifts.
Here is the official trailer for August:
In 2007, he performed the role of Félix Bonhoeffer in Slipstream, for which he also wrote the screenplay (his first), directed and scored. The film is an experimental drama, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. At 27, he composed a waltz titled And the waltz continues. The year was 1964, and he didn’t hear it until André Rieu released an album named after Hopkins’ composition. It was then premiered in Vienna by the Rieu orchestra.
here is And the waltz continues:
Hopkins released an album comprising nine of his film scores and original works in 2012. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra performed his pieces on the album, titled Composer. Hopkins named one of the coins Margame in honor of his birthplace in Wales. The town is a suburb located close to Port Talbot, Glamorgan.
Here is the classic album titled Composer:
It’s amazing to think that the distinguished actor whose expansive filmography is filled with awards and accolades should find the time to pursue his creative passions. But, he did, and the multi-faceted talents he possesses are indeed impressive.
Robert Rodriquez is an American filmmaker, musician and screenwriter from San Antonio, Texas. He is of Mexican-American descent and traces his love for movies back to when his father bought a VCR with a camera. It was one of the first, and it caught his eye. He started by filming his school’s football games, but his artistic style was not appreciated and his career was discouraged for a time. His first success was his action movie El Mariachi, which cost just $7,000 to make and won the People’s Choice Award at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. He had studied guitar and piano since he was young, and he composed El Mariachi with Radio Shack gear in his garage. He likes the idea of having a musical character and exploring the different facets of traditional Mexican musical art.
Here is the official trailer for El Mariachi:
Rodriquez’s talent for writing, directing and producing his own films extends to the additional duties of:
- camera operator
- Steadicam Operator,
- Director of Photography
- visual effects supervisor
- production designer
- sound editor
For this reason, its nickname is “the one-man film crew”. He often abbreviates his credits to simply read “Shot, Chopped and Scored by Robert Rodriquez”. This is how he was credited Once upon a time Mexico. He sees creativity as the solution to problems, rather than money. Although his filmography includes hits such as Sin City, Predators, Desperadoand spy on kidsand he has won many prestigious awards for his work, he still considers the experience and his work with colleagues such as George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino particularly valuable.
This is the main theme of city of sin:
3. John Charpentier
John Carpenter has had a brilliant career as a horror filmmaker. Although many of his films were initially unsuccessful, they became cult classics in the sci-fi, action, and horror genres. His work has become an integral part of popular culture and his influence as a filmmaker and composer of film scores is considered notable. He undeniably earned his titles of The Horror Master and The Master of Horror for his well-known films. He is proficient in guitar, bass, piano and synthesizer and has an extensive discography of studio albums and remixes. He toured for the first time as a musician due to his Lost themes and waltz of death reissues and albums. His work on apocalyptic themes is renowned. Halloween has been recognized by the United States Library of Congress and is now part of the National Film Registry.
here is Lost themes:
here is Halloween performed by Carpenter himself:
4. Clint Eastwood
For 7 decades, from the 1950s to the current 2010s, Clint Eastwood has been active in the film industry. He has played lead roles in 43 films and his work as a director, producer, actor and composer is legendary, with numerous awards and nominations to his name. He acted in movies, wrote and composed songs, created the original scores for many. Here are most:
- Paint your wagon
- The glove
- Bronco Billy
- any way you can
- Honkytonk Man
- city heat
- Crest of Sorrow
- A perfect world
- Madison County Bridges
- Absolute power
- true crime
- Mystic River (film score)
- Million Dollar Baby (film score)
- Flags of Our Fathers (Film Score)
- Grace is Gone (film score)
- Changeling (film score)
- Gran Torino (music from the film, wrote and performed the theme song)
- Below (music from the film)
- J. Edgar (film score)
Eastwood loves bebop, jazz, country and western, blues, classical, and classic rhythm and blues. He plays the piano and produced an album titled Cowboy Favorites in 1959. He holds an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music. Emperor Akihito of Japan awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun for his contribution to improving relations between Japan and the United States. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from USC.
Here he sings and plays the piano on Rawhide:
here is the mystical river theme he composed:
Although Charlie Chaplin was known as The Tramp during the silent film era, his career spanned over 75 years. He was known as an actor, director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer. Passionate about music, he taught himself to play the cello, the violin and the piano. He took the violin and the cello everywhere with him and practiced often. When films embraced sound technology, he composed the synchronized orchestral soundtrack for city lights in 1931. From then on, he composed the music for all his films, including silent feature films and short films. He had no musical training, could not read music, and depended on professional musicians to help him create his own sheet music. He would improvise his ideas for his film scores, singing or playing the piano to demonstrate to his collaborating composers his wishes. His popular tunes emerged from his scores. Included were Smilewhich became a Nat King Cole hit in 1954, This is my songperformed by Petula Clark, and Terry’s theme, made popular by singer Jimmy Young in 1952 as “Eternally”. Chaplin won the 1973 Oscar for limelight. It was awarded Best Original Score when it was reissued.
here is Smile with Nat King Cole:
here is the limelight movie theme: