Music video acting is acting, too! Take it from these very famous faces.
1. Courteney Cox in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”
Does Bruce Springsteen have a twin or is that…Courteney Cox? Monica Gellar-Bing, is that you?! That hair! That muscle tank! If this music video doesn’t scream 1984, I don’t know what does.
2. Macaulay Culkin in Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”
In Michael Jackson’s 1991 video for the hit song, we get to see a young Macaulay Culkin as a rockstar kid. The video was released when both Culkin and Jackson were in their primes, and two of the most famous entertainers in the world. The video's got an inspirational message to boot!
3. Matt LeBlanc in Jon Bon Jovi’s “Miracle”
Courteney Cox isn’t the only “Friends” star to make this list, and to have been in a music video pre-“Friends.” Matt LeBlanc can be seen in this classic 1990 Jon Bon Jovi video, and if I could jump into this video and say one thing to him, it’d be, “How you doin’?”
4. Hugh Laurie in Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass”
This 1992 period piece-inspired video features Dr. House himself—wig, pale face, and all—playing some type of royalty. With all the make-up, he’s nearly unrecognizable!
5. Eddie Murphy in Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time”
Early Michael Jackson videos have always been extravagant, and the 1991 video for “Remember the Time” is no different, except that it stars Eddie Murphy.
6. Alicia Silverstone in Aerosmith’s “Cryin’ ”
Forget about “Clueless,” this is the performance of Alicia Silverstone’s career. No sarcasm, seriously! This is before “Clueless,” too! She’s perfect in the classic 1993 video for this heartbroken ballad.
7. Angelina Jolie in The Rolling Stones’ “Anybody Seen My Baby?”
What’s there to say other than that Angelina Jolie is a complete badass in this 1997 Rolling Stones vid? Jolie had previously shaved her head for the HBO movie “Gia,” about model Gia Carangi, who died from AIDS at just 26 years old. Jolie rocks the look, and shows off her acting chops in “Anybody Seen My Baby?”
8. Zooey Deschanel in The Offspring’s “She’s Got Issues”
Sporting bright red hair, Zooey Deschanel is the star of this 1998 Offspring video, which features her interacting with animated creatures, because… well, she’s got issues.
9. Kathy Griffin in Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady”
Everyone remembers this Eminem video from 2000, but few people remember that Kathy Griffin plays one of the nurses in the hospital/asylum. See for yourself!
10. Mila Kunis in Aerosmith’s “Jaded”
“Jaded” is one of Aerosmith’s most famous and beloved songs, so it only makes sense that they employed a famous and beloved actor for the 2001 video. I wouldn’t say this video really makes any sense, but Mila Kunis is perfect in it regardless. Warning: Listen to this song and it WILL be stuck in your head for sometime.
11. Jennifer Love Hewitt in Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero”
Nearly every Enrique Iglesias music video features a super hot female love interest, and in 2001’s “Hero,” it was Jennifer Love Hewitt’s turn. Come on, J. Love, let him be your hero…baby.
12. Ben Affleck in Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny from the Block”
In this 2001 music video, Lopez declares herself Jenny from the Block, a name by which we now know her so well. She puts her message across with the help of Ben Affleck—pre-“Argo,” baby-faced Affleck. Did anyone else forget the two once dated?
13. Ben Stiller in P. Diddy’s “Bad Boy for Life”
You hear the title of this song, and you automatically start singing it, but you probably don’t automatically remember that Ben Stiller is in the video. Fast forward to 2:58 to watch his cameo!
14. Christopher Walken in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice”
Christopher Walken kills it in this 2001 Flatboy Slim video. Who knew he could move like that?! If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, nothing will!
15. Mischa Barton in Enrique Iglesias’ “Addicted”
Joining the “hot female actors in Enrique Iglesias music videos” club (see the aforementioned Jennifer Love Hewitt in “Hero”) is Mischa Barton. “The O.C.” star is the apple of Iglesias’ eye in this 2003 video.
16. Jeremy Renner in P!nk’s “Trouble”
In this 2003 western-themed video, P!nk plays an outlaw and it’s none other than Jeremy Renner as the prison guard who she gets hot and steamy with, and then tricks so she can escape. Poor Renner, he never saw it coming! Check out all that eyeliner though!
17. Elisha Cuthbert in Weezer’s “Perfect Situation”
The “24” actor stars in this imaginative 2005 Weezer video wherein “before there was Weezer…there was Weeze,” and Elisha Cuthbert was the reckless rocker frontman.
18-19. Christina Applegate and Eva Longoria in Jessica Simpson's "A Public Affair”
For her 2006 video, Jessica Simpson needed some super hot actors to play her BFFs and she called none other than Christina Applegate and Eva Longoria. And they’re not the only famous faces—Ryan Seacrest and Christina Milian also star.
20. Evan Rachel Wood in Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends”
From “Thirteen” to “Across the Universe” to “The Wrestler” to… a Green Day music video, it seems like Evan Rachel Wood has done it all. Here she is in the saddest Green Day video ever.
21. Zach Galifianakis in Fiona Apple’s "Not About Love”
It’s the face and body of Zach Galifianikis with the voice of Fiona Apple, AND he dances.
22. Leighton Meester in Cobra Starship’s “Good Girls Go Bad”
This one’s a little different, because the “Of Mice and Men” star actually sings on this track, so we knew she’d most likely be in the video as well. She’s more of a pop star in this one than an actor, for sure.
23. Alexander Skarsgård in Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”
When a new Lady Gaga video comes out, everyone knows about it, and this 2009 video was no exception. This one does have a special guest though: Alexander Skarsgård. You need to watch until the end to figure out what happens to the “True Blood” star.
24. Scarlett Johansson in Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around...Comes Around”
For this massive hit’s video, Justin Timberlake decided he needed a massive star and so he called up Scarlett Johansson to take on the task in 2009’s “What Goes Around…Comes Around.”
25. Jake Gyllenhaal in Vampire Weekend’s “Giving Up the Gun”
Though Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t the only famous face in this video (Joe Jonas), Gyllenhaal plays one of the tennis player’s formidable opponents, showing his fans his great sense of humor, and giving us yet another reason to love him.
Bonus: Gyllenhaal also stars in the video for “Time to Dance” by The Shoes.
26. Bruce Willis in Gorillaz’s “Stylo”
This 2010 video features the classic Gorillaz characters in a car chase, but it’s not until about half way through that we see the driver of the other car is Bruce Willis looking like a total BAMF.
27. James Van Der Beek in Ke$ha’s “Blow”
I have to say, this combination of people seemed pretty surprising, but I’m not necessarily upset about it. James Van Der Beek (aka Dawson from “Dawson’s Creek”) has been making a recent comeback with roles on shows like “Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “Friends with Better Lives,” so it’s only natural that he solidify his return starring as the hot guy in a msuic video. “Well, well,” Ke$ha says, “if it isn’t James Van Der Douche.”
28-46. Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Elijah Wood, Rashida Jones, Will Arnett, Ted Dansen, Rainn Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Amy Poehler, Steve Buscemi, Mary Steenburgen, Maya Rudolph, Kirsten Dunst, Chloë Sevigny, Will Ferrell, David Cross, Orlando Bloom, John C. Reilly, and Jack Black in Beastie Boys’ “Make Some Noise”
This one is just a non-stop party of actors. Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, and Elijah Wood play Mike D, MCA, and Ad-Rock, respectively, in the 2011 video for “Make Some Noise.” If you believe that this is too good to be true, see for yourself!
47. Shia LaBeouf in Sigur Rós’ “Fjögur píanó”
It’s sort of like… the prequel to “Nymphomaniac.” That being said, this 2012 video is definitely NSFW…or children.
48. Aubrey Plaza in Father John Misty’s “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”
If you’re an Aubrey Plaza fan—which, let’s be honest, who isn’t?—this 2012 video is pure gold and takes as much skilled acting as any performance. She is completely manic, eating flowers, sobbing, and throwing stuff everywhere. If you haven’t seen this one, stop what you’re doing and watch it right now.
49. Ray Wise in Beach House’s “Wishes”
Ray Wise (aka Leland Palmer from “Twin Peaks”) is amazing in this eerie Beach House video from 2013. Wise has had a very impressive and consistent career for the past few decades, and this performance only adds to it.