Posted by: Pinar Tarhan | September 23, 2009

Musician Portrayals

I love rock n’ roll musicians. Not all of them of course. I have certain favorites, role models guys whose music I love and whose egos I hate….I have grown up with some. And it is no secret that I love movies so this post was, well, inevitable.

There have been a lot of movies based on rockstars or movies that have characters who happen to be rockstars. Below are my fav. portrayals.

1) The Crow- Eric Draven, by Brandon Lee (1994)

Eric Draven and his guitar

Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his guitar


What and who else could I talk about first?

The character of Eric Draven is everything that we the rock fans- and especially the female rock fans idolize : A handsome young rocker. A passionate yet compassionate lover. A guy you can laugh with. A guy you can share everything with. He is romantic and he is loyal. He is the one. Did I mention he has this amazing voice when he speaks and plays electric guitar and looks freaking good in leather?

But amazingly, this is not what Eric is all about. When he loses his fiancée Shelly, and he himself is also killed by the psychotic gang, he comes back from the dead. To avenge her. As he kills the gang members one by one, all he can think of is Shelly and when he can go back to her. Every memory haunts him. He is not just a rock star. He is a former rock star who comes back as an undead avenger. The message is that real love is more powerful than anything and it lasts forever.

He is the guy who takes his revenge in black leather clothes, white/black clownish/KISS type of make-up and plays his guitar on a rooftop. He is a lone rider. His pain and his love make the storypowerful; and Brandon Lee unforgettable.

I don’t care what movies he played in before. He is Eric Draven. And always will be.




2) The Doors- Jim Morrison by Val Kilmer (1991)

The movie poster

The movie poster

This movie is not exactly my cup of tea. I don’t like Oliver Stone. Although I like some of The Doors’ classics. I don’t like Morrison as a personality. I don’t get him. I don’t think many people do either. But Val Kilmer’s performance is pure brilliance. He is a fantastic actor. He can be outstanding in almost any role, in a movie of any genre. He can do shallow, he can do deep. He can do psychotic, complicated, romantic, funny… you name it. He is a good actor. But with The Doors, even I was surprised. It is hard to portray a celebrity whose voice, face and attitude are so well-known. How do you convince people that you are Jim Morrison? Well, if you genuinely look like him and sound like him and are one of the best actors of your generation- and are old enough to have existed in the era where Jimmy became a cult, well- voila-you can pull it off. Val Kilmer was so…Jim Morrison.Val even sang his vocals!


As for the appearance:






3) Rent- Roger Davis by Adam Pascal (2005)

Adam Pascal on the right

Adam Pascal on the right

Rent is a famous, sold-out rock musical that has been staged on broadway. Of course a movie version had to be made. I am not being sarcastic here. I love rock and I love movies- combine it right and the result will rock. The concept is simple. A close-knit of friends/neighbors dealing with broken dreams, poverty, trade off between the good life and the selling of your soul, diseases, drugs and relationships.

Roger is a rocker. Let’s say he is a former leading man/guitarist. His world and faith in love have been shattered when he has lost his girlfriend to OD (and AIDS). Roger also has HIV and is barely scraping by with his best mate/roommate.


Adam Pascal as Rogerc with Rosario Dawson as Mimi

Adam Pascal as Rogerc with Rosario Dawson as Mimi

Roger has all the right ingredients of a sexy rocker: He is hot- longish blonde hair, sexy voice, handsome face. He wears jeans and shirts and leather. He also look a little like Jon Bon Jovi- which is never a bad thing in my book. He is a good actor and an awfully talented singer. He is so good, I will be disappointed if he doesn’t have his own band in real life.

His character is fictional on the surface. Truth is, Roger is not about one person. He reflects the lifestyle of a lot of 90s musicians. See Rent. But please stay away if you don’t like rock music. It’s not gonna ring well in your ears…


Videos from Rent the movie:



(For the second video, Adam’s part begins right in the middle)


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