Drew Barrymore: Latest Actor-Turned-Music Video Director

By Zachary Swickey

L.A. surf-pop scenesters Best Coast are about to give their song “Our Deal” the video treatment, and frontwoman Bethany Cosentino has revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that a gal pal of hers – none other than Drew Barrymore – will be directing the clip. The two met backstage at a show in L.A. and really hit it off.

“She’s the nicest, most down-to-Earth person I’ve ever met,” said Cosentino, who was clearly taken aback by Barrymore’s nonchalant character. “We were like, ‘How can we work together?’”

A music video directed by Barrymore seemed like the logical solution, as the actress made her directorial debut two years ago with the roller derby romp Whip It, starring Ellen Page and current hot commodity Kristen Wiig. Barrymore is not the only celeb attached to the video either; it will include appearances from iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove, Chloe Moretz of Kick Ass and Let Me In fame, and comedian/rapper Donald Glover of Community. Cosentino assures the video has a “very cool concept,” which was concocted by Barrymore.

While this will mark Barrymore’s first music video, actors lensing music clips is far from a new trend. Let’s take a look at some of the more memorable and obscure music videos that were helmed by actors.

Heath Ledger

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Before his tragic passing, Ledger had high aspirations of being a serious director. He helmed the video for “Morning Yearning” for pal Ben Harper off his 2004 double album, Both Sides of the Gun. An animated (yet, disturbing) video that Ledger had conceived for Modest Mouse’s “King Rat” was eventually completed after the star’s passing, but he was still given the credit. Most interesting is the video Ledger directed for Nick Drake’s “Black Eyed Dog.” Ledger, who was fascinated with the British singer-songwriter, also stars in the clip, which has only been screened twice in full and never been released to the public.

Read on for more.

Sean Penn

Penn has always been a notable fan of music. Back in 1991, he made his directorial debut with The Indian Runner, a film he also wrote that is based on the Bruce Springsteen song “Highway Patrolman.” The star then went on to direct music videos for an eclectic group or artists: “North Dakota” for Lyle Lovett, “The Barry Williams Show” for Peter Gabriel and even “Dance with the One That Brought You” for Shania Twain (who is currently on an impressive comeback).

Shia LaBeouf

Transformers star LaBeouf revels in the fact that at 22, he got to direct a music video for his favorite rapper – one of New York’s most notorious underground hip hop artists, Cage. LaBeouf helmed Cage’s “I Never Knew You” from his third album, Depart from Me, in 2009. More recently, LaBeouf “directed” the video for Kid Cudi’s “Marijuana,” which is more of a behind-the-scenes look at Cudi and his crew enjoying Amsterdam’s infamous “Cannibus Cup” – all shot on a shaky handheld cam. Rather ironic considering Cudi is claiming sobriety these days.

Emile Hirsch

Into the Wild star Hirsch has been keeping a low profile lately, but it appears he’s been busy creating homemade music videos for songs of the past and semi-present. It began with a video for Daft Punk’s ’97 hit “Alive,” featuring an interesting dance-off, followed by a murder-plotting cat in Eminem’s “Kill You,” and more recently, the star uploaded a clip for a fresher tune, Justice’s “Genesis,” from their ’09 breakthrough, Cross. While the clips are not “official” videos for their respective songs, they could become the calling card for Hirsch if he ever decides to take his directorial work to the next level.

Jason Alexander

There’s no telling “who-called-who” for this strange pairing, but George Costanza, aka actor Jason Alexander, not only appeared in two of country crooner Brad Paisley’s videos, he directed one of the clips. “Online” also features William Shatner, Estelle Harris (Alexander’s on-screen mom from his Seinfeld days) and Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler acting as backup dancers for Paisley. The vid even received the 2007 Country Music Association Award for Video of the Year.