Mick Jagger: Movie Star? Exploring the Rolling Stones Singer’s Film Career
Mick Jagger knows it’s only a movie role, but he likes it. Although the Rolling Stones didn’t become film stars like their British Invasion rivals the Beatles, the band’s singer has long held a fascination with motion pictures. It’s more than a mere hobby. Film fans, writers and critics have often commented on how well Jagger’s charisma transfers from the rock stage to the silver screen.
The rocker’s movie career began with two feature films released in 1970. Ned Kelly had Jagger put on an Irish-Australian brogue to play the famous outlaw – although his turn (and Amish-like beard) weren’t received well. He fared much better later that same year in Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg’s Performance, in which he played a rock star named Turner.
Many expected to see more of Jagger in the movies, but the lead Stone mostly focused on music for the duration of the ’70s, appearing only in smaller, artsy projects and one, notable mockumentary. The ’80s brought opportunity, but also disappointing failure, when Jagger’s supporting part was cut in Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo and another planned feature fell apart before shooting commenced.
He made a high-profile return to big screen acting in the 1992 sci-fi flick Freejack, earning modest praise as villain Victor Vacendak (while the Emilio Estevez vehicle was largely derided by moviegoers). The experience seemed to stir his interest in feature films, not only on the acting side, but also as a producer. Jagger gained the best notices of his acting career in the indie films Bent and The Man From Elysian Fields while working behind the scenes on projects including Enigma, The Women, Get on Up and a few Stones documentaries. He most recently helped bring HBO’s cinematic Vinyl to life, with co-producer Martin Scorsese.
But for the above gallery, we’re focusing on Jagger’s film work in front of the camera – and not as the stage-commanding Stones frontman. Sure, in some of these movies, Jagger plays a famous singer (even one named Mick), but he also becomes an Aussie outlaw, a drag queen, a heartbroken gigolo and a bank employee. Guess his time at the London School of Economics really paid off.