The history of movie stars becoming rock stars is just as unfortunate as the history of rock stars becoming movie stars, as anyone who’s heard Bruce Willis‘ blues-rock or Steven Seagal‘s country record can attest to. But just as Justin Timberlake has become one of the rare figures to bridge the divide from the recording world, stars Scarlett Johansson and Zooey Deschanel have found some success collaborating with established artists like Dave Sitek and M. Ward in recent years. And it looks like one more actress is hoping to follow in their footsteps, in the shape of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” star Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Winstead’s already been having a pretty good few months; she’s soon to star in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” and she won enormous acclaim for her leading role in Sundance indie “Smashed,” which Sony Pictures Classics will release in the hopes of an awards run later in the year. But it seems like her ambitions don’t stop there: in an interview with Complex Magazine, the actress reveals that she’s working on a record with veteran producer Dan The Automator (Handsome Boy Modelling School, Gorillaz).
The producer worked on the soundtrack for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” in which Winstead played the female lead, and as she explains, he picked up the phone shortly afterwards “I guess he saw something on the Internet of me singing, and he called me and asked if I wanted to collaborate on a song. So we did a song together, and then one song kind of turned into five, and then we just decided to make an album out of it. So we’re currently working on it, going at our own pace, and not putting too much pressure on ourselves. It’s really fun.” It’s not entirely surprising that he might pick her out — as you can tell from the outtake below from Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof,” the girl’s got some pipes on her.
The project’s currently unnamed, and clearly moving on its own timetable, but Winstead says that it melds Automator’s beats with something more surprising: “The inspiration behind it is, like, French ’60s pop—Jane Birkin, and stuff like that. It’s kind of married with Dan’s sensibility, which is his beats and a little bit of that low-key hip-hop vibe. So it makes for something that’s very unique; it’s very lounge-y and light. It’s got a little bit of a French quality.” Sounds like fun to us, and we hope we hear something from the collaboration soon. In the meantime, you’ll be able to see Winstead on the big screen in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” on June 22nd, and in “Smashed” some time later in the year.
Another movie star, it turns out, also has musical side project, albeit a very different sounding one: IFC (via The AV Club) has uncovered a track by Corporal, the band which features the star of “Revolutionary Road,” “Take Shelter,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and the upcoming “Man Of Steel,” Michael Shannon, on lead vocals. Formed a decade ago with two friends, the band sounds a little bit Silver Jews and a little bit Dylan, with Shannon’s vocals decidedly J. Mascis-esque. The track’s called “Glory,” from the album of the same name, and the band will be playing dates next month in New York, Chicago and LA.