Singers On-screen

More singers than ever before are looking to cross over to screen acting. Since musical talent doesn't equate to movie star potential, we asked "personologist" George Roman to analyze the faces of these singers for signs of their big-screen possibilities.


Since the '20s when the movies found their voice, popular singers from Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand have trekked from the recording studio to the movie sound-stage. Some have managed to become stars in both fields; most have returned to doing what they do best. With a bumper crop of late '90s recording artists storming movie studio gates, it's time to take a look at the goods these contenders have to offer. Deciding to leave aside such subjective matters as whether or not they can act, we took a scientific approach and enlisted nationally known "personologist" George Roman to apply his expertise to the question of who among these warblers has what it takes to be a screen star. Personology, which is basically a disciplined form of "face reading," correlates physical genetic facial features, such as the set of the eyes, the shape of the nose or the height of the forehead, to specific personality traits. Sounds like an iffy prediction system to you? Compared with anything else in Hollywood, it's quantum physics.

Bijou Phillips

Screen Presence: This 19-year-old wild child of The Mamas and the Papas mastermind John Phillips and actress Genevieve Waite has shed her NYC club rat status, released a well received pop CD, I'd Rather Eat Glass, and acted as a backstage interviewer for the MTV Movie Awards. She'll soon be appearing in Black and White, writer/director James Toback's controversial flick about rappers, then in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous set in the rock and roil world of the '70s.

Personology Profile: "She has the almond, upturned eyes of someone who overlooks flaws and is very accepting, combined with the angular, pointed chin of an arguer, which suggests she likes to bait people. She also shows what's called 'forward balance'--her ears are set far back on her head, meaning she has a strong ego and needs to be in the limelight." Obviously ready for the big screen, but is the big screen ready for her?

Britney Spears

Screen Presence: The 17-year-old former Mouseketeer showed particularly saucy moves in the videos for her album Baby One More Time. She'll be making her feature debut in a funked-up Alice In Wonderland for MTV Films.

Personology Profile: "The upswept brows indicate she's very dramatic, and the wide irises say she's emotionally expressive and can't hide her feelings. She's tough, though--one of her eyes being set closer to her nose than the other shows that if she's rushed or upset, she can be intolerant." Anyone out there contemplating Grease III?


Screen Presence: The 21-year-old's ripped bod was the real star of his videos for "Nice & Slow" and "You Make Me Wanna..." On TV, his recurring roles on Moesha and The Bold and the Beautiful showed him to be likably sexy. On the big screen, neither The Faculty nor She's All That asked or revealed much of him, but we'll see more when he costars with James Van Der Beek in Texas Rangers.

Personology Profile: "His large lower jaw area and ears show he's got physical stamina and stay-with-it mental qualities. His angular chin indicates he can be impetuous, argumentative and stubborn. His flared nostrils indicate that, instinctually, he will do only what he feels is right for him. He will survive and will do what he pleases, not what society or Hollywood says." Maybe, but nobody succeeds on the big screen without doing what Hollywood says.

Marc Anthony

Screen Presence: A Sinatra-style stage magnetism transformed this 30-year-old from an appealingly gangly guy into a Grammy-winning salsa sensation, and he steamed it up with Jennifer Lopez in one of his music videos. On-screen he's registered as arresting in small roles in Hackers, The Substitute and Big Night, and Martin Scorsese has said he's the "soul" of this fall's Bringing Out the Dead, in which he plays an urban street prophet.

Personology Profile: "The eyes are melancholic, and the fact that they're close-set indicates intense focus. The slight protuberances on his forehead mean strong imagination. The longer face suggests a lack of confidence, though, and the slightly pointed chin with the cleft means he can be very argumentative." No wonder Scorsese likes him.


Screen Presence: Her videos for "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "You Were Meant For Me" showed her to be dramatically compelling, and now billed under her full name, Jewel Kilcher, she's director Ang Lee's leading lady in the Civil War-era romantic epic Ride With the Devil, which also stars Skeet Ulrich and Tobey Maguire.

Personology Profile: "Note that the two sides of her face are very different. That and her fine hair mean she's a moody, ultrasensitive person with strong mental interest. Her high forehead shows great information-gathering capacity. She's got the angular chin that means a willingness to argue. But her delicate skin and fine hair suggest low physical stamina." Just give her the best trailer.

Gloria Estefan

Screen Presence: She's shown an affable, Miami-cool presence in her Latin lite, crossover pop videos, but in Wes Craven's Music of the Heart, she'll be really tested--she shares the screen with Meryl Streep.

Personology Profile: "She's got the charismatic, persuasive sparkle in her eyes that our entire culture responds to. The set of her mouth and 'the oral expression lines' around it suggest she's good with words. Her wide face means she's confident and inspires confidence." Which comes in handy for anyone deciding to become an actress at 42.

Alanis Morissette

Screen Presence: She's been compelling and dramatic in her breakthrough videos "You Oughta Know" and "Thank U." In the controversial film Dogma, she'll be seen playing writer/director Kevin Smith's vision of God.

Personology Profile: "She's the thin, tall ectomorphic body type personified--very affected by mood, very much a loner. Her wide irises and high forehead also say she's fussy and a thinker. That long face says she lacks confidence and her jawline indicates she's not a take-charge type. The downturn in the outer corners of her mouth indicates pessimism. But the shape of the top of her head suggests a forcefulness that drives her to try things, even if they terrify her." What do you play after you've played God?

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