Five Actors Who Should Play Billy Joel in a Movie

Five Actors Who Should Play Billy Joel in a Movie

billy Joel

For those who somehow missed the news, The Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, recently turned seventy. He celebrated by playing Madison Square Gardens. If you told most celebs that you wanted to make a movie about them, they’d be thrilled or at least flattered. He told Rolling Stone “I don’t know if I’m interesting enough to make a movie out of. I lived my life. I don’t want to be redundant.” However, we love Billy, and we know exactly who we’d cast to play him if they did make a movie. Any star who plays a musical icon needs to have some musical talent. Specifically, we can’t see a piano man who can’t play the piano. You can replace an actor’s voice with the real soundtrack, but fake piano might as well be air guitar, it just doesn’t come close to looking right. Here are our top five piano playing celebs who we think could play, at least some part of Billy Joel’s life in a Biopic movie.

1. Elijah Wood

There’s a surprisingly long list of actors (and actresses) who learned to tickle the ivories, but there’s only one who did it to save his life. Granted, it was just for a horror/thriller movie. Elijah may have made a great hobbit and saved the world, but he’s got other skills as well. We know he can rock a long, messy, curly hairdo, which was Billys’ signature look when he was younger. We also see a certain similarity around the eyes that gives Elijah the edge when it comes to getting this part. As a child, Elijah Wood took piano lessons. He also took them as an adult for the lead role in Grand Piano.  In the film, he plays a concert pianist who receives a dire threat. He will play and play perfectly, or a sniper will shoot him. The story is very Hitchcockian as the set upon main character tries desperately to figure out where the threat is coming from. However, it’s no mere trick that he plays so well under pressure. Elijah got very serious about re-learning the piano during his time leading up to the filming. Anyone who can play for their life is a worthy Piano Man in our book.

2. Hugh Jackman

Call him Wolverine if you like, but here’s one Aussie actor with more talent than he needs. Hugh Jackman has some experience with musical roles. He played Memphis in Happy Feet, and he’s been busy starring in shows on Broadway for years. He’s been in The Music Man and at least a dozen other musicals. In addition to his talent for singing Hugh also plays the piano. When you add his naturally dark hair and eyes, Hugh is a fantastic choice for Billy Joel. Of course, we want to see more of him regardless, but we think he’d do Billy justice as both a piano player and a singer.

3. Hugh Laurie

Perhaps not for younger twenty-something Billy Joel, but we think Hugh Laurie is another stellar pick for the role of Billy Joel. Like everyone on this list, he can play the piano, and we know he’s got range as an actor. However, the talent doesn’t stop there. Hugh has at least two albums out, and he can play the guitar, saxophone, harmonica, and drums in addition to singing and piano. He may tend toward Jazz personally, but he could rock. Billy and Hugh are two of a kind. We can envision him belting out some of Joel’s’ hits. While we’re on the subject, Billy Joel has thirty-three hits to his name. He’s written dozens of songs, though he doesn’t focus on writing music these days. Moreover, he’s put out a prolific five live albums, ten video albums, thirteen studio albums, and fifteen compilation albums, plus his singles, promotional singles. On top of that, he’s also made a stunning forty-five music videos.

4. Jason Cook

Jason may be better known as a soap star, but he has been a pianist since childhood. He didn’t just take a few lessons and let it go. In fact, he was so good he even played weddings for a while, starting at age twelve. Cook didn’t even consider acting until a fluke in high school made him a stand-in for an actor in Whodunnit. We’re not sure if he sings, but he was a competitive debate team member in college. Though Jason prefers to focus on his career as a producer, writer, and director, we still think he’s a solid choice. We’re just not sure if he’d take the part.

5. Robert Downey Jr.

We wanted to end with a big surprise (for some fans), so we decided to add Robert Downy Junior to the list. His voice even sounds a little like Billy Joel, and lest we forget, Robert has a very musical past. To more modern generations, he may be Iron Man, but to us, he’s something much deeper and more soulful than a billionaire playboy with a drinking problem and an ego the size of his corporate headquarters. Robert could easily have been number one, but we like to finish strong. If you haven’t heard him play and sing before, you should take the time to YouTube a few videos of Robert as a musician. He even sang with Sting at least once that we know of. When it comes to casting Billy Joel, we couldn’t ask for a better fit, except maybe Elijah Wood, which is why he got top billing this time.

Final Thoughts

Billy himself may not think his life is worthy of a movie, but we certainly do. He wrote a song about doing heroin, plus he’s been married four times, and two of his daughters are barely out of diapers. More importantly, he’s Billy Joel, so we’re interested in his life. Who wouldn’t be? It probably looks different from the inside, but fans would eat a biopic right up if you ask us. What do you think? Should someone write a screenplay for a Billy Joel movie, or is it an awful idea? Let us know in the comments section.

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