The Man Who Fell to Earth: Cinema 5/Photofest
Lisa Schwarzbaum
November 05, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Who is your favorite musician-turned-serious actor?

Who is your favorite musician-turned-serious actor? —Ginette Farrell
I could happily stand up for Doris Day, Lena Horne, Meat Loaf Aday, Bing Crosby, Mark Wahlberg, or OutKast’s André Benjamin — who, to my mind, has the most potential among current rappers-turned-actors to become a dramatic superstar. But since it’s my column and I’ll play if I want to, I’m going to refine the criterion to focus on my favorite match of serious musician to perfectly chosen serious movie role. Which is, without a doubt, David Bowie in Nicolas Roeg’s strange and fabulous 1976 sci-fi fantasy, The Man Who Fell to Earth. Everything alien yet elegant about the glam rocker contributed to his great performance as an elegant alien — with telltale outer-space eyes! — who passes as a human business tycoon while searching for water for his planet.

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