It really was a happy new year when Harry Styles sprang his latest surprise on the world: a brand-new video starring everyone’s favourite Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Featuring matching custom Gucci suits and exquisite choreography, the pair got 2021 off to a bang with the beautifully brilliant Treat People With Kindness.
Styles and Waller-Bridge aren’t the first acting and singing duo to produce screen magic. Since the invention of music promos in the late 1970s and early 1980s—especially when Bruce Springsteen invited a fresh-faced Courteney Cox to dance on stage with him in 1984’s Dancing In The Dark video—we’ve seen guest appearances from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Here, Vogue goes back in time to celebrate another 10 moments when actors stole the screen.
1. Eva Mendes and Will Smith: Miami (1998)
Before he was an actor, Will Smith was a rapper. The Fresh Prince dropped this late 1990s classic as an upbeat ode to the Bentleys, bass and babes of South Beach. The video’s highlight is around the one-minute mark when a young Eva Mendes (credited as ‘car driver’) pulls alongside and suggestively mouths, “Bienvenidos a Miami.” Though she’d had a few small film parts before this, it wasn’t until 2001’s Training Day that Mendes became the star we know and love today.
2. Robert Downey Jr and Elton John: I Want Love (2001)
A few years after shooting this video, director Sam Taylor-Johnson went on to helm Fifty Shades of Grey while Robert Downey Jr played the lead in Iron Man (2008). Shot at the iconic Greystone mansion in Beverly Hills, the location for everything from The Big Lebowski to Meat Loaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), Downey—fresh out of rehab—meaningfully mouths the words while wandering around the grand setting.
3. Rachel Hunter and Fountains of Wayne: Stacy’s Mom (2003)
Poor Stacy. Forever upstaged by her gorgeous, newly single mother, she had no chance with the object of her affections—especially when director Chris Applebaum cast Rod Stewart’s model ex-wife Rachel Hunter, in the video. Possibly not the most politically correct storyline, but this Grammy-nominated smasher hit all the right notes—it’s had 138m views.
4. Christopher Walken and Fatboy Slim: Weapon Of Choice (2001)
Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) and auteur Spike Jonze persuaded legendary actor Christopher Walken to drop the tough-guy persona and do a solo dance routine for this song taken from Cook’s third album, Halfway Between The Gutter and The Stars. Throughout the course of its four minutes, trained dancer Walken spins, dives and cartwheels around a deserted hotel lobby.
5. Melissa Joan Hart and Britney Spears: (You Drive Me) Crazy (1999)
This classic from producer Max Martin and Spears was a huge hit around the world. Taken from the film of the same name, the video—based around a dance-off between waiters—featured the romcom’s stars, Melissa ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’ Joan Hart and a pre-Entourage Adrien Grenier, who had to be persuaded by director Nigel Dick to take part. Also watch out for Spears’ nod to Janet Jackson’s iconic Miss You Much chair routine two minutes in.
6. Issa Rae and Jay-Z: Moonlight (2017)
Jay-Z made a powerful statement when he revamped classic sitcom Friends—specifically a September 1996 episode, The One Where No One’s Ready—with an all-Black cast. The visuals for the single, directed by Alan Yang and taken from Jay’s 4:44 album, featured Lakeith Stanfield, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Jerrod Carmichael, Tessa Thompson and Issa Rae as Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Ross, Monica and Rachel respectively.
7. Scarlett Johansson and Justin Timberlake: What Goes Around… Comes Around (2006)
ScarJo plays JT’s love interest in this MTV VMA-winning piece written by The Notebook’s Nick Cassavetes and directed by Samuel Bayer, who also helmed Nirvana’s amazing Smells Like Teen Spirit. The 10-minute long promo depicts a tempestuous relationship between Timberlake and the wild and reckless Johansson culminating in, quite literally, an explosive climax. Not one for fans of a happy ending—The Notebook this ain’t.
8. Megan Fox, Eminem and Rihanna: Love The Way You Lie (2010)
This star-studded video featured not only Eminem and Rihanna, but also Dominic ‘Lord of the Rings’ Monaghan and Jennifer’s Body’s Megan Fox. The man behind the camera, Joseph Kahn, credited Fox’s performance—she played a girlfriend in an abusive relationship—for helping to boost the video’s popularity, which has had more than two billion views. Fox, who agreed to take part because she was a fan of Eminem, donated her fee to Sojourn House, a women’s shelter.
9. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez: Jenny From The Block (2002)
One of those ill-fated celebrity relationships that many of us remember with a bemused shake of the head was when J.Lo and Affleck became one of the world’s best-known A-list couples. The relationship, of course, didn’t last, but they’ll always have this much-ridiculed memento of their 18 months together. If, that is, they want a reminder…
10. Danny DeVito and One Direction: Steal My Girl (2014)
Featuring the wonderful One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’s (1975) DeVito alongside a chimpanzee, sumo wrestlers, acrobats and a marching band, this lively offering from 1D sees DeVito playing a director in the desert. The actor later told James Corden on The Late Late Show that he kept the boys entertained on set with his troll foot. Almost 362 million views can’t be wrong.