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Songs That Inspire the Stars

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Hugh Jackman:
The Australian hunk can sing, dance, and act. Recently, he appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the Baz Luhrmann epic Australia, as well as hosting the 2009 Academy Awards.

What Music Lifts His Spirits
“Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti (better known as the theme from Rocky) Listen!

It might sound corny, but this song gets me pumped up if I have to shoot an intense scene in a film or if I’m about to go onstage. You might not always be in the right mood for the performance you have to give. Sometimes you have to muster up lots of energy and you may be really tired. So I listen to this and think about Rocky running up those steps and taking on his challenges. It always gets me going and feeling strong.

Cameron Diaz:
This blond beauty first turned heads in The Mask back in 1994, and has gone on to star in Charlie’s Angels and voice the role of Princess Fiona in the Shrek movies. She currently plays the mother of a sick child in My Sister’s Keeper.

What Music Lifts Her Spirits

“Crocodile Rock” by Elton John Listen!

Fifties music is so much fun, and this song—which was written and recorded in the ’70s—is sort of a tribute to that era. Whenever I hear it, I just have to sing along. It’s so upbeat and has such a bouncy flair.

Patricia Clarkson:
An Oscar-nominated character actress, her most recent films include Phoebe in Wonderland, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and Miracle.

What Music Lifts Her Spirits

“Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé Listen!

Like the title says, it’s about feeling good, and like the song itself says, “It’s a new dawn/It’s a new day/It’s a new life/For me/And I’m feeling good.” Excellent words of wisdom, don’t you think?

Larry David:
The brains behind the hit TV show Seinfeld, he followed up with the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. He currently is on the big screen in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works.

What Music Lifts His Spirits
Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Listen!

Now here was a genius, this Mozart guy. He wrote all this incredible music and did it at all before the age of 35. Plus, it’s endured for so many years. But it’s hard to explain how this particular composition is personally uplifting. All music either hits you a certain way or it doesn’t. This work gets me right in my heart. It’s wonderful.

Michelle Pfeiffer:
The three-time Oscar nominated actress has appeared in dozens of movies, including Hairspray, Dangerous Liaisons, Batman Returns, and most recently Cherì.

What Music Lifts Her Spirits
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen Listen!

This song always does it for me. It’s a terrific bit of music and I feed off its creativity. I also think the faux opera stuff in it is so much fun. You just have to sing along every time you hear it.

Harold Ramis:
One of the original Ghostbusters, he is at work after a long absence on a third movie in the series. He most recently wrote and directed the caveman comedy Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera.

What Music Lifts His Spirits

“Stand By Me” by Playing For Change Listen!

I really like this version of the classic tune. It’s more soulful than the original, but the overall message still remains the same: Basically, whatever’s going on in your world, you need somebody in your life to stand by you. What a wonderful and true statement.

Shohreh Aghdashloo:
Famous in her native Iran before coming to America, she received an Oscar nomination for her role opposite Ben Kingsley in House of Sand and Fog. She appears more recently in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and The Nativity Story.

What Music Lifts Her Spirits

“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor Listen!

I was born in Iran and escaped the country. I lived under an oppressive regime where women had no rights and I dreamed of doing the unthinkable, becoming an actress. I endured a lot of harsh conditions and getting out was not easy. So the song always lifts my spirits. If you listen to the lyrics, you’ll understand. 

Jack Black:
He’s played everything from a music teacher (School of Rock) to a karate-chopping would-be hero (Kung-Fu Panda) to, currently, a wandering caveman (Year One).

What Music Lifts His Spirits
“Surf Wax America” by Weezer Listen!

The guitar work in this song is so amazing. I play air guitar to it and imitate the guitar sounds when I’m on a movie set or if I’m just hanging out. If I’m ever feeling cranky, I just hit this one on the old iPod and suddenly I’m a smiling rock & roll guy.

Michael Cera:
Perhaps America’s favorite lovable, awkward, smart teen, he gained popularity in the TV series Arrested Development and vaulted into the spotlight with his role in the surprise indie hit Juno.

What Music Lifts His Spirits
“Baluba Shake” by Brunetta Listen!

I just listen to this song and I can’t help being happy. The group seems to be having a great time playing it and it’s infectious. Plus the rhythms in the tune makes me want to jump up and dance. That’s always an uplifting kind of thing.

Evan Rachel Wood:
This starlet currently appears alongside Larry David in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works. She also played Mickey Rooney’s daughter in The Wrestler and starred in the nostalgic love story Across the Universe.

What Music Lifts Her Spirits
“If You Want To Sing Out” by Cat Stevens Listen!

It’s a happy song. It was also used in the great movie Harold and Maude. Just listen to it and you’ll see that it’s almost impossible not to be in a good mood.

Rupert Friend:
This British actor played the devious Mr. Wickham in the 2005 remake of Pride and Prejudice. He currently stars opposite Michelle Pfeiffer in Cherì.

What Music Lifts His Spirits
“Astral Weeks” by Van Morrison

It’s from one of the greatest rock albums ever made—this is the title track. It’s an infusion of rock and jazz. It speaks to me and shows me how brilliant creativity can be inspiring.

By Neil Rosen for Guideposts


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