Steven Tyler has one of rock’s most recognizable voices – a raspy delivery that will soon voice an animated character in Epic, a 3D animated feature from the filmmakers behind Ice Age and Rio. The role isn’t the first film appearance from the Aerosmith frontman and American Idol judge, nor will it be the first time he’s taken cartoon form (see: a 1991 episode of The Simpsons, among other appearances).
Let’s take a look at Tyler’s filmography through the years.
1978: Like many other rock stars of the era, Steven Tyler lent his talents to the real-action Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band film based on the Beatles’ classic album. While the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton played the role of good guys as the film’s banner act, a burgeoning Boston band by the name of Aerosmith portrayed their foils, the Future Villain Band. And thus spawned Aerosmith’s classic cover of “Come Together.”
1993: In 1990, the members of Aerosmith guested on Saturday Night Live and memorably graced Wayne’s World with their presence, to which the rock superfans declared “we’re not worthy!” Three years, the band headlined the Waynestock festival in the Wayne’s World 2 film.
1999: Music producer Glen Ballard, most famous for his work on Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, decided Steven Tyler would be the right fit to portray his record industry pal David Foster in their Clubland. The film, albeit a commercial flop, was a natural fit for rock’n’roll lifer Tyler, as it portrayed an up-and-coming band breaking into the rock scene amidst drugs and utter scandal.
2004: Tyler went for a more family-friendly role with his voice acting stint in The Polar Express, but he still had a rock’n’roll edge to him, portraying an elf singer who performed a song called “Rockin’ On Top Of the World.” The song also appeared on the animated film’s soundtrack, and Tyler doubled as an “elf lieutenant” in the holiday flick.
2004: Tyler moved past a guest appearance to show off his acting chops in independent film Goodnight, Joseph Parker. In the gritty drama starring Paul Sorvino and Debi Mazar, Tyler portrayed Sammy, a foul-mouthed, womanizing barfly.
2005: In Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty, John Travolta’s movie mobster character, Chili Palmer, dabbled in the music industry, rubbing elbows with stars like Steven Tyler. Aerosmith performed “Cryin'” alongside Christina Milian in the film, but the more memorable scene came when Uma Thurman and Tyler turned out to be old friends – thanks to the Aerosmith tattoo on her butt.
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local