No matter if he is rocking out before an arena packed with tens of thousands of fans or acting in an indie film, Mick Jagger says the experience is essentially the same: He’s still performing.
Jagger’s latest acting gig, in the independent thriller The Burnt Orange Heresy, finds the 76-year-old musician playing a wealthy art collector Joseph Cassidy, who asks an art critic to steal a painting from a reclusive artist.
The movie, also starring Donald Sutherland and set in a villa on Lake Como, opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.
At just two scenes, it’s Jagger’s biggest movie role since 2001, when he played an elegant Brit running a high-class escort service in Elysian Fields.
From uncredited “soldier in a bar” to starring as Australian outlaw Ned Kelly in 1970, Jagger says acting is one of his many interests outside rock and roll.
“Acting is not a huge part of my life, but when I get to do it, I always enjoy it,” Jagger told Reuters.
“It’s another kind of performing. I’m up for doing things that interest me, whether it’s acting, music, comedy, whatever,” he said
With swept back hair and elegant suits, Jagger is barely recognisable in The Burnt Orange Heresy as the dancing, jeans-clad frontman of the Rolling Stones. “I only have two scenes, and you’ve really got to make the most of it. I didn’t think it was too much of a stretch for me,” said Jagger.
“I thought it was a character I could bring something to … I thought, I have seen people like this. I think I could be this manipulative person and make this work,” he said.
Since 1970, when Jagger had starring roles in Performance and Ned Kelly, most of his roles have been supporting parts in indie movies or uncredited roles.
“I wish I’d done a bit more, and I wish I’d got better roles. (But) I’m a working musician. I’m not out there hustling acting parts much,” he said.
Jagger said that when he was in his 20s and early 30s, it was harder for musicians to make the transition to acting.
“People didn’t want to take you seriously. They thought you would be flaky, that you wouldn’t turn out, or you wouldn’t be doing the craft right, and why take a chance. Now it’s a lot easier for people to do both.”
Jagger said he has had no long-term effects from the heart valve replacement surgery he underwent in April 2019. He was back on stage two months later, and the Stones go back on the road in the United States in May.
Fans will have to wait longer for the band’s much talked-about first album of new music since 2005.
“Don’t hold your breath!” Jagger said. “I’ve been writing a lot, and I’ve done a load of demos and the Stones have recorded some really nice things. But we haven’t finished the album yet, so I’ve got no date for that.”