After a long hiatus from album making, Jenny Lewis is back, and she’s brought some of her Hollywood pals along for a gender-bending video. Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway and Brie Larson all appear in drag for her latest, “Just One Of The Guys”.
It’s a serious song, but a light-hearted video, the campy drag performances adding poignancy to the lyrics about double standards and aging biological clocks. None of the actresses are convincing as men, but they’re not meant to be: “No matter how hard I try to be just one of the guys, there’s a little something inside that won’t let me,” sings Lewis.
Still, the video got us thinking about our favourite male performances by female actresses.
See if you agree with our ranking as we count down from worst to best man.
A definitive ranking of celeb drag kings
11. Amanda Bynes in She’s the ManShe’s the Man may take inspiration from The Twelfth Night, but Shakespeare it is not. Richard Roeper called Amanda Bynes’s performance “awful”, but to be fair to Bynes, she’s done worse acting in real life.CP/Everett Collection
10. Joyce Hyser in Just One of the GuysAnother teen take on The Twelfth Night, another stereotyped flop. While the movie is marginally better than She’s the Man, Joyce Hyser’s performance definitely outshines Bynes’s. Or maybe it’s just the 80s fashions - equally awesome in male and female parts - that won us over.CP/Everett Collection
9. Mariah Carey in “Obsessed”Mariah Carey in drag looks like, well, Mariah Carey in drag, but we give her props for getting the last word in her lyrical feud with Eminem, even if she won’t admit that’s what this video is about.CP/Everett Collection
8. Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in LoveWe don’t care if she won the Oscar…it was Cate Blanchett’s to win! In any case, GOOP didn’t score her Academy Award for the drag portions of her performance, but for the exact moment when her boob-flattening bandages came off.CP/Everett Collection
7. The ladies of “Just One of the Guys”There’s some great acting here, particularly Hathaway’s single tear, which reminds us that no one cries in close-up quite like the lady Anne. The performances are fun and campy and perfect for the video, but because they’re not meant to be convincing, they’re not convincing.YouTube
6. Lady Gaga as Jo CalderoneLady Gaga’s alter ego, Jo Calderone, has won both love and hate from the LGBT community, but we can’t get enough of Jo’s sneer, his gestures and the gossipy tidbits he drops about Gaga’s personal life. Drag has a long tradition of going over-the-top, and Gaga’s Jo vaults there.WireImage
5. Julie Andrews in Victor VictoriaJulie Andrews plays a woman who plays a man who plays a woman, which should be confusing, but is actually fabulous. Admittedly Andrews is better in the man playing a woman bits, but let’s just forget all that and sing along to “Le Jazz Hot”, shall we?Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
4. Linda Hunt in The Year of Living DangerouslyYou’ve probably guessed one of the Oscar winning performances on this list, but back in 1983, Linda Hunt was the first actress to be awarded for playing a man. She scored the best supporting win for her searing performance as Indonesian dwarf and photojournalist Billy Kwan.CP/Everett Collection
3. Tilda Swinton for Pringle of ScotlandTilda Swinton’s androgynous beauty was perfect for the Pringle of Scotland campaign that saw her modelling both the men’s and women’s collections.Getty
2. Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t CryThe Oscars have spoken, and Hilary Swank is a winner for her nuanced portrayal of tragic real-life trans teen Brandon Teena.CP/Everett Collection
1. Cate Blanchett in I’m Not ThereShe doesn’t just play a man, she plays the man. Cate Blanchett may wake as a woman, but it’s hard to remember that when she’s playing Bob Dylan.YouTube