Pop Stars Who Starred in Sci-Fi Movies and TV Shows: Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and More


The new Black Mirror episode starring Miley Cyrus is finally here and we're obsessed. Sometimes, there’s just nothing more fun than watching our favorite pop stars pretend to be an alien… or robot… or whatever other supernatural being's skin they slip into.

Now that Miley has unveiled the incomparable Ashley, it's got us reminiscing about all of the other times major pop stars went down a wormhole into sci-fi worlds, from Rihanna in Battleship to Kylie Minogue in Doctor Who. Buckle up, because it's about to get weird. 

1. Miley Cyrus – Black Mirror

In the eagerly awaited season five Mirror episode Rachel, Jack, And Ashley Too, Cyrus plays a teen pop singer named Ashley. Right before the episode premiered, it was revealed that all of the songs she sings are actually re-worked, pop-dusted Nine Inch Nails tracks, adding an extra layer of dark humor to an already twisty narrative. Cyrus plays a tortured star who is being forced by her aunt/manager Catherine to please her obsessive fans. Of course, a lot of weird AI-robot-related stuff happens too, but, that’s for you to discover.

2. Kylie Minogue – Doctor Who

The episode, which aired in 2007 and was titled Voyage of the Damned, was the third Doctor Who Christmas special since the show’s 2005 revival. And what better way to bring joy during Christmas than with a real life pop star? Minogue played the tenth incarnation’s temporary companion Astrid Peth. She’s also one of the few individuals to appear in the show after being directly referenced by the series — in 2006's "The Idiot’s Lantern."

3. Rihanna – Battleship

Oh RiRi, is there anything you can’t do? She sings, dances, owns a multi-million dollar cosmetic company, and yes, she starred in Ocean’s 8. But in 2012, she also proved that she can stand on the deck of a boat and carry large weapons with complete confidence and ease.

4. Justin Bieber and Lady GagaMen In Black 3

Bieber and Gaga made cameos in this beloved alien-zapping franchiese early on in their careers. And while their screen time was very brief, it was still everything a fan could ask for. In the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones-starring 2012 film the two pop stars were outed as aliens… Which explains their superhuman talents, perhaps?

5. Tina TurnerMad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

In addition to co-starring in Mad Max as the ruthless ruler Aunty Entity, Turner also recorded a hit song for the film’s soundtrack, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)," which came amid a huge comeback period for the singer. "Hero" peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning Golden Globe and Grammy nominations. That’s how sci-fi should be done by a pop star.

6. Justin TimberlakeIn Time

Starring alongside Amanda Seyfried in 2011, Timberlake plays Will Salas, a citizen who is on run from the law. He once described the shoot to Collider as “the most difficult job he has ever had,” going on to say it was more physically draining than world tours.