Peter Dinklage is a man of many talents: thespian actor of the stage and screen, animal rights activist, occasional politico. But the greatest tidbit that gets thrown around in relation to the legendary actor is his early 1990s stint as the singer of a punk-rap band called Whizzy. Sadly there is no audio that has come up to solidify Whizzy as the greatest band that never made it, but Dinklage seems to have done alright for himself.
But now we officially get to see the return of Peter Dinklage: the singer. That’s thanks to the new film Cyrano, a musical romantic comedy that finds Dinklage in the title role as Cyrano de Bergerac, the French writer whose life was famously dramatised in the 1897 Edmond Rostand play of the same name. The film gets a limited release in early 2022, but Dinklage has made his first promotional appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
He wasn’t alone either. Dinklage brought along the film’s music writers, Aaron and Bryce Dessner from indie rock outfit The National, to perform the film’s love song ‘Your Name’. Much like his speaking voice, Dinklage’s singing voice is an authoritative baritone, capable of commanding drama and even a bit of tenderness when called upon.
Sitting down with Colbert before the performance, Dinklage explains that his initial hesitancy to return to singing was quelled by the notion that the role of the singer, much like the role of the actor, is to express emotion rather than be perfectly pitched. “The greatest singers aren’t necessarily opera singers, they just have soul,” he explains. Dinklage jokes that he doesn’t have any soul, but Colbert shoots down his self-deprecation.
It’s a lovely performance, even if his closest vocal compatriot is probably the lead singer of the Crash Test Dummies. Nothing wrong with having a deep voice, Peter, and good on you for owning it.
Check out the performance of ‘Your Name’ down below.