Just what is it that makes actors, musicians and famous folk choose certain film cameos? Those, ‘If you blink, you’ll miss it,’ kind of moments that often only fans of the particular infiltrator will notice. Is it because they’re friends with the director? After all, nepotism is pretty rife in Hollywood and it sounds like a fun thing to do… or is it about stealth exposure for those who want to stay in the public eye without working too hard?
Of course we’re not talking about Hitchcock style cameos where directors themselves add their own presence, we’re talking about the random appearances that you’re never quite sure actually happened. When you come out of a movie theatre thinking – ‘was that really him?’
Whatever their motivation for cropping up in films at unexpected moments, it makes sense for the famous face involved – a fast buck with an instant reward – who doesn’t like the rush of getting something for very little outlay, a bit like playing some Intertops Canadian slots while on your lunch break!
Here’s a few of the best movie cameos we found – did you notice them all? We certainly didn’t!
Christian Slater in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
At the time Slater was massive, with films like Heathers and Young Guns II cementing his teen idol status. So when he turned up in a supporting role in a run of the mill Star Trek film and wasn’t even acknowledged in the credits, it can only have been through a massive love of the Star Trek Universe… surely?
Matt Damon in Eurotrip (2004)
This one is just odd. Damon had just had humungous success with the first of the Bourne films and then chose to play a skinhead in a really, really bad teen sex comedy. It was in the general mold of the American Pie films, but nowhere near as good. So you probably missed this cameo because you didn’t watch the actual film. (Which was a good move.)
Cate Blanchett in Hot Fuzz (2007)
Wait – what?? Yep, Cate Blanchett was in Edgar Wright’s follow up to Shaun of the Dead because of her love of the latter. She was hidden behind a face mask at the time and unless you’re a massive fan and could spot her eyes at a thousand paces, chances are you missed this one…
Dan Aykroyd in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Aykroyd was huge in the 80s, in fact 1984 was the year he made Ghostbusters – a seminal classic in anyone’s book and confirmed his place as a megastar, among the biggest and best of the era. But he still wasn’t too massive a star to turn down the chance to be in the second Indy film. He’s in the film for just 18 seconds at the beginning and addresses Indy with a very bad English accent.
Tim Burton in Hoffa (1992)
Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that Burton’s cameo in the Danny DeVito directed Hoffa, consisted of him playing a dead person. The film came out the same year that Burton’s Batman Returns debuted – which, of course, starred DeVito as The Penguin. So it looks like scoring a cameo is down to who you know, even for the rich and famous!
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