The cameo part has risen to prominence somewhat over the course of the last half century in film-making. These brief yet noticeable roles often come at us unexpectedly, forcing a quick Google search or even a frantic rewind to confirm what we think we have just seen…
10. Brad Pitt – True Romance (1993)
This movie, beautifully constructed by the perhaps lesser known Scott brother Tony, already has plenty of things to write home about. The inclusion of the then up and coming Brad Pitt as a long haired, barely intelligible stoner house mate however, is the perfect comical compliment to a plot which otherwise carries a lot of serious weight. Despite his number of scenes exceeding the typical amount- I still maintain this to be a cameo, mostly due to his character ‘Floyd’ contributing little to the overall plot- and being there mostly for the amusement of the viewer. A sane man may have included a certain Mr Walkens role in this movie above Brads- however he’s further down the list.
9. Billy Idol – The Wedding Singer (1998)
It hurts me to say this, but I can barely bring myself to look at Adam Sandler these days. I don’t know whether I’ve just grown up or his movies are actually getting more and more terrible. The Wedding Singer was admittedly a late discovery of mine (I spent a lot of time immersed in Happy Gilmore); however it has quickly risen as my favourite of his. With Steve Buscemi (whose appearance is a cameo too I guess…), Drew Barrymore and of course Adam- there are fewer who could add to the movies hopelessly romantic charm. Oh wait, except Billy Idol… obviously. The English punk appears as himself towards the movies climax, helping out Sandler with his final act of woo towards the gorgeous Drew on a flight to Vegas. Rock n’ Roll.
8. Chuck Norris – Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Whimsical yet well-structured comedy starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and that guy Justin Long who despite being about 35 gets cast as a 17-year-old in everything- Dodgeball is one of the classic early new-era comedies. Set in a suburban American location, the story follows the struggles of a particular gym against not only money troubles- but another, more upmarket (and outrageous) gym. The members decide to create a Dodgeball team in an attempt to raise necessary funds, with it all panning out in the obligatory hilarious fashion. Chuck Norris appears at the end of the film as one of the judges in the ‘big final’ scene. I don’t think he even says anything, but come on- it’s Chuck Norris.
7. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Much in the same vein as Dodgeball, Zoolander is a comedy of similar tastes and cast members. Ben Stiller once again appears as a central character with a huge ego, however instead of being a gym owner- he’s a male model. Producing some of the finest early Stiller-in-a-leading-role moments, as well as completely smearing the work of models and pretty much the fashion industry as a whole- Zoolander is also remembered due to its inclusion of a particularly huge rock-star. The Thin White Duke appears as a judge just like Chuck, except this time at a ‘walk-off’ between rival models (Stiller and co-star Owen Wilson). Pretty funny stuff.
6. Stan Lee – Mallrats (1995)
An obvious influence on the works of Kevin Smith, comic book mogul Stan Lee appears briefly as himself in early feature ‘Mallrats’. As well as resurrecting early ‘Clerks’ heroes Jay and Silent Bob, the movie features an impressive cast inclusive of Jason Lee, Jeremy London and Ben Affleck. As is common with Smiths films, the plot follows the misfortunes of a male protagonist (or two) and their love life(s). The comedy unfolds with a pretty hilarious ‘blind date’ type deal, with many witty put-downs and a bit of romantic advice from Mr Lee. Stan that is, not Jason.