And sometimes, they don’t even want you to know it’s them at all. Here are a bunch of shocking celebrity film and television cameos by your favorite stars.
David Bowie: Zoolander
"Zoolander" is a hilarious 2001 action/comedy starring Ben Stiller as an aging male supermodel named Derek Zoolander. In the film, he has to compete against a fierce up-and-comer, Hansel, played by Owen Wilson.
As the competition comes to a head, David Bowie makes an appearance as himself to judge an intense runway walk-off. Ben Stiller later Tweeted that he “can’t believe David Bowie actually did this. We were all in shock.”
Cate Blanchett: Hot Fuzz
If you have a crush on Cate Blanchett and you’re wondering how you missed her in "Hot Fuzz," here’s why. It’s because she was covered head to toe in surgical gear. The cameo came about when director Edgar Wright learned about the actresses’ love of "Shaun of the Dead."
He extended an offer for her to appear in his new film in 2007. More than years later, she's become an even bigger success (she was pretty big then) and has starred in some major blockbusters like "Ocean's 8" and "Thor: Ragnarok."
Luke Hemsworth: Thor: Ragnarok
Several actors made a surprise cameo in this Marvel superhero film. In fact, the movie was full of them. The protagonist, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, has a fake version of himself within the film as well.
In the play, Thor’s role is filled by the actor’s older brother, Luke Hemsworth. The franchise is known for its humor, and that scene with the play, “The Tragedy of Loki,” in particular, is filled with celebrity cameos.
Lady Gaga: The Sopranos
Long before Lady Gaga was a household name and a Grammy award-winning artist, she was a teenager just trying to get her foot in the door of the entertainment industry. And, in 2001, she did just that when she briefly appeared in an episode of the hit HBO show, "The Sopranos." On the show, she plays a rebellious teenager at AJ’s school.
Seven years later, she released her hit debut song, Just Dance. Afterward, Gaga proved that she had major acting skills of her own by starring in the award-winning "A Star is Born."
Bill Murray: Zombieland
A-list funnyman Bill Murray makes us laugh as usual with his pop-up appearance in this comedy film. In "Zombieland," he plays himself – although potentially the undead version, or so he’d like us to think. His cameo was such a hit they invited him back for the second installment in the series.
Unfortunately, his cameo in “Double Tap” involves his death, so if he comes back again, it will be in full zombie mode. The Golden Globe-winning actor is keeping busy and has several projects coming up soon.
Bill Murray: Dumb and Dumber To
Although Bill Murray pops up on the screen in "Dumb and Dumber To," you probably haven’t recognized him no matter how many times you’ve seen the film. Why? Because he’s hiding in plain sight dressed head to toe in meth-making gear as “Icepick,” Jeff Daniels’ new roommate.
The film’s director Peter Farrelly wanted an icon to fill the role – and he nailed it! Apparently, "Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence also had a cameo in the film, but the part that shows her face was cut before its release.
Dolly Parton: Miss Congeniality
Dolly Parton’s cameo in this hilarious 2005 film is so much more than just a brief appearance. Some would probably say that it’s the funniest scene in the movie. The country music star plays herself, though there are imposter Dollys afoot as well, which leads to the real Dolly being mistakenly tackled by an FBI agent. Whoops!
The country music star has recently been in the news for modestly turning down a proposal that a statue of her be placed at the Tennessee Capitol building. After all, she already has Dollywood!
Mike Myers: Bohemian Rhapsody
Funnyman Mike Myers appears in the Queen biopic film "Bohemian Rhapsody" as a fictional record exec who delivers the line “no one is going to be headbanging in the car to Bohemian Rhapsody,” – a nod to one of his other famous films, "Wayne’s World," in which he does just that.
"Wayne’s World" helped popularize Queen’s music again in the US after the death of Freddie Mercury.
John McCain: Parks and Recreation
"Parks and Recreation" have had their fair share of political cameos over the years, featuring all sorts of politicians, including Joe Biden himself. But on one particular episode of the show, John McCain makes an appearance.
In it, he tries to catch the attention of the main character, played by Amy Poehler. Unfortunately for him, she’s preoccupied with something else and doesn’t even notice him.
The Jonas Brothers: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
The Jonas Brothers don’t actually appear on screen in the second installment of the "Night at the Museum" movie franchise, but superfans may recognize their voices, coming from three stone angelic cherubs. The identities behind the voices become particularly clear when the cherubs break out into Jonas’ song, Lovebug.
The Grammy-nominated Jonas Brothers are most well-known for their music, but they have also displayed acting skills as they rose to fame on the Disney channel.
Elon Musk: Iron Man 2
It’s pretty fitting that tech billionaire Elon Musk appears in a cameo on "Iron Man 2." After all, Robert Downey Jr. spent quite some time studying the SpaceX CEO to basically portray him on screen, and, in the process, the two became friends.
Although it’s not a very large part, Musk can be seen having a conversation with the main character, Tony Stark, during his party, where he even tries to pitch him an idea for a new electric jet. Parts of the movie were filmed at the SpaceX facilities.
Matt Damon: Deadpool 2
Matt Damon has a wide range as an actor and has played some crazy characters in his day. But for the most part, we were expecting them when we went into the films. But in “Deadpool 2,” we were all pretty shocked to see the Matt Damon “redneck” scene.
He is almost unrecognizable, with special effects makeup, a wig, and a fake beer belly. And, while the actor appeared in the script as “Redneck #2,” he wasn’t even officially credited on the film.
Jimmy Buffett: Jurassic World 2
The Margarita Man himself served up drinks in one scene of the “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” film. The musician was a longtime friend of the film's producer, Frank Marshall, who thought he’d add a little extra to the movie, and he did. In the film, he can be seen carrying two margaritas through a bar as he works.
Other than encouraging people to chill with Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett was also seen on the screen in small roles in various productions. The most memorable one is, perhaps, the recurring character of Frank Bama in "Hawaii Five-0."
Kesha: Jane the Virgin
The Tik Tok singer popped up in an episode of the CW's comedy, "Jane the Virgin." On the show, she moves in next door to Jane with a bandmate and practices music at all hours of the night. That doesn't go over well with Jane, who has a newborn at the time.
For Kesha, playing a musician trying to work her way up in the industry is not a huge stretch. The singer has since won a number of musical awards in the pop genre, including a few MTV Europe Music Awards.
Channing Tatum: This Is the End
The 2013 end of the world comedy-drama hosts a variety of stars, including Seth Rogen, who convinced Channing Tatum to take on a role that was pretty, well, out there, for the “bro” actor. In the film, he can be seen being carted around on a leash as a slave-type associate of Danny McBride.
It definitely qualifies as a shocking cameo! A number of other stars pop up in the film, including Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, and Rihanna.
Glenn Close: Hook
Long before Glenn Close was winning Academy Awards for her dressing up as a man in films like "Albert Nobbs," she was making an appearance in the 1991 Steven Spielberg film, "Hook." She plays a bearded pirate named Gutless, who winds up getting thrown in the “Boo Box” by Hook himself.
Close was up for a Golden Globe in the 2021 award show, thanks to her skills on screen in "Hillbilly Elegy." Close is the president of her own production company, called Trillium Productions, and has produced a number of films, including the award-winning 1995 TV film "Serving in Silence."
Carrie Fisher and George Lucas: Hook
During the opening sequence of "Hook," there are a few other surprising cameos by some major players - two of them, actually, if you pay close attention to the couple kissing on the bridge and getting sprinkled with Tinkerbell’s fairy dust.
If you look super carefully, however, you’ll notice that the couple happens to be George Lucas and Carrie Fisher!
Rita Ora: Fifty Shades of Grey
In the infamous 50 Shades franchise, pop star Rita Ora plays Mia Grey, sister of the Christian Grey. While her fanbase was very excited to first hear about the appearance, they were less excited to learn she only has four lines – one of which was in French.
And another which was, “yuck, Seattle baseball.” It also takes a good 40 minutes into the film before she ever delivers her first line.
Karlie Kloss: Gossip Girl
Many a star have delivered cameos on the hit drama series, "Gossip Girl," from Tyra Banks to Lady Gaga and so many more! Another such star was model Karlie Kloss, who plays herself in an episode of the show.
Naturally, this makes sense considering the glamorous, main New York City landscape of the series. The episode is the first of the fourth season, in which she can be seen at a fashion premiere party.
Jeff Bezos: Star Trek
As one of the richest people in the world, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos can pretty much do anything he wants. This apparently includes making a cameo on "Star Trek," a show he's been a fan of since his childhood.
In one interview with GeekWire, Bezos said that he begged Paramount to let him be in one of the films for years, though when he got on set, he was a natural! Later, he said he’s happy to have crossed that item off his bucket list.
Johnny Depp: 21 Jump Street
A-lister Johnny Depp pops up at the end of “21 Jump Street,” in a surprise reveal, where we learn that he is an undercover police officer. Of course, the fact that he played one of the main characters on the show version makes the appearance that much more amazing.
Interestingly enough, he isn’t credited in the film. The actor does have a thing for playing strange, out-there roles. Just look at “Edward Scissorhands” or “Sweeney Todd!”
Cameron Diaz: Minority Report
In the early 2000s, Cameron Diaz was a huge star, thanks to being in hits like "Charlie's Angels" and "There's Something About Mary" a few years before. She happened to be visiting the set of "Minority Report" in the midst of filming and ended up playing a small part of a businesswoman talking on a cell phone.
You may notice her in the scene where Tom Cruise is on the train, and a stranger looks up at him, eyeing him with suspicion.
Neil Patrick Harris: Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
In this hilarious cult film and instant classic, Neil Patrick Harris plays himself and causes a whole lot of trouble for the main characters. Of course, the role is over-the-top, and he’s not really like that - or so we hope! Still, the cameo is hysterical and further adds to a great comedy film.
The movie and NPH’s cameo was such a hit they invited him back to be in "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" in 2011.
Leonardo DiCaprio: Roseanne
Roseanne was another popular comedy that featured a lot of stars playing guest roles. Leonardo DiCaprio appeared in one 1991 episode before he became a household name.
The episode is titled Home-Ec, and the young future star plays a classmate of Darlene in what was essentially an extra role. Who knew DiCaprio would go on to become a superstar in Tinsel Town?
Ian Brown: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The British musician, and the lead singer of the musical group Stone Roses, got to step into the magical world of “Harry Potter” when he played a wizard in 2004’s installment of the popular franchise.
He can be seen sitting in the Leaky Cauldron, reading a book about time, perhaps because he's a time traveler?
Donald Trump: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Long before the former president found himself in the White House, he used to be talked about on TV shows and films all of the time, thanks to his business ventures. But there was a time when he appeared in the film himself – on "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York."
He plays himself and gives Macaulay Culkin directions from the lobby of his Plaza hotel in the city.
Michael Jackson: Men in Black 2
The late superstar Michael Jackson was a very talented musician, but what about his acting skills? He put them on display as Agent M in the second film of the "Men in Black" series.
The music superstar was a huge fan of the first film and asked director Barry Sonnenfeld if he could have a role in the second. And really, who's going to turn down the King of Pop?
Carrie Fisher: The Big Bang Theory
The late legend Carrie Fisher appeared in one episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” titled The Convention Conundrum. The actress played herself, “ding dong ditched” by James Earl Jones, who’d developed a friendship with Sheldon.
But Carrie isn't a fan of random people knocking on her door (or ringing her bell,) which becomes evident when she comes outside with a baseball bat, ready to swing!
Keith Richards: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
In 2007, Keith Richards won the Spike TV award for best Cameo for his appearance in the "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."
Since he was a large part of the inspiration behind the famous Jack Sparrow character, it made him the perfect choice to play his father, Captain Teague.
Gary Lightbody: Game of Thrones
Although it was no type of substantial role, Irish musician Gary Lightbody made a cameo in the third season of HBO's hit show, “Game of Thrones.” Before the appearance, he posted pictures of himself in costume on set for his fans on social media.
The singer can be seen riding on horseback with other members of the Bolton army as he leads them in song.
Madonna: Die Another Day
The Queen of Pop popped up in the 2002 installment in the James Bond series, “Die Another Day,” starring Pierce Brosnan. In the film, the musician plays Verity, a fencing instructor giving the protagonist lessons. Aside from the pretty lengthy cameo, she also provided all of the music for the motion picture.
Of course, Madonna is no stranger to the screen, has appeared in a number of films, including 1992’s “A League of Their Own” and the 2002 film, “Swept Away.”
Tom Cruise: Tropic Thunder
You may not recognize Tom Cruise in the 2008 comedy "Tropic Thunder," starring Ben Stiller. That’s because make-up did an excellent job of disguising him for his role as Lee Grossman – a role that’s been called his best yet.
Cruise first saw the script for the film while he was hanging out with its star and said he wanted a part of it, as long as he could have “fat hands, and free reign to dance.”
George Harrison: Monty Python’s Life of Brian
This religious satire film, which is commonly shortened to just “Life of Brian,” features former Beatles star, George Harrison. The musician helped to fund the movie himself after EMI Films pulled their production budget just days before filming.
Supposedly this was due to its controversial nature. Didn't they know? In the movie, Harrison appears as Mr. Papadopoulos.
Tom Brady: Living with Yourself
Depending on where you live in the United States, and whether or not you’re a fan of football, you probably either love or hate Tom Brady. The former Patriot’s player and now Superbowl-winning Tampa Bay football star appeared in an episode of "Living with Yourself," Paul Rudd’s Netflix dramedy.
As a Jet’s fan, the creator admitted to having some mixed feelings about the cameo but said the star was very candid with the cast and crew.
Bruce Springsteen: High Fidelity
Music’s superstar Bruce Springsteen appears in the 2000 film, “High Fidelity,” starring John Cusack and Lisa Bonet. He plays himself during the two-minute cameo, where he riffs a guitar like the pro he is.
Of course, it’s only actually happening in the lead character’s mind while he is fast asleep and dreaming, but we get to enjoy it, nonetheless.
Stan Lee: The Marvel Universe
There’s no way we can list just one marvel film that the man himself, Stan Lee, appears in because he’s known for popping up a ton of them. He has appeared in a number of films, including "Iron Man 2," "Mallrats, X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men," and more.
The late great creator passed away in 2018 but will forever be remembered through his work.
Reese Witherspoon: Friends
Long before Reese Witherspoon was winning Oscars, she was making waves in films like "Legally Blonde," "Cruel Intentions," and "Sweet Home Alabama." Plus, you may remember her popping up in a few episodes of the hit show "Friends."
On the show, she plays Rachel’s younger sister, who briefly threatens her relationship with Ross.
Charlie Sheen: Friends
One of the famous faces to show up for a guest role on "Friends" is "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen. Sheen plays a boyfriend of Phoebe’s, who contracts chickenpox. Sadly, he and Phoebe only had a few days to spend with one another so they decided to go for it anyway.
For the most part, they spend the time scratching each other and applying itch-relief cream. Unfortunately, things haven’t been going too well for the actor these days.
Ali Larter: Entourage
Ali Larter actually appeared in the very first episode of the first season of HBO’s series, "Entourage." Larter was popular during the early ‘00s for her roles and films like "Final Destination" and "Legally Blonde." On the show, she plays a pretty forgettable role of someone angry E isn’t taking her calls.
She has been on a hiatus as of recently, but in 2016, she starred in "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" as Claire Redfield, a role she’d played in the film franchise before.
Kevin Smith: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The "Jay and Silent Bob" star has admittedly been a huge fan of superhero movies, along with "Star Wars" movies, throughout the majority of his life. So, when director JJ Abrams reached out and offered him a part in the film, he jumped at the opportunity.
These days, the film star works to promote plant-based options that are friendlier and kinder to the world and other life in it.
Mark Hamill: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
"The Rise of Skywalker" has seen its fair share of cameos. Mark Hamill, who played a famous role in "Jay and Silent Bob," (and of course Luke Skywalker himself in the original trilogy of "Star Wars") also pops up in the movie.
You can catch a glimpse of him as the alien who delivers a quick message to the Resistance.
Stephen King: Sons of Anarchy
The king of horror road into a cameo scene on "Sons of Anarchy," quite literally, on a Harley-Davidson bike, no less. After he wrote a positive review about the show for "Entertainment Weekly," execs invited him to take part in the filming, to which he said yes, mainly for the bike!
The cameo occurred during season three of the long-running drama series.
Britney Spears: Sabrina the Teenage Witch
At one point in time, Britney Spears was the reigning queen of pop. Right around the time she was rising to her queendom, she appeared as herself in the hit teen comedy, "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch."
The episode is titled "No Place Like Home" and features the singer hanging out with the show’s star and title character.
Sinbad: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
In one scene of "It’s Always Sunny," Comedy legend Sinbad, AKA David Adkins, appeared on the psych ward as well. So, while Dennis was having paranoid hallucinations on the psych ward, Sinbad and Rob Thomas were keeping him company.
They played themselves, and Sinbad even kept introducing Rob with his full name and adding, “from Matchbox 20...” ahem, we'll leave the rest to your imagination.
Adam Lambert: Bohemian Rhapsody
Along with Rami Malek's outstanding portrayal of rock legend Freddie Mercury, here is another reason to watch it. There is a cameo moment that is difficult to notice without a quick pause.
The moment may happen too quickly for one to notice, but Adam Lambert, the singer, portrays the truck driver with whom Mercury becomes besotted.
Brad Pitt: Deadpool 2
Cameos can frequently be the thing that makes or breaks a film. As for "Deadpool 2", there was a cameo that made the action movie even that more compelling. Once we figured out who this cameo was made by — many movie watchers felt the need to pause and contemplate.
The character in question, Vanisher, accidentally guides himself into a set of electrical wires. As a result, he is, unfortunately, electrocuted to death. In the process, we are shown that the invisible man is portrayed by none other than Brad Pitt!
Danny DeVito and Sylvester Stallone: Men In Black
As you know, "Men in Black" follows Jay (Smith) in his journey to join the super-secret Men in Black organization. As he arrives, he initially receives a facility tour, which is exactly where we have brief glimpses of several "aliens" and their locations.
If you're quick enough, you'll notice each image is a celebrity, or rather an alien disguised as a celebrity. This brilliant shot was both clever and a dig at quite a few of our favorite celebs, including Danny DeVito and Sylvester Stallone.
John Ratzenberger: Anything by Pixar
Pixar's team is one of the best in the world, but even the greatest need some luck in order to make it big. This is why Pixar has a hidden this lucky charm in all of its films.
John Ratzenberger is known for portraying Cliff Clavin in "Cheers." He also voices a minor charter in each and every movie the studio releases. The staff considers him to be their lucky charm. Since they wouldn't want to jinx themselves, they always find a way of incorporating his voice in their creations.
Paul McCartney: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Yet another famous musician made it into the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. If Keith Richards wasn’t enough, Paul McCartney also appeared in one of the installments.
McCartney was so heavily disguised that even the most observant Beatles fans might have missed him at first glance. He played Jack Sparrow’s uncle and he even managed to sneak in a Beatles song when his character sang the song “Maggie Mae.” The song was actually featured on the “Let It Be” album.
Keanu Reeves: Always Be My Maybe
Keanu Reeves has become one of the most beloved actors both on and off-screen. Fans will recognize him from the Matrix franchise and other films like “Bill and ted’s Excellent Adventure” But the actor also appears in the Netflix film “Always Be My Maybe” as the best character of all: himself.
In the romantic comedy, Reeves stars as the brief, romantic interest of Sasha (Ali Wong). And, while no one can mistake Keanu on screen, the audience probably never expected to see him in the film, to begin with. What a surprise!
Mike Tyson: The Hangover
Maybe not the sneakiest cameo, but certainly an unforgettable one is Mike Tyson’s appearance in “The Hangover.” Tyson’s role in the first installment of the wild comedy was short but he always manages to make an impression on the audience.
Tyson stars as himself in the film in a part that involves the main characters stealing his pet tiger. Of course “The Hangover” is chock full of hilarious moments but Tyson’s presence alone added a comedic element to the plot, given what a seemingly random addition he is to the cast.
Courtney Love: Empire
At times a controversial figure, songstress Courtney Love made an appearance on the gritty drama, "Empire." "Empire" is known for its cameos, so viewers may be wondering who might appear next.
Though her appearance may have been a bit surprising, what wasn’t was that Love appeared as a singer on the show. She was a bit timid about taking on the role at first but soon learned that Lee Daniels, the creator of the show, had a role tailor-made for her.
David Hasselhoff: Baywatch
Although David Hasselhoff was one of the cast members for the original TV series, his appearance in the feature-length film reboot still qualifies for a cameo. And what a cameo it was appearing alongside Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.
As Hasselhoff appeared on screen in a smaller role, Baywatch fans couldn’t mistake the famous face and physique. In the eyes of a potentially skeptical audience, an original actor appearing in a remake (and in this case, in the form of a film) can add more validity to a reboot.
Hugh Jackman: Night at the Museum: The Secret of the Tomb
The “Night at the Museum” films have a number of surprising cameo appearances, usually leaving the audience wondering who they are going to run into next. Hugh Jackman took his turn as one of the cameos when he appeared as King Arthur in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”.
Jackman’s Arthur has a brief scuffle with Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) in the film. Interestingly enough, while still a fledgling actor, Jackman played King Arthur in a stage production of “Camelot”.
Emma Watson: This Is the End
The comedy “This Is the End” had many celebrity cameos, one of which was the household name, Emma Watson. The filmmakers reportedly had hoped for Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, but the actor declined.
Watson was certainly an unexpected addition to the cast and, although she wasn’t terribly happy at some of the on and off-screen antics, she still managed to make an appearance. The film also featured a wide variety of celebrity cameos (Mindy Kaling, Rihana, etc.) playing no other than themselves!
Daniel Craig: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Star Wars franchise is known for a long list of actors, some well-known, others unknown and some that are nearly impossible to distinguish due to their costumes, makeup, and prosthetics. And one actor that probably through without public perception is James Bond himself, Daniel Craig.
In the rebooted franchise, Craig appeared as a stormtrooper but, because of the iconic mask, most probably would not have known it was him until the credits. Craig asked director J.J. Abrams if he could have a part in the film and Abrams enthusiastically agreed, offering for Craig to appear in a scene alongside the main character, Rey.
Chuck Norris: Dodgeball
Chuck Norris has certainly become one of the most iconic faces over the years and has taken his place in multiple, pop culture references. Norris represents quintessential, American masculinity but that doesn’t mean a comedic role is beneath him.
The rugged star made an appearance in the comedy “Dodgeball.” Norris was reluctant to join the project at first because he had to drive a long way to do any filming, but when the lead star, Ben Stiller, gave him a call, Norris became convinced to take the role of, well, himself.
R.L. Stine: Goosebumps
The "Goosebumps" book series became staple reading for many kids during the 90s and it finally made it to the silver screen in 2015. Jack Black was cast in a lead role, but true fans will notice another brief addition to the lineup.
R.L. Stine, the author of the entire series, made an appearance as the drama teacher, Mr. Black. Kids may not know his face, but they would certainly recognize his name in the credits. Stine wasn’t terribly happy with how his character was written into the film, but he still enjoyed seeing the books come to life on screen.
Dan Aykroyd: Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom
When most people think of actor Dan Akyroyd, they probably associate him with comedic films. There have been some spotty cameos in Spielberg films, including the Indiana Jones franchise.
The Indiana Jones films are, without question, a part of the action/adventure franchise. Tom Selleck was supposed to have the supplementary role but it was ultimately given to Aykroyd after Selleck slipped out to film “Magnum P.I.”. Aykroyd ended up being a welcome addition (although his character’s English accent was a bit lacking).
Richard Branson: Casino Royale
The legendary mogul made an appearance in the elegant, rebooted James Bond franchise in the 2006 release of “Casino Royale”. Branson makes a very (very, very) brief cameo in the film as he is seen passing through airport security.
It’s rumored that Branson bought his way into the role but, if you’re the founder of Virgin Group, you can probably buy many things. He has admitted to being a James Bond fan so Branson’s dream finally came true, if only for a very brief moment.
Shaquille O’Neal: Grown Ups 2
Both “Grown Ups” and “Grown Ups 2” had a strong cast of comedians but most would put a retired NBA star in the lineup. Shaquille appeared in the sequel as a cop who confronts Adam Sandler and Kevin James’s characters.
No one can miss Shaquille on screen but unfortunately, the scene wasn’t the most memorable of his acting career. It wasn’t a terribly funny scene and came out more awkward than anything else, but viewers still enjoyed seeing Shaquille make an unexpected appearance.
Liam Neeson: Ted 2
Liam Neeson has a strong, on-screen presence and is known for his gritty, action roles. So audiences must have been shocked when he appeared in the comedy “Ted 2." Surprisingly versatile, Neeson’s steady manner lends itself well to comedic roles which is why his cameo was such a hit with audiences.
Neeson appeared as himself in the film simply trying to buy a box of Trix cereal. The delivery of his lines and his disheveled appearance only added to the comedy of the scene.
Brett Favre: There’s Something About Mary
“There’s Something About Mary” was the comedy that helped make Cameron Diaz a household name. The film of course had Diaz as one of the leads along with Ben Stiller, but there was another star that no one probably expected to see.
Green Bay Packers quarterback, Brett Farve, made an appearance as one of Mary’s exes who was still besotted with her. Farve may have been one of the top quarterbacks of his generation but he was actually the third choice of the film’s directors for a cameo appearance.
Martin Scorsese: Hugo
Following other filmmakers who have slipped into the shots of their own films, director Martin Scorsese made a cameo in his film “Hugo.” The whimsical, mystery film was supposed to take place in 1930s Paris but when Scorsese appeared on the screen, the director was clearly seen.
Paramount Studios Scorsese had the role of a photographer in the film but the eyebrows are a dead giveaway! Scorsese isn’t particularly known for his cameos like say, director Alfred Hitchcock, but he apparently decided to make an exception for “Hugo.”
Ed Sheeran: Yesterday
The film “Yesterday” centers on a man (Jack) who wakes to find that he is the only one who remembers who “The Beatles” were. Being a film based on music and musicians, you would think that maybe a musical celebrity would slip into the script.
Musician Ed Sheeran was the featured musical camel in “Yesterday” and it really surprised the audience to see him pop up on screen. Sheeran starred as himself in the film and was supposed to be very interested in Jack’s musical compositions.
Ming Na-Weng: Mulan
Many are familiar with Disney’s animated film “Mulan” but in 2020 it became a live-action film. It was one of Disney’s most unique animated films as it featured a female lead, the heroine of the story who put everything on the line to protect her family. In the 2020 live-action version, there was a very special cameo from the cast from the 1998 film.
Ming-Na Wen, the voice of Mulan from the original animated film also got a part in the live-action film. She had the role (near the end of the film) of introducing the new Mulan to the emperor.
Kevin Bacon: Planes, Trains & Automobiles
In the classic comedy “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”, Neal (Steve Martin) and Del (John Candy) start out as enemies and end up as friends as Neal does his best to get home in time for the holidays. But, in one of his attempts to get home, he has a clash with a certain cameo.
Neal races a young Kevin Bacon to one of the last cabs and, although things only get worse before they get better for Neal, Bacon fans were delighted by the cameo.
Janet Leigh: Halloween H2O
Actress Jamie Leigh Curtis might be best known for her roles in the “Halloween” franchise but she is also known as the daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Leigh is also no stranger to horror films as she might be best known for her lead role in Alfred Hitchcock's “Psycho.”
Leigh also appeared alongside her daughter as a cameo in the film “Halloween H2O.” Leigh was the character of Norma Watson in the film and even had a car similar to her character from “Psycho.”
Billy Idol: The Wedding Singer
“The Wedding Singer” centers on a...you guessed it...wedding singer and hopeless romantic Robbie (Adam Sandler) who falls for Julia (Drew Barrymore). The 1998 film features a cameo by an 80s icon. Idol appears (unexpectedly of course) when Robbie decides to finally declare his love for Julia.
After Idol hears of Robbie’s love for her, he decides to help him win her over as Robbie serenades her on a plane. Minor trouble ensues when Julia’s (quite horrible) fiance tries to interfere, but Idol and his posse make sure he backs off. What else would you expect from Billy Idol?