Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hidden Cameo Appearances

You might want to do a double take, if not a triple take, while looking at some of these movie stills. Within each one of the photographs, there is a cameo appearance by a famous person. Upon first seeing the movie and/or photograph, I was unable to recognize the celebrity figure until much later when I did a little bit of research about the movie. Some of these people are easily recognizable as such in their cameo appearances. So feel free to add a comment about how wonderfully smart you are for immediately recognizing these celebrity figures at a moment’s notice.

He was given top billing for his acting role as Dr. Phillip K. Decker (see below) in the horror film Nightbreed (1990), but David Cronenberg is recognized more for his work as an A-list director. He holds such credits to his repertoire as The Fly (1986), Naked Lunch (1991), Crash (1996), A History of Violence (2005), and Eastern Promises (2007).

Dr. Philip K. Decker in 'Nightbreed' (1990)Who could have imagined that the bearded pirate in Hook (1991) who was thrown into the Boo Box was portrayed by a female actress? I swear that the character was portrayed by none other than Oscar nominated actress Glenn Close! If you do not believe me, then you might want to take a good look at the picture below or even scan through list of acting credits for the movie's IMDb profile page and search for the character named "Gutless." Among the list, you might recognize a few other famous names, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Carrie Fisher, and George Lucas. There are also a couple of famous musicians such as Phil Collins, Jimmy Buffet, and David Crosby (of Crosby, Stills, and Nash fame) have made a brief appearance in the film.

No, no the Boo Box!Here is a clip from the second Austin Powers film that is filled with not so subtle cameo performances, but for a brief start the viewer is unaware that there will be so many recognizable faces spoofing the comedy film. Gee, a satirical spoof of a satirical comedy film. How original and inventive of the producers to spend so much money to create it!


Then there is one of my personal favorite cameo appearances that has been hyped up so much before the film was released that I was thrilled to see the scene arrive when I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) in the theater. I am referring to the iconic guitar player from The Rolling Stones: Keith Richards! He was one of the prominent influences for Johnny Depp when the role of Jack Sparrow was being created.

Keith Richards portrays Captain TeagueA personal favorite that I would like to mention is the cameo appearances of several famous people in the musical film inspired by The Beatles known as Across the Universe (2007). Long time career singer Joe Cocker plays a street pimp, a homeless man, and an angry hippie figure, all of whom sing one of my favorite Beatles songs ever -- Come Together. U2's lead singer, Bono, makes a grand entrance as Dr. Robert, which is a performance not very difficult to overlook by any means possible. In addition, for those who may be a little less aware of international talent there is the appearance by cross-dressing comedian Eddie Izzard who randomly appears as the circus ringleader Mr. Kite. However, the most obscure cameo appearance in the film that I had to do five double takes was the multiple appearances of Salma Hayek as a nurse who magically duplicates herself into several nurses (as seen in the picture below). Hello nurses!

Salma Hayek in multiple roles for 'Across the Universe'Take a good look at the movie poster for the fictitious film Sand Pirates of the Sahara. It is a movie within a movie that offers an excellent opportunity for cameo appearances by Bruce Campbell (of Evil Dead fame), Cliff Curtis (who has appeared in a large number of supporting roles, click here), and Amanda Detmer. The movie poster for 'Sand Pirates of the Sahara'The fictitious adventure film is seen within the dramatic period film The Majestic (2001) starring Jim Carrey. However, the prized holy grail of hidden cameo appearances for the film occurs twice and with five A-list celebrities all cleverly hidden in both scenes. At the beginning and ending of the film, Jim Carrey's character is sitting down in a plush office talking to several high movie studio executives who are heard but not really seen by the audience. An occasional body walks into the frame and stands behind a sitting Jim Carrey, but the audience only sees a torso with a pair of hands waving back and forth. The five voices of the studio executives are from real life industry heavyweights: Garry Marshall, Rob Reiner, Carl Reiner, Sydney Pollack, and Paul Mazursky. Aside from those two scenes, I should also mention there is another voice only cameo appearance in a separate instance within the film. Matt Damon is the voice of a minor character who reads aloud a letter that he has written to loved one.

This entry is starting to run a little longer than I have anticipated. I will conclude my list of hidden cameo appearances at this point with the intention of publishing a follow up article down the line when I have a new collection of items to write about. If you have a few cameo discoveries that I have not covered, please e-mail me or add a comment to this article. Thank you in advance!
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