Cameos are a mainstay of movie-making. Most even draw attention to themselves as little shout-outs to the audience to say, “Hey! Check it out! We got this guy! Neat, huh?” After a moment of recognition, the movie will continue on none-the-wiser. We’ve got nothing against cameos (Alfred Hitchcock had one in practically every movie he made), but they tend to be nothing more than distractions. That said, we must tip our collective hats to a few great cameos that were so well-hidden, a few weren’t even discovered until years later. Check them out, below.
5. Glenn Close and Phil Collins in Hook
Steven Speilberg must have called in a ton of favors, because Hook is littered with cameos! We narrowed it down to two of our favorites: Phil Collins’ brief appearance as a police inspector and Glenn Close portraying a bearded pirate on Captain Hook’s ship. Not just any pirate, but the one who gets dragged away screaming and locked in a box of scorpions! How could we possibly miss her when we were so Close? (You're allowed to roll your eyes at that one.)
4. Dan Aykroyd in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
It took a long time for anyone to notice that one of New York’s bravest Ghostbusters makes an appearance in the Indy universe as a character named “Earl Weber.” Aykroyd is barely visible, but he’s heard speaking to Indy, as he guides Winnie and Short Round through the airfield to their small plane. This is possibly the first time in movie history that Dan Aykroyd didn't steal the show.
3. Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson in Hot Fuzz
Another double-doozy, this time from Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead. Cate Blanchett had a pivotal scene playing Sgt. Angel’s ex-girlfriend Janine, a forensics expert working at a crime scene. Most moviegoers probably didn’t recognize her due to Wright insisting she keep her surgical mask on the entire time. If that weren’t enough, Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, makes an appearance in a single shot of the film, playing a crazed Santa Claus that stabs Angel through the hand. Definitely more naughty than nice.
2. Huey Lewis in Back to the Future
The band Huey Lewis and The News contributed most of the songs in the soundtrack to the time-traveling masterpiece Back to the Future. Huey even portrays the school board chairman who dismisses Marty McFly’s band as being “too darn loud.” Oh, and Marty’s band? That would be none other than The News themselves.
1. Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar
Jim Carrey had a cameo in a movie he starred in? Yup, he's that much of a showboat. Near the end of the film, when Carrey’s character is being wheeled out on a stretcher and paramedics are running around, Carrey s plainly visible dressed up as Fire Marshall Bill, his fan-favorite character from his days on In Living Color. Just don't leave him around anything flammable because...this!
What are your favorite movie cameos?