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15 Unexpected Cameos That Made Famous Movies Even More Terrific

The concept of movie cameos was popularized by legendary director Alfred Hitchcock, who appeared in nearly all of his films. Hollywood quickly realized they could also benefit from this practice and started inviting A-list actors to make short, but unforgettable appearances in movies. As a result, some performers indeed proved that they need less than a minute to make an impression and completely steal the spotlight in a film. And we as audience members enjoyed every second of it.

We at Bright Side stayed sharp and made sure to not miss these brief cameos in famous movies. Here are some of our favorite cinema moments with iconic actors that we didn’t see coming.

1. Brad Pitt in Deadpool 2 (2018)

Initially, Brad Pitt was interested in the role of Cable, the main antagonist of Deadpool 2, but had to back down due to a scheduling conflict. Nevertheless, audiences were treated to a split-second appearance by the actor as the character, Vanisher. He was actually invisible before getting electrocuted and revealing that he was Pitt this whole time.

The entire cameo lasted exactly 1½ seconds, which might be the shortest appearance by an A-list actor in a movie.

2. Paul McCartney in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Sir Paul McCartney can be seen playing Jack Sparrow’s uncle in the fifth part of the famous movie franchise. Funny enough, Jack’s father was previously played by The Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards, and now their family is complete with a member of The Beatles.

McCartney’s character also sings an old song of the sea, “Maggie Mae,” which was actually featured on The Beatles album Let It Be.

3. Cate Blanchett in Hot Fuzz (2007)

The Oscar-winning actress asked to be in Edgar Wright’s famous cop comedy because of her love for Shaun of the Dead (2004), also directed by Wright. In addition to Blanchett, Hot Fuzz briefly features Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings franchise, in which Cate played a significant role.

4. Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street (2012)

Fans of the original TV show 21 Jump Street expected to see Johnny Depp make a cameo appearance in the new film, since he was the main star of the ’80s series. Still, the creators managed to surprise viewers since no one suspected an old biker with long hair and a beard to be the Hollywood heartthrob in disguise.

5. Keanu Reeves in Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Reeves plays a hilariously exaggerated version of himself in Always Be My Maybe, despite being known as one of the most humble actors in Hollywood. Keanu happily played along with creators’ vision of his character and even improvised some of his lines, delivering one of the most entertaining cameos in movie history.

6. Glenn Close in Hook (1991)

This film that is riddled with movie stars had to have one surprising cameo appearance by a Hollywood star, and Steven Spielberg chose the perfect one. It’s almost impossible to recognize Glenn Close behind the pirate makeup and beard, but that’s what makes her brief moment in Hook so awesome.

7. Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

These 2 Hollywood A-listers lent their talents for a movie-within-a-movie moment in Austin Powers in Goldmember ,and it was perfect. Tom Cruise, especially, already had experience with spy movies as he stars as the main character of the Mission Impossible franchise. In addition, he ended up looking exactly like Mike Myers’ character in his iconic makeup.

8. Margot Robbie in The Big Short (2015)

Adam McKay, the director of The Big Short, was tasked with making a movie about the real estate market entertaining, while at the same time understandable. He found the perfect way out of this challenge and put Margot Robbie in a bath tub to explain the concept of mortgage-backed security. Robbie held our attention with her brief monologue and helped us to follow the plot.

9. David Hasselhoff in Baywatch (2017)

It wouldn’t really be a Baywatch movie without David Hasselhoff and the creators of the 2017 reboot were aware of that. Hasselhoff happily returned to the iconic red swimming trunks and brilliantly held his own alongside the mighty Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

10. Hugh Jackman in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

Jackman appears in the third film of the Night at the Museum franchise as King Arthur. Fun fact: he made his acting debut playing the same role in a stage production of Camelot. Now that’s what we call going back to your roots.

11. David Bowie in Zoolander (2001)

Ben Stiller, the star and director of Zoolander, actually didn’t know if David Bowie would agree to make a cameo in his film, but wrote a scene for him regardless. Luckily, the rock legend loved the idea and agreed to star as a judge of the hilarious walk-off.

12. Emma Watson in This Is The End (2013)

The movie creators actually hoped to have Daniel Radcliffe star in This is the End, but he unfortunately declined. Luckily, another Harry Potter star was happy to act in their apocalyptic comedy, reminding viewers that she’s not the little Hermione we all know and love anymore. Watson’s role was actually intended for Mila Kunis at first.

13. Jimmy Fallon in Jurassic World (2015)

In his informational cameo, Jimmy Fallon delivers safety rules in a pre-recorded video for a ride in Jurassic World. This task was easy for the talk show host since he actually delivers a very similar message in real-life tram tours at Universal Studios.

14. Will Smith in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Audiences were treated to numerous cameos at the end of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, including Jim Carrey, Kanye West, Liam Neeson, and many more, but our attention was stolen by Will Smith in a dapper suit and equipped with a bat. As a result, we got the epic fight scene we didn’t know we needed.

15. Matt Damon in EuroTrip (2004), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and Deadpool 2 (2018)

And last but not least, the true King of Cameos, Matt Damon started his hysterical appearances in films with EuroTrip. He agreed to play the over-the-top leader of a rock band as a favor to the movie creators, who he went to college with. In addition, it was Damon’s idea to shave his head because he was making The Brothers Grimm (2005) and he was required to wear a wig anyway.

Next, Damon appeared as Loki in a play-within-a-movie moment in Thor: Ragnarok, alongside Chris Hemsworth’s brother Luke as the titular character. While Matt Damon looks nothing like Tom Hiddleston, who portrays Loki in the Thor franchise, the cameo ended up being the ultimate laugh-out-loud scene of the entire film.

As for his Deadpool 2 cameo, most people actually missed it since Damon was practically unrecognizable under the heavy prosthetics. The actor agreed to the role after Ryan Reynolds shared the hilarious idea with him at a party.

Which surprising movie cameos did we miss? Leave your favorites in the comments to complete this list!