Is that Bill Murray?! The best surprise celebrity cameos in movies
If you’ve seen Deadpool 2 by now, you’re likely aware of one of the biggest and bestest surprises of the movie: a certain Hollywood star who nobody expected to turned up in the film. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the film yet – we aren’t about to spoil it for you – but according to screenwriter Paul Wernick, the Deadpool team thought the scene in question provided the “perfect idea for a celebrity cameo”, leading them to booking “the hardest to get in Hollywood”.
Calling the cameo a “pinch-me moment”, the scene in question offers a satisfying surprise for fans that nobody in their right mind saw coming. Who doesn’t love seeing a good surprising cameo in a film? Here’s our ranking of ten other amazing celebrity cameos in movies from the past 20 years that made us gasp with joy.
10. Matt Damon: Eurotrip (2004)
What makes this cameo so strange is that it happened during the peak of Damon’s career and Eurotrip was a total box office bomb. It’s probably a film you saw late at night after a few beers on one of the lesser loved cable channels, making Damon’s brief appearance as a cocky pop-punk lead singer performing a song about his “sex puppet” all the more surprising and weird.
9. Johnny Depp: 21 Jump Street (2012)
Long before he became the sort of troubling Hollywood superstar who can assuredly drop a cool $100,000 on wine every month, Depp (Sweeney Todd) starred in the original TV incarnation of 21 Jump Street during the late 80s, making his appearance in the irreverent 2012 movie reboot all the more fun. Playing yet another undercover cop, his reveal is made all the more hilarious by how quickly he’s killed.
8. Neil Patrick Harris: Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)
Released two years before Harris (How I Met Your Mother) proudly came out as gay, his cameo in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle sees him playing himself as a dude high on E and looking to hit some strip clubs and score some pussy. The cameo also happened before Harris revitalized his career so there’s nothing but Doogie Howser jokes for him to play to.
7. Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Steven Spielberg: Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
This Russian doll moment gave audiences a big-budget movie within a big-budget movie and saw Cruise (Top Gun) depicting Powers, Paltrow (Iron Man) playing the token hot spy babe, and Spacey perfectly portraying Dr. Evil. Naturally DeVito (Batman Returns) plays Mini Me and Spielberg (Ready Player One) is the director of this hilarious monstrosity in this brief but brilliant cameo set.
6. Channing Tatum: This is the End (2013)
All butt-fucking jokes aside (seriously – gay sex punchlines are tired as hell), the revelation that Tatum is now Danny McBride’s post-apocalyptic gimp on a leash is easily the most enjoyable surprise cameo in a movie stacked with them.
5. Tom Cruise: Tropic Thunder (2008)
We could honestly watch Cruise dance to Flo Rider in any and every one of his films. Why isn’t that a thing?
4. Anna Faris: Keanu (2016)
Faris portrays a distorted, drug-huffing version of herself, forcing Rell Williams (Jordan Peele) to play a fatal game of truth or dare with her. It’s one of the darkest cameos in recent memory and one that ends in an uproarious bloodbath.
3. Every celebrity in the Anchorman fight scenes (2004 & 2013)
The first Anchorman film featured one of the most outrageous fight scenes in the history of cinema stacked full of great cameos from stars like Ben Stiller (Zoolander), Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers), and Luke Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums) as the leaders of rival news teams. The sequel appropriately stepped up its cameo game for the news team battle and stunned audiences with surprise appearances from Kanye West, Will Smith (I Am Legend), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Tina Fey (30 Rock), and Harrison Ford (Raiders of the Lost Ark).
2. Carrie Fisher: Scream 3 (2000)
Whether you love or hate the third instalment of Wes Craven’s meta-horror trilogy, there’s no denying it provided some sharp jokes about Hollywood culture and the movie industry. Fisher plays a failed actor who “looks just like” the Star Wars star and glibly proclaims to Maureen Prescott (Courtney Cox) and Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey) that she was up for the role of Princess Leia. “But who gets it? The one who sleeps with George Lucas”.
1. Bill Murray: Zombieland (2009)
The cameo was a delightful surprise to audiences who didn’t anticipate their boy Bill would be showing up in a zombie comedy as himself any time soon. Watching Woody Harrelson (Natural Born Killers) getting emotional over his love for the comedy titan and Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) accidentally murdering him are both things we can’t get enough of in the film.