For the most part, cameos are cameos. A famous person shows up for a few lines (or no lines) but their contribution is noticeable.
In this case, not so much. Here are five examples of people sneaking into a movie you might have missed during a bathroom break or while glancing down at your popcorn.* It happened just that fast.
* But hopefully not while glancing down at your phone. If you’re watching a movie while looking at your phone you’re an asshole.
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5) Dustin Hoffman in The Holiday (2006)
This is more of a classic cameo than the others, but I feel like I have to point it out. Hoffman’s only line is the most naturalistic acting in the entire film. Like Tom Hardy’s role in Marie-Antoinette (2006) he seems to be unintentionally breaking the fourth wall by behaving differently from everyone else. In this case it’s a good thing, since The Holiday is a theatre of cliches… and Kate Winslet is in it?
I hurt inside. Let’s move on.
4) Amy Adams in Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny (2006)
This is a much more enjoyable Jack Black film, and the scene in question is a dream sequence in which he asserts himself as the most powerful rock musician in existence. I had to laugh when there was a cutaway to a teary-eyed Amy Adams mouthing “I Love You.” At the time she wasn’t a household name, but as you can see can nail any role, whether it’s the lead or a single line.
3) Jason Schwartzman in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005)
This isn’t only funny, but the most quotable of the examples here. It can be used to describe just about anyone, whether you want to exalt their existence or brush them off.
I am also proud to say I suggested it for a six-year-old’s Minecraft tag and he’s been “HesJustThisGuy” ever since.
2) Joseph Gordon Levitt in The Brothers Bloom (2008)
It’s wordless, random, and most people don’t even know it’s him. If they do, they’re usually confused about why he’s there.
In short: Levitt appeared in the Rian Johnson’s previous film, Brick (2005), and apparently their creative relationship landed him a silent role in Bloom (and a day’s work as an extra). But don’t worry- he starred in Johnson’s third film, Looper (2012), where he got a full salary and lines to memorize.
1) Brad Pitt in Being John Malkovich (1999)
I’m one of the few people on this planet who wasn’t blown away by this film, but my God- the random cutaway to Brad Pitt after a character hijacks his air time is priceless.