When someone A-List pops up on-screen that you don’t expect – and more often than not steals the show.
BEWARE: INEVITABLY, THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
Matt Damon – ‘Interstellar’
You think there might be someone interesting in the stasis pod, but thanks to the secrecy surrounding Christopher Nolan’s movies, you would never have thought it was a megastar like Matt Damon.
Playing a supposedly iconic lone astronaut who has encouraged Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway to come to his distant planet in the hope of relocating the dying Earth’s population, imagine our surprise when Matt turns out to have done the opposite.
David Bowie – ‘Zoolander’
In the wake of Bowie’s passing, seeing his witty and charismatic cameo in the 2001 fashion farce is a reminder of how great he was on-screen.
As the arbiter of a ridiculous walk-off between idiotic model Derek and Hansel, he was perfect.
Bruce Springsteen – ‘High Fidelity’
How often we wish we could talk to our heroes. That’s exactly what Rob (John Cusack) does in this American adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel.
Bob Dylan was Cusack’s original choice for the fantasy sequence, but couldn’t do it. The actor had met The Boss and reached out with little hope, but Springsteen loved the idea. The production flew to New York and filmed a scene of him advising lead character Rob about how to contact his exes while jamming on a guitar in his studio. It took an hour.
George Lucas – ‘Beverly Hills Cop III’
Yes, this really happened and it’s totally random. The ‘Star Wars’ creator shows up in the rubbish 1994 threequel as a person in a queue at a theme park, who is seen cutting in front of by Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy).
Why did he appear? Director John Landis likes to cast fellow directors in small roles – and maybe George really, really loves Judge Reinhold.
Mel Gibson – ‘Fairytale: A True Story’
This 1997 British drama is actually a very sweet little story about the legendary Cottingley fairy mystery, but it’s biggest kicker comes in the final moments.
We know that young Frances’ father is away fighting in the First World War, but guess who he looks like when he shows up on the doorstep at the end?
That’s right – Gibbo when everyone still loved him. Not surprising in a way, his company also financed the movie.
John Hurt – ‘Spaceballs’
The English actor was happy to recreate one of the most famous death scenes ever in this Mel Brooks ‘Star Wars’ spoof, as another spacebound dinner goes awry.
This time, Hurt’s alert enough to say, “oh no, not again!” as the creature comes singing and dancing out of his chest.
Michael Jackson – ‘Men In Black 2’
Jacko was such a big fan of the first ‘Men In Black’ that he agreed to appear in the sequel.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld has admitted he wanted to feature the pop star as a potential alien in the first movie, but when Jacko said yes to the second one, the only demand he made was that he got to wear the black suit.
Charlton Heston – ‘Wayne’s World 2’
In one of the wittiest scenes in the movie, Wayne stops at a garage to ask directions only to be disappointed by the unknown actor who delivers the lines.
Breaking the fourth wall, he reckons that the franchise is successful enough to get someone famous to play the part – and ushers in Chuck himself.
Fair dos to Heston, he does do his speech beautifully.
John Wayne – ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’
This 1965 Biblical epic is chock-full of starry faces, but perhaps the most random is Wayne as a Roman centurion who witnesses the crucifixion.
He has one line, “Truly this man is the son of God”, delivered in his distinctive cowboy drawl. Not only does it completely take you out of the film, but he’s one of the least convincing ancient soldiers ever – although seeing him just show up for this single moment is amazing.
Bill Murray – ‘Zombieland’
The comedian is hilarious in the zom-com, playing himself as someone who has cleverly dressed up as a member of the undead to avoid being eaten by them.
Of course it all goes pear-shaped and he’s accidentally killed. A strangely poignant end to a great little nudge-nudge moment.
Image credits: Rex_Shutterstock, Sony, MGM, Columbia, Paramount, Icon, Touchstone