One of the best parts of watching a movie is suddenly spotting familiar faces which you least expected – especially if they are someone famous from the music industry.
All kinds of celebrities and personalities have made cameos in movies, from politicians like Barrack Obama in “Pitch Perfect 2”, to comic book writer Stan Lee in many of his Marvel movies, as well as crossover characters from other movies such as Howard the Duck in “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
But the most gleeful one of all that leaves a strong impression in our mind is when we see famous musical celebrities appearing in movies – even though it is just for a spilt second, cause who doesn’t love when movies and the music world collide?
While there are now plenty of musicians dabbling in acting too, such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and more, we take a look at other music celebs who stepped outside of the environment for which they’re known for to make a small appearance on the big screen.
The late King of Pop made one of the most memorable cameos in movie history when he appeared in the second installment of the blockbuster film “Men in Black 2”. In the film, Jackson had only around three lines talking to Chief Zed – played by Rip Torn – requesting for a position in MIB as Agent M. After watching the first film, Jackson fell in love with the creativity of it and was eager to have a role in the sequel.
In Martin Scorsese’s 2004 Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator”, Gwen Stefani made a cameo appearance as Jean Harlow – an American film actress and sex symbol from 1930s. Stefani got the role after the director saw her photoshoot from a Teen Vogue magazine cover. The film is Stefani’s acting debut and she only had a mere two short lines. The film starred Leonardo DiCaprio as business tycoon Howard Hughes.
Kanye West made a brief appearance in the 2008 comedy film “The Love Guru” as a Leafs hockey club fan. He only had one simple line which is “I love hockey!” and he appeared alongside Canadian actors Mike Myers, the lead actor of the film. Myers also played himself who is also a Leafs fan, cheering together with Kanye West.
The pop punk band made their first and only movie debut in the 1999 teen sex comedy “American Pie”. The band members were seen crowding around a computer, watching Jim’s (Jason Biggs) first sexual encounter and failed attempt with Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), which was unknowingly live streaming on the Internet.
In 3D neo-noir crime thriller “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” – follow-up to the 2005 film “Sin City”, Lady Gaga made her film cameo as a waitress named Bertha who works in a diner. Gaga perfectly nailed her character who offers money to Johnny played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, where she had several lines with him.
Though mostly knowns as a singer, David Bowie has actually starred in quite a number of films, some which are great while others that are best forgotten. In 2001’s “Zoolander”, Bowie appeared as himself who is a judge in a “walk off” contest between supermodels Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson).
In the “Poseidon” remake, Fergie had her first major film role where she played a doomed diva-ish lounge singer named Gloria who provides entertainment for the passengers of the ill-fated luxury liner. Fergie only had one line in the movie, but she performed two songs. One of the songs “I Won’t Let You Fall” was co-written by her and her Black Eyed Peas mate, Will.I.Am.
Being the main actor in “8 Mile” had already proved that Eminem can act, however, his cameo is “Funny People” is somewhat different than his role in “8 Mile” as it is his funniest onscreen work. In the film, Eminem played himself who is the friend of George Simmons (Adam Sandler). Simmons seeks advice from Eminem who later becomes sidetracked when he notices Ray Romano watching him.
Tim Garrick’s 2014 comedy film was filmed in 2012, back when Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were still madly in love with each other. In the film, Bieber has a mere 5 seconds of screen time as a prisoner who is walking down the prison hallway and into the cell. During the shooting of the film, Bieber had visited Gomes quite frequently, so we can pretty much guess how he got the role. Ironically, more than a year later, we saw Bieber getting arrested for real for DUI in Miami.
In Seth Rogen’s directorial debut film “This is the End”, multi award-winning boyband Backstreet Boys made their first and only major on-screen film debut. The boys appeared at the end of the film, when Jay Baruchel who played an alternate version of himself, wishes for the boys to appear and sing their iconic song “Everybody (Backstreet Back)” while everyone else dances along.