It’s not enough to just to be a pop star these days: as well as carrying a tune, modern-day troubadours have got to dance, act, run a social media empire and probably know how to juggle as well. We took a look at our favourite triple threats who swapped the mic for the movies.
Not that you can tell underneath all that hair, but Justin Timberlake plays one of the colourful gonks in DreamWorks' new animation, Trolls, available from the 13th February from Virgin Movies. Ol' Trousersnake used to be best known for his boyband dance moves bringing back of the sexy, but he's a regular fixture on the film circuit of late. And what’s more, Timberlake’s incredible earworm ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ written especially for the film has just been nominated for an Oscar. Impromptu dance party!
As you might expect from a comedy about vanity, Zoolander's cameo game is strong. There are plenty of faces from the world of fashion, but the pop industry loaned some of its most famous stars out for the day. Ariana Grande appears wearing a ball-gag at Kiefer Sutherland's hippy commune orgy (we appreciate that sounds odd out of context), while Justin Bieber gets the plot rolling as the first pop star to be brutally murdered, flashing one final Blue Steel selfie before he shuffles off this mortal coil.
Zoolander 2 is available now on Sky Cinema
He might not have been the most popular member of The Beatles, but our Ringo loves a good cameo. He's one of many musical giants who show their face in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, The Lonely Island's cautionary tale about the price of stardom and the perils of pop. After we see Conner4Real sing a frankly antiquated song requesting equal rights for gay people (sample lyric: "How is it that I can have so much straight sex while two dudes are oppressed?"), we cut straight to a Ringo talking head, as the ex-Beatle mutters: "He's writing a song for gay marriage, like it's not allowed. It's allowed now."
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David Bowie could appear in whatever medium he pleased, to be honest: if he appeared in our breakfast cereal we wouldn't even be mad. But his cameo in David Lynch's Twin Peaks movie Fire Walk With Me ranks as one of the weirdest things the admittedly quite weird legend as ever done. Bowie plays long lost FBI Agent Phillip Jeffries, who strolls back into the Bureau and starts spouting random nonsense just before director David Lynch goes off-course and starts to spew out a fever dream, underneath which you can hear Bowie crying “OH HELL GOD BABY DAMN NO!” It makes no sense, yet Bowie is perfectly cast as an unsettling figure at the centre of all the chaos.
We always suspected Michael Jackson wasn't from this planet, and his cameo from Men In Black 2 all but confirmed it: Jacko was operating on another plane entirely. We catch a snatch of video communication between Rip Torn's Head of MIB and one of his alien underlings, who turns out to be none other than the Prince of Pop. What's more, he's after a job: "I could be Agent M!" Yeah, no offence Mike, but we reckon the whole 'keeping things on the down low' thing might be a bit tricky for a chap of your stature.
Let's get real: most pop star cameos are either acts of back-slapping or acts of publicity – most won't get out of bed for less than a hundred grand. That's why Jarvis Cocker's cameo in Harry Potter is so out of sorts: because there was clearly no reason to do it other than it'd be super cool. The Pulp frontman appeared in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as Myron Wagtail, lead singer of band The Weird Sisters, playing the ball at the Tri-Wizard Tournament. And if you think that was weird, did you know Stone Roses singer Ian Brown cameoed as a wizard in Prisoner of Azkaban?
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