For movie fans, a great secret cameo is that giddy buzz, the surprise that delights, that perfect cake-topping cherry…
Take this week's Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, now available to watch on Virgin Movies, which boasts the magical suitcase-load of cameos setting up the next few movies. So to celebrate, here's our favourite secret superstar movie cameos - warning though, here be spoilers...
Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street (2012)
Having graduated from TV’s 21 Jump Street as a full-fledged teen heartthrob, Johnny Depp’s spent most of his career trying to bury that pretty boy reputation. The show’s fun ultra-meta movie update gave the Deppster the perfect opportunity to do so, letting him not only secretly reprise the deep undercover Tom Hanson with a great reveal but then also kill him off in the most shocking, splatty fashion possible. You’ll need more than a plaster for that.
Find 21 Jump Street in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
Bill Murray in Zombieland (2009)
“God damn it, Bill freaking Murray!” Woody Harrelson says exactly what Zombieland’s audience is thinking when the legendary comedian turns up alive, kicking and sinking putts in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. Having used his Hollywood make-up skills to fool the undead into leaving him alone, the twinkle-eyed cult-hero is more than game to smoke a few bowls and recreate Ghostbusters with his fellow survivors. Maybe don’t make that disguise too good though, Bill…
Find Zombieland in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
Hugh Jackman in X-Men: First Class (2011)
Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is the only mutant to turn up in every X-Men movie but his appearance in First Class is the shortest – taking all of 22 seconds – if not necessarily the sweetest. Drinking alone in a bar, Logan’s approached by Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr who’re looking to recruit him into the X-gang. He, er, RSVPs in the negative.
Find X-Men: First Class in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
Channing Tatum in This Is The End (2013)
This Is The End is full of hilarious sending-themselves-up cameos - Michael Cera, Rihanna, Emma Watson, The Backstreet Boys – but the biggest shock is Hollywood’s favourite bro Channing Tatum, who turns up here looking anything but Magic Mike. It turns out that the end of days sees the Tatum enslaved by LA’s new cannibal overlord Danny McBride. “Look, he does tricks.”
Samuel L Jackson in Iron Man (2008)
“So, you see, Samuel L Jackson’s playing Nick Fury, the director of SHIELD and he’s talking about setting up The Avengers. That’s a superhero team-up with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk. It’ll basically be the biggest superhero movie ever. No, really.” Given that Marvel movies now rule the cinema, it’s easy to forget the electric shiver that shot down your spine after that first Marvel post-credits scene, or trying to explain what it meant to any baffled non-geeks on the way home.
Find Iron Man in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
Matt Damon in EuroTrip (2004)
What’s worse than finding out that your girlfriend has dumped you? Finding out that she’s actually been cheating on you with some punk singer dude who looks suspiciously like Matt Damon, because now his band is singing a song to everyone you know that describes in graphic detail just how grubby the nasty affair between them has been and how very, very stupid you are.
Sean Connery in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991)
“Hold! I Schpeak.” Steering another voice into the bizarre accent car-crash that is Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves is Sean Connery’s not-particularly-French-sounding King Richard. The Lionheart gatecrashes the corn-fed All-American Robin Hood’s wedding – and indeed, the entire movie – demanding to give away the bride and presumably to laugh at Kevin Costner’s hair.
Samuel L Jackson in Out Of Sight (1998)
Out Of Sight is such a flirty movie that it contains not one but two canny cameos. The first is Michael Keaton, reprising his charmless Fed Ray Nicolette from the other excellent Elmore Leonard adaptation, Jackie Brown. But even better is the sneaky final curtain appearance of Samuel L Jackson. His Hejira is a prison-break artist who’s being conveniently transported in the same car as our incarcerated hero Jack Foley by Foley’s secret paramour US Marshal Karen Sisco, suggesting that another exodus is imminent and that the pair’s slinky fun isn’t about to stop…
Out of Sight is available now on Sky Cinema
John Hurt in Spaceballs (1988)
“Oh no, not again.” The late John Hurt sportingly recreated his Alien exit for Mel Brooks’ sci-fi spoof Spaceballs, with a PG-rated take on that oh-so-iconic death scene in the middle of a space diner. But this time around the toothy little phallus-monster that explodes out of Hurt’s chest only goes on a rampage through the 19th century rag-time hit "Hello, My Baby". I still don’t think John will leave a tip.
Find Spaceballs in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis in The Player (1992)
There’s nothing Hollywood likes more than sending itself up, which probably explains how LA satire The Player wound up with two of the industry’s biggest superstars dropping by to stick the boot in. Having initially been pitched the movie-within-a-movie Habeas Corpus as a "no-stars, no happy endings" drama, the finale of The Player sees the film undergo a cynical cinematic castration with Bruce Willis now heroically saving Julia Roberts from the gas chamber. Why did he take so long? “Traffic was a bitch”.
Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder (2008)
Tom Cruise can’t do much in secret thanks to the constant presence of the paps, but he just about kept his scorched earth cameo in Tropic Thunder under wraps, thanks in part to being well disguised under a hefty fat suit. In a credit roll packed with comic scene stealers - Downey Jr, Stiller, Coogan, Jack Black – the Cruiser’s perma-furious uber-sweary movie producer Les Grossman still wound up dancing off with the whole movie.