It’s not hard to find celebrity cameos in modern movies and TV shows. Of Entourage at Supplements, there are a lot of shows and movies that revolve around the premise of celebrities playing fictional versions of themselves. But while some cameos fall flat, others are completely unforgettable – whether good or bad.
The most successful cameos where actors play larger-than-life versions of themselves fall into two camps: the funny and the unexpected. And the best and most memorable performances fall to the point where these camps divide. Here are some of the greatest actors who have performed themselves.
ten Barry White – The Simpsons
Barry White is not strictly an actor – but his turn in the episode “Whacking Day” of The simpsons is too memorable not to be on this list. As the Grand Marshall of Whacking’s Day, he is outraged that the people of Springfield are about to kill the town’s snakes. So he uses his dulcet tones to lure them into The Simpsons and protect them from a barbaric punch.
Barry White sells his role of savior of snakes in unmistakable style. Does Barry White like snakes? More than that – he adores “the sexy glide of a lady snake.” Oh baby. “
9 Zoë Bell – Proof of Death
Zoë Bell has been a stunt performer in tons of popular Hollywood movies and is particularly known for her work with Quentin Tarantino. She played herself in her 2007 film Proof of death, in which she initiates a trick of Ship’s Mast – a game that basically involves climbing out a window and hanging from the hood of a car as it moves at high speed.
Tarantino uses stuntmen in almost all of his films, and he pays homage to them in Proof of death. The fact that Zoë Bell plays such a dangerous stunt herself is typical of Tarantino, and Bell pulls off the role with vigor.
8 Burt Reynolds – Archer
Sterling Archer is obsessed with Burt Reynolds movies and sickened by the idea that his mother is having some kind of romantic relationship. So when Burt shows up and starts dating Mallory, he’s more than a little bit conflicted.
Burt Reynolds is actually just as great as Archer wants him to be – he’s full of wisdom, smooth lines, and insane driving moves. Plus, no one does a driving scene like Burt Reynolds – even an animated version.
7 Carl Weathers – Arrested Development
Cult success Development stopped features a number of recognizable faces – but it’s Carl Weathers who steals the show. His ironic role as a thrifty acting coach, which Weathers himself suggested, is a highlight of the first series – and some of his money-saving tips are actually pretty good.
Weathers shamelessly swindles money out of every opportunity, possibly taking advantage of poor Tobias perhaps more than any other character on the show. Tobias may not learn much from Carl, but he does learn to cook a stew.
6 Daniel Radcliffe – Extras
British Sitcom Supplements revolves around a number of well-known actors playing fictional versions of themselves – and Radcliffe is one of the top picks in the series. Dressed like a Boy Scout (with a pack of cigarettes in his pocket), Radcliffe is brilliant as a juvenile and contender version of himself.
His mortifying idea of flirtation will make anyone cringe, but there’s no doubt it’s fun watching Harry Potter attempt to shoot – and be rejected by – every woman he meets.
5 Lauren Bacall – The Sopranos
Lauren Bacall’s no-frills cameo The Sopranos at the age of 80 was one of his most memorable performances – which speaks volumes, given his illustrious career in showbiz.
Bacall is assaulted by Christopher Moltisanti, whose attempts to get into the cinema have gone wrong – and so he ends up hitting her right in the porridge. It’s a low point for Chris, but undeniably iconic for Lauren Bacall – aside from the punch, this scene marks the first time Bacall has sworn on camera.
4 Wanda Sykes – Limit Your Enthusiasm
Comedian and actress Wanda Sykes kills her every time she appears on Larry David’s hit show Calm your enthusiasm. Like Richard Lewis and Ted Danson, Wanda looks back on a number of series as a compelling fan favorite.
His anti-relationship with Larry is ripe for hostility from both sides. From the moment she accuses Larry of having a racist dog, to her relationship with Krazee-Eyez Killa, Wanda’s storylines are always funny and she always plays her scathing, sardonic faux-self to perfection.
3 Kate Winslet – Extras
Kate Winslet is revered in Hollywood and independent film circles. She is a truly versatile actress, having dazzled in a range of roles – from her performance as Titanic Rose in her recent turn Easttown mare.
But one of Winslet’s most underrated roles is in Supplements. Winslet herself plays the role of a nun, one of the main actors in a WWII movie. awesome.
2 John Malkovich – Being John Malkovich
Spike Jonze’s bizarre but brilliant film Being John Malkovich is perhaps the ultimate example of an actor playing a fictional version of himself. In fact, John Malkovich plays a lot of versions of himself, from Malkovich-as-famous-puppeteer, to different Malkoviches in his own head.
There are also a number of flashing cameos and you’ll be missed by other actors in Being John Malkovich. Brad Pitt and Winona Ryder can be spotted in pieces throughout the film. But it is Malkovich, whose mind ends up being torn by the constant occupation of his head, who achieves the decisive performance as himself here.
1 Larry David – Limit Your Enthusiasm
Larry David is the undisputed champion of fiction for comedic effect. Having written and produced 10 series of Calm your enthusiasm – with season 11 reportedly on its way – he seems to have an endless stream of ideas about ways the fictional Larry can anger, amuse, and provoke his friends, family, and strangers.
Calm your enthusiasm features tons of celebrity cameos, with many celebs enjoying the chance to receive the Larry David treatment. But it’s Larry himself who always steals the show.
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