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20 Awesome Celebrities Playing Themseleves In Movies

20 May 2013 | Features, Other Lists | by David Zou

celebrities playing themselves

We love cameos in movies, don’t we? It’s especially interesting when it’s extremely unexpected, and if they are playing themselves or some kind of silly version of themselves – all the better.

It’s all about recognizing the kind of person you are perceived to be, and then playing off that in a way that makes the audience realize that you are in on the joke. If a celebrity is willing to do that, it’s instant coolness.

Here are 20 famous people playing themselves in movies, tell us what’s your favorite!


20. Bruce Campbell (My Name Is Bruce)


Real-life version: Something of a cult hero among movie geeks for his role as Ash in the Evil Dead trilogy.

Movie version: Campbell also directed this tale starring himself as himself – who is then mistaken for his Evil Dead character and ask to help the locals fend off a monster. Irony ensues.


19. Bruce Willis (What Just Happened)


Real-life version: Charismatic leading man actor who used to be married to Demi Moore and made one of the greatest action movies of all time.

Movie version: Makes fun of himself as a demanding actor who won’t shave his beard off for a role. Which is obviously nothing like him whatsoever. Interestingly, in the book by producer Art Linson the film is based on, the star who wouldn’t shave his beard is Alec Baldwin.


18. Marshall McLuhan (Annie Hall)


Real-life version: Academic McLuhan became known for his writings on culture and for coining the phrase: The medium is the message.

Movie version: In a brilliant piece of wish fulfilment, Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) gets annoyed at a couple debating McLuhan’s work in a cinema queue and pulls the man himself into the discussion to refute their theories.


17. Mike Tyson (Black & White)


Real-life version: One of the greatest boxers of all-time had an astonishing fall from grace after being imprisoned for rape. His rehabilitation continues. With a face tattoo.

Movie version: You might think we would have chosen The Hangover. But no, Tyson’s appearance in this 1999 indie is way more interesting. Propositioned by Robert Downey Jr.’s character, Tyson lashes out in anger – and it looks all too real. Some behind-the-scenes rumours suggest it was, after director James Toback decided not to tell Tyson what Downey Jr. was going to do.

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  • Mark Harding

    Davey Jones in The Brady Bunch Movie along with Jerry Mathers and Tony Dowe.