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20 Cool Director Cameos You Never Noticed

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

coolest director cameos

Cameo roles are generally small, many of them are non-speaking ones, and only appear on the screen very briefly. Director cameos are even harder to spot because we are not used to the sight of these who usually stand behind the camera and call all the shots suddenly appear in front of it.

Speaking of director cameo, there is one man to be mentioned, the great Alfred Hitchcock, the king of cameos. There is an interesting story about him. In order not to distract viewers from the plot, he deliberately put his “regular” cameos in the early stage of his later movies.

Most of the director cameos on this list are directors appearing in other director friends’ movies, they are very cool and entertaining, but are also very easy to be ignored. Get ready to be surprised!


20. Vanilla Sky


The Cameo: Steven Spielberg (complete with trademark cap) embraces Tom Cruise’s character at his birthday celebrations.

Why It’s Cool: It’s an unexpected treat when Spielberg greets Cruise with, “happy birthday you son of a bitch!”


19. Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring


The Cameo: Peter Jackson can be spotted as one of the menacing locals in the village of Bree, chowing down on a carrot, as menacing locals are wont to do.

Why It’s Cool: Jackson loves a cameo, and the more grotesque the better. This slack-jawed hick is one of his finest.


18. Scream 3


The Cameo: Roger Corman shows up as a studio exec in Wes Craven’s in-joke laden third instalment of the Scream franchise.

Why It’s Cool: It’s a nice tip of the hat from one horror icon to another.


17. Star Trek: Nemesis


The Cameo: Bryan Singer can be spotted in the home stretch, taking over Worf’s station as Picard is saying his goodbyes to Riker.

Why It’s Cool: When you know how much of a nerd Singer is for all things sci-fi, there’s something immensely gratifying about seeing him get his face in a Star Trek movie!


16. Singles


The Cameo: Tim Burton plays a grungy filmmaker in just one of many cameos in Cameron Crowe’s star-laden film.

Why It’s Cool: Burton fits the bill of brooding outsider in the same way as fellow guests from the likes of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden.

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  • Jeroen Ledderhof


    I think the movie with the most director’s cameos is Sleepwalkers (John Landis, Stephen King, Joe Dante, Tobe Hooper, and Clive Barker).

  • Mark Harding

    Vanilla Sky wasn’t Spielberg’s first cameo, he can be seen towards the end of The Blues Brothers as the tax assessor clerk.

  • Idrona

    Stan Lee use to pop up here and there.

  • HeatherSeebach

    The “pre” Hitchcock looks like Kevin from THE OFFICE :P

  • Carlos Rivera

    Todd Phillips popped up in The Hangover (guy on elevator) and Road Trip (bus foot licker) as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he appeared in the other Hangovers somewhere.

  • WoWed

    another Peter Jackson cameo in LOTR was as the pirate who gets shot on the boat.

  • Pingback: The 20 Worst Movie Cameos | Taste of Cinema

  • ladyofargonne

    It was Luke Wilson in Old School. Peter Jackson also makes an appearance in The Frighteners. Oliver Stone briefly in Alexander.