The 15 Most Interesting Instances of Actors Playing Themselves in Movies

8. Hot Shots! Part Deux – Martin Sheen (1993, Jim Abrahams)

Hotshots Part Deux - Martin Sheen

Carlos Irwin Estévez, best known by the name Charlie Sheen whose career got bigger in the mid 80s, stars in the comedy film sequel to the Hot Shots. The film is a parody of Rambo III. But in this case we are more interested in the man who named him Carlos, his father Martin (birthname Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez ). His career got a boost in the 70s and one film in particular from that period marked his career: Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now .

Martin Sheen suffered serious heart attack during the filmming. Despite that and other problems, Apocalypse Now is considered a classic and reached wide acclaim. In Hot Shot! Part Deux, Martin Sheen, in Apocalypse Now fashion,encounters Topper (character played by Charlie) and they greet each other by making funny remarks about each other in the film Wall Street where they both starred.


9. Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back – Ben Affleck & Matt Damon (2001, Kevin Smith)

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back - Ben Affleck & Matt Damon

Jay & Silent Bob first appeared in now the cult black and white comedy Clerks. The film was made in a store where the director worked in real life, and he is also playing Silent Bob in the film. He spent $27,575 on making the film, and it grossed over $3 million in theaters. This resulted in some sequels and finally Jay & Silent Bob got their own film. In that film, they are trying to sabotage the making of a movie which features their comic book counterparts.

The film features an appearance of long time friend Ben Affleck and Matt Damon who say that one of the reasons they did the film was because they owe the director a favor. It was writer/director Kevin Smith who brought the script of Good Will Hunting (1997) to Miramax. And in this film they`re making Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season.


10. Zombieland – Bill Murray (2009, Ruben Fleischer)


Zombies are a popular topic in entertainment industry. The term stems from Haitian folklore where a zombie is a dead body animated by magic, but in modern times zombies are often triggered by virus. In the 2000s, zombie films have again gained popularity as they did in the 80s.

In this comedy film, we follow several survivors who are taking a road trip across United States in order to escape from zombies, One of the characters, Tallahassee, is played by Woody Harrelson who also stars in film Natural Born Killers (1994), where his character talks about Zombieland while referring to television audiences.

In Zombieland, we have the cameo appearance of Bill Murray who also starred with Harrelson in Kingpin (1996). We see Murray in Ghostbusters fashion again, but this time maybe he is the one who needs to be busted, at least he looks like that way.


11. What Just Happened – Sean Penn (2008, Barry Levinson)

What Just Happened - Sean Penn

Films about filmmakers are almost always interesting to watch for lovers of cinema, just think about Living in Oblivion or Ed Wood. They say that the best way to make films is to make films about the things that you are familiar with. Filmmakers are of course familiar with the topic of filmmaking, so it seems logical that filmmakers make films about filmmaking.

In this one, a Hollywood producer is having trouble making his new film which stars Robert De Niro and John Turtorro. It also feautures an appeareance of Bruce Willis, and it is one of the rare films where you can see him with beard. We follow our main character Ben (De Niro) who is having a struggle with a film starring Sean Penn. Of course, our first thought is if anyone can handle Sean Penn, it is De Niro.


12. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle – Neil Patrick Harris (2004, Danny Leiner)

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle - Neil Patrick Harris

In this classic stoner comedy, we have two guys, one Indian, and the other South Korean. We follow them on their noble mission to get to the White Castle food chain. They try to satisfy their need for food after smoking cannabis, but of course things don`t go too smoothly. The film was a success and became the first installment of the Harold & Kumar series.

This film also features actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, magician, singer and television host called Neil Patrick Harris, known for the popular TV series How I Met Your Mother. In the film, our two heroes pick up a hitchhiker NPH and he ends up being no better than Tobey Maguire in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.


13. My Name Is Bruce – Bruce Campbell (2004, Bruce Campbell)

My Name Is Bruce - Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell is well known for two things: his chin and cult horror film franchise Evil Dead created by Sam Raimi. Evil Dead has first seen daylight at the beginning of the 80s and became a four film series. The series even became musical in 2003. The plot of the film revolves around Bruce Campbell who is mistaken for the hero from Evil Dead film series, and now has to fight a real monster in Oregon.

Our hero may be a coward, but he is also egotistical, and doesn`t want to give up without doing what he does (or doesn`t) do best – fight. Reviews for the film are mixed but his legacy will live on and he is turning a new page this year with a horror sitcom launched under the name Ash vs. Evil Dead.


14. This Is The End – Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruche… (2013, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen)

This Is The End

Every now and then, a new prophecy about apocalypse comes around, from y2k bug to 2012. In films, it has happened many times in all sort of ways, by water, ice or all combined. This Is The End is a film that goes in the direction of doom. A stellar cast with Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruche and others will try to save themselves in the aftermath of the apocalypse.

Franco is having a party in the film and his celebrity friends are attending it. It turns out to be a disaster. The party is over and now they are trying to survive. In the film, famous actors are playing exaggerated versions of themselves, they`ve probably had a lot of fun by doing it , and if you like this kind of films, you will enjoy it.


15. Being John Malkovich – John Malkovich (1999, Spike Jonze)


John Malkovich began his career in 1976 and since then his face and name became very familiar to the cinema-goers. He often plays menacing, sadistic villains and when you combine him with the writing of Charlie Kaufman and the directing of Spike Jonze, you know what you can expect.

Being John Malkovich is a fantasy comedy starring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and of course, John Malkovich. In the film, we follow a puppeteer played by Cusack who one day discovers a door into someone’s mind. If that is not weird enough, the mind belongs to John Malkovich. Cusack`s character enters John`s mind and gets experience of what it`s like of being John Malkovich.

Of course we not only get inside of John Malkovich`s head in the film, we also follow a series of events that give the main characters and us headaches.