We all remember David Bowie’s superb cameos in The Prestige and Zoolander or maybe you remember Chris Isaac in Silence of the Lambs, but here are some of the more obscure times that pop stars and musicians tried their hands at the movies.
Ian Brown in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – A friend of director Alfonso Cuaron, the famed frontman of legendary Manchester band The Stone Roses Ian Brown found himself in an unlikely place back in 2004. Namely sat reading A Brief History of Time in popular wizarding pub the Leaky Cauldron during the opening of the third big-screen Harry Potter. While the blink and miss moment wasn’t much of a stretch for the singer, the fact that he’s able to magically stir his mug of tea without a wizard’s wand and instead using his finger, surely puts him up there with the most powerful magicians in the franchise?
Huey Lewis in Back to the Future – Eighties US rock band Huey Lewis and the News have Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 hit to thank for raising their profile considerably after their song, The Power of Love, was sued in the film, going on to be nominated for an Academy Award as well as reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Lewis also cropped up as a fun cameo in the film itself as a nerdy, glasses-wearing school administrator who cuts short Marty McFly blistering instrumental version of The Power of Love. Judging by Lewis’ attire in the scene, he went by the mantra of his later hit song, Hip to Be Square.
Anthony Kiedis in Point Break – Although Kiedis first formed the Red Hot Chili Peppers way back in 1983, he actually began his career in the entertainment industry as a child actor in the movies, getting his big break by playing Sylvester Stallone’s son in the cult 1978 Norman Jewison-directed labour union drama, F.I.S.T. Maybe his brief time on screen as a youngster helped inform his role as Tone, an aggressive, ponytailed member of a bad surf gang in Kathryn Bigelow’s seminal action flick, Point Break. Kiedis first has the misfortune of getting his ass handed to him by both Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, before almost having his foot shot clean off by a flummoxed FBI agent in the film’s botched drug raid. It’s easy to see why he stuck to the music.
Billy Ray Cyrus in Mulholland Drive – Not sure anyone had pegged David Lynch as a closet country music fan before his 2002 masterpiece was released, but he crops up briefly in the film when Justin Theroux’s exasperated director stumbles upon his wife and the mulleted one sitting arms-crossed and naked together in bed. Cyrus then goes on to utter the immortal line “Just forget you ever saw it. It’s better that way.” It’s a funny moment which resulted in the singer getting a taste for screen acting and subsequently being cast as the lead in TV series Doc. It was in that show where his young daughter got her first taste of acting and showbiz. That’s right folks – the twisted genius behind the likes of Eraserhead and Blue Velvet inadvertently helped spawn Hannah Montana and the career of her real-life figure, Miley Cyrus.
Eminem in Funny People – Seven years after making a grand impression as the lead in his big-screen debut 8 Mile, the man also known as Marshall Mathers decided to have a little fun with his public persona in Judd Apatow’s 2009 Adam Sandler-headlining dramedy. Playing a version of himself lamenting being in the spotlight whilst out having dinner with Sandler’s dying comedian George Simmons, Mathers’ displeasure is heightened by the nearby Ray Romano who decides to sneakily take a photo of him. After a brief tirade Mathers goes back to his lunch, and the scene end with a final gag when Seth Rogan’s character leans over to Romano and asks “I thought everyone liked you?” referring to the comic’s popular sitcom of the time.