‘Uncut Gems’ and 9 Movies Where Celebrities Play Themselves

While it’s fun to see a big-name actor take on an iconic role or get audiences to fall in love with a quirky new character, it’s even more interesting when he portrays himself as himself. Whether it’s just for a cheeky short appearance or the whole movie, there’s always something special about seeing celebrities perform on the big screen, and there’s an upcoming movie that sees one of the most eccentric actors. beloved audience play a role all about himself.

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Nicholas Cage is about to play his own role in the director by Tom Gormican upcoming movie The unbearable weight of massive talent. Right from its premiere at the last SXSW Film Festival, the film has already garnered praise, with some saying Cage delivers one of his craziest performances to date and the film acts as a true love letter to the actor. Cage is far from the first actor to play himself in film as there’s a long history of celebrities playing themselves on the big screen.

Neil Patrick Harris – The “Harold & Kumar” Franchise (2004 – 2011)

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One of the most prolific examples of celebrities playing themselves is undoubtedly Neil Patrick Harris’ appearances across the Harold and Kumar movies.

That Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) took an elaborate trip to a white castle or through hell to get out of Guantanamo Bay, they always encountered Harris in the midst of his drug- and sex-fueled adventures. Harris’ appearances as a hilariously heightened version of himself are a staple of the Harold and Kumar movies and something that fans always look forward to seeing.


Bill Murray – ‘Zombieland’ (2009)

Image via Sony Pictures Release

While Zack Snyder its zombie apocalypse survivors shot zombified celebrities in its 2003 remake dawn of the deaddirector Ruben Fleischer has his gang of misfits meet a beloved celebrity posing as a zombie in zombieland.

As the film’s main survivors make their way to the mansion of the legendary Bill Murray, many wondered if the comedian was still alive, we find that he’s not only alive but still busy pretending he’s a zombie so he can get out and move around. It’s a hilarious moment that ends up taking a bloody turn when Murray bites the bullet in his attempted joke, making for an even funnier death scene.

David Bowie – “Zoolander” (2001)

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alongside the actor Billy Zanelegendary musician david bowie makes a brief appearance as himself in a hilarious fight between dumb models in Zoolander.

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During a big “walk-off” between by Ben Stiller Zoolander and Owen Wilson Hansel, Bowie is running as a last-second judge. Just as he rips off his sunglasses and his name flashes on the screen, you can’t help but smile.

John Malkovich – “Being John Malkovich” (1999)

John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich

At Spike Jonze’s cult comedy Being John Malkovich brought viewers inside the beloved actor’s head John Malkovich and saw the titular actor play an enhanced version of himself.

Many love Malkovich’s performance here which sees him mostly controlled by a puppeteer and this sequence of him going into his own mind is the perfect kind of wild weirdness that’s made even better by his engaged performance.

Robert Englund – “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” (1994)

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While most of Nightmare on Elm Street notable players play themselves in Wes Craven’s New Nightmareincluding Heather Langenkamp and Cowardlyhimself, icon of horror Robert Englund ends up playing a dual role.

Englund once again reprises his role as legendary slasher Freddy Krueger, but he also plays his own part by telling Heather about this new entity impersonating Kreuger. It’s a bit of a shame the two never came face to face on screen, but it was still cool to see the man under the mask.

Chuck Norris – ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’ (2004)

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Just before the big final game between the Average Joes and the Purple Cobras in the hit 2004 comedy Dodgeballall hope seems lost for the Joes until a legendary boost changes everything.

The second you see Chuck Norris’ face, you know he lets the Joes play and that big boost he gives is undeniably amazing. Norris’ appearance in Dodgeball is one of the most iconic cameos of all time and just thinking about it makes you want to say “thank you, Chuck Norris”.

Kevin Garnett – “Uncut Gems” (2019)

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While by Adam Sandler Howard has dealt with many clients in the Safdie BrothersUncut Gemsnone were as important or as big as the former NBA superstar Kevin Garnett.

Garnett playing himself in Uncut Gems added a larger than life high profile client to deal with Howard and he actually puts on a very solid performance by unwittingly pushing Howard more and more to make a big score.

Pretty Much the Whole Cast – “This Is the End” (2013)


In Seth Rogen and by Evan Goldberg 2013 apocalyptic comedy It is the endpretty much the entire cast is made up of celebrities who play themselves out as the world suddenly comes to an end.

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The main group consists of Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBrideand Jay Baruchel acting like a dysfunctional group of friends trying to survive the end of the world and eventually stumble upon Emma Watsona drunkard Michael Ceraand many more along the way.

Keanu Reeves – ‘Always Be My Maybe’ (2019)

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There’s never a bad time to John Wick actor Keanu Reeves to appear in a film and his brief but memorable appearance in the romantic comedy Always be my maybe as himself was a total blast.

Appearance of Reeves as Sasha’s new boyfriend (Ali Wang), Marcus’ love interest (Randall Park), was amazing with Marcus and his date’s reactions being all too relatable, and Reeves bringing his unique charisma and distinct personality to add some good hilarity to the mix.

Michael Jordan and Lebron James — “Space Jam” (1996, 2021)

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the space jam the movies haven’t seen one, but two NBA legends team up with the looney tunes for the ultimate game of basketball.

The beloved classic saw from 1996 Michael Jordan motivate and lead the Tune Squad to victory as the most maligned sequel saw james lebron lead the team through various Warner Bros. franchises. and victory over an all-new villainous team.

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