If it seems like music channels like MTV and MuchMusic barely show music videos anymore, that’s because they don’t. There are so many reality shows, half hour comedies and teen dramas on music channels these days that you have to wonder why artists even bother making music videos anymore.
Fortunately, there is still a market for videos thanks to YouTube. Fans love to watch the video interpretation for their favourite songs so they can gush in the comments about how hot someone is, or how the video is so cool, or more often, complain about how it wasn’t what they pictured. Music videos are still a huge part of the music industry and they help promote artists and their music. Especially when they do something unexpected in the video and it goes viral.
One way some artists have chosen to make their videos stand out is to enlist the help of another celebrity. Someone that you would never think would be interested in the music video genre. Here are some of the most unexpected celebrity cameos in music videos.
10. Rupert Grint in Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House”
Rupert Grint may be most recognizable from his role as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise, but you have to admit he bears a striking resemblance to Ed Sheeran. Probably the whole British ginger thing. In the video, Grint plays a super fan of Sheeran’s who becomes increasingly unstable as the song goes on. At first he seems to be playing the part of Sheeran for the video, but it becomes clear after he is thrown off stage by security that he is in fact stalking Sheeran.
As for the inspiration for the video, Sheeran told MTV, “People have called me Rupert Grint since age 11, and I thought I would poke a little fun at myself.”
9. Tom Hanks in Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You”
Carly Rae Jepsen has been chasing the viral success of her first hit “Call Me Maybe” for awhile now, and she may have actually found it again with her video for “I Really Like You”. Not only is the song annoyingly catchy, but the video is classic viral material. Tom Hanks is the star of the video, as he goes about his day lip syncing along to the words of the song until the huge flash mob-style dance number at the end. Fellow Canadian, Justin Bieber also makes an appearance, but he’s overshadowed by Tom Hanks’ moves.
Hanks told ET Canada that he is friends with someone who works with Carly, and when they asked him if he was interested in doing the video, he agreed immediately.
8. Alexander Skarsgard in Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”
You probably know him as sexy vampire, Eric, on HBO’s True Blood, but Alexander Skarsgard guest-starred in Lady Gaga‘s video for “Paparazzi” 2009 as her lover. In the beginning he tries to kill her by pushing her off a balcony, but after a lot of elaborate costume changes, and dance numbers, Gaga is back for her revenge. They also speak Swedish to each other, which is Skarsgard’s native language.
He was a huge star in Sweden, and was named the Sexiest Man in Sweden five times before he started to find fame in North America, including a small role in Zoolander, and this video with Lady Gaga.
7. Andrew Garfield in The Arcade Fire’s “We Exist”
Spider-Man himself, Andrew Garfield, stars in The Arcade Fire’s video for “We Exist” as a transgender woman struggling with her identity. Garfield plays a man, who clearly identifies as a woman, experimenting with makeup, trying on lingerie, and going out to a bar alone. She is harassed and assaulted by a group of men who don’t understand her, when all she really wants is to be accepted.
The band faced criticism for choosing to use a famous actor instead of a true trans-gendered actor, but front man Win Butler defended the choice, saying “For a gay kid in Jamaica to see the actor who played Spider-Man in that role is pretty damn powerful, in my opinion.”
6. Christopher Walken in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice”
Christopher Walken doesn’t just make a cameo in Fatboy Slim‘s video for “Weapon of Choice”, he is the video. He shows off his dance moves by dancing up at escalator, through a hotel, and on a table top. He even does a no-handed cartwheel (although, that may be a stunt double) and flies. The video was directed by Spike Jonze.
The video won 6 MTV Video Music awards, including one awarded to Walken himself for Best Choreography.
5. Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood and Danny McBride in Beastie Boys’ “Make Some Noise”
The stars of the Beastie Boys video for “Make Some Noise” may be Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride as three friends who wreak havoc around the city while lip syncing to the song. But there are plenty more cameos thrown in there. That is Rashida Jones in the beginning, followed by Will Arnett. There are also appearances by Steve Buscemi, Amy Poehler, Orlando Bloom, and many more.
A 30-minute long extended version of the video entitled “Fight For Your Right Revisited” was also released which is meant to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the classic Beastie Boys song “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)”
4. Jake Gylenhaal in Vampire Weekend’s “Giving Up The Gun”
The video for Vampire Weekend’s single “Giving Up The Gun” features a young girl playing a series of intense tennis matches against various opponents. She has no trouble beating Joe Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers), but her opponents get tougher and tougher until she has to face off against Jake Gyllenhaal in very small shorts. She manages to beat him too, and after defeating her own doppelganger, she wins the trophy.
Gyllenhaal happened to be friends with the director, and a huge fan of Vampire Weekend. He told MTV, “I drove down from San Francisco to this sound stage in downtown L.A., and I basically changed into a tennis outfit, and I got down.”
3. James Van Der Beek in Kesha’s “Blow”
There are people with unicorn heads in Kesha‘s video for “Blow” but still the most surprising thing is Dawson Leery, I mean James Van Der Beek, showing up to battle Kesha with guns that shoot laser bullets. Van Der Beek said of working with Kesha, “She’s a kick, man! She’s a hoot. Kind of the best version of who you think she would be from her music.”
He also told Entertainment Weekly, “I’ve been on this kick in the last year or so of whatever’s being offered – no matter how off the wall – if it sounds fun, just saying yes. The pitch is, “Unicorns and lasers and a James Bond tuxedo?” I just said, “Why not?””
2. Jason Bateman, Ed Helms, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis in Mumford & Sons’ “Hopeless Wanderer”
The video for the Mumford & Sons song “Hopeless Wanderer” comes off as more of a parody of typical folk music videos. Starring comedians Ed Helms, Will Forte, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis as a bearded band that carries their instruments down dirt paths to perform in barns, the video is clearly poking fun at folk music in general.
The concept for the video was all the director, Sam Jones’, idea. He told Rolling Stone magazine when he showed Mumford & Sons the finished product, it was a hit. “The band loved it – they didn’t want to change a thing.”
1. Mila Kunis in Aerosmith’s “Jaded”
Released in 2000, the video for Aerosmith’s “Jaded” features an only 17-year-old, Mila Kunis. She was just starting to gain some recognition for her role as Jackie on That 70’s Show, and a part in an Aerosmith video was a great way to get more exposure. She plays a young girl who has lost the ability to feel due to losing touch with reality.
Kunis has also appeared in music videos for The Strokes, KISS, Vitamin C, and Cheap Trick.
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