I don’t think it's a big secret that movie stars love them some money. But every once in a while, you hear a story about an actor just being a fan of a movie (or director) and wanting to be a part of the project. They're not asking for a starring role, just a piece of the action. For most of the A-listers on this list, that's exactly how it went down. They said, "Hey, let me be in this movie," and director was like "Yeah, alright." Usually these little roles or cameos play up the actor's identity to make it funny or ironic or whatever, but that's not always the case. In most examples laid out below, they went to great lengths to hide the actor's identities, or at least not draw a lot of attention to it.
Then again, maybe it's all part of the plan. Maybe these actors go into costume, the filmmakers leak out the information that so and so is hidden in the movie in a special role and fans start making a big deal about. There's no such thing as bad publicity. Unless you're getting Mel Gibson publicity. That can get pretty ugly.
There's something hilarious about a big star playing a really small, unknown part. We only expect to see them in central positions in front of the camera, so it's a surprise to catch a glimpse of a megastar doing something minor. Or, for the costumed ones, it's neat knowing that they're hiding their faces. Maybe they're not the egotistical maniacs we envision them as. For the audience, it's cool to be able to spot someone and think, "Did I just see (enter a famous actor's name here)?" Well, I've taken the fun out of the scavenger hunt for you, for your own good of course. I've tracked down all the best times that an A-List actor played a somewhat unknown role—whether that means they're costumed, obscure or just inconsequential.
15 Johnny Depp – 21 Jump Street
14 Cate Blanchett & Peter Jackson – Hot Fuzz
13 Robin Williams – The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
12 Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie – Men In Black III & Lord of the Rings
11 Tom Cruise – Young Guns
10 Dan Aykroyd – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
9 Matt Damon – EuroTrip
8 Steve Buscemi – Pulp Fiction
7 Keanu Reeves – Freaked
6 6 Nicolas Cage – Grindhouse
5 Charlton Heston – Planet of the Apes (2001)
4 Daniel Craig – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
3 Nathan Fillion – Guardians of the Galaxy
2 Bill Murray - Dumb and Dumber To
1 Simon Pegg – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars pretty much doesn’t even have to pay actors at this point in the franchise. There are so many people who were dying to be a part of it that they basically just threw themselves at the film crew. Simon Pegg, of Shaun of the Dead fame, was no different. We know Pegg is a nerd and we love him for it. Not only did Pegg get a role in the movie, it was actually a pretty big one. He just happened to be costumed in it, so we never knew it was him. Well, those of you with Darth Maul nightlights probably knew who he was ahead of time, but most of us didn’t. Pegg did drop a few hints that he would be in the movie a while back, so it wasn't necessarily the craziest surprise. He ended up playing Unkar Plutt, the rude junk boss that Rey argues with in Jakku. When you know it's Pegg behind that costume, you look a little differently at the character. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing yet.
Sources: EW, Wikipedia; IMDB
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