We’ve seen plenty of rock stars try their hand at lead acting roles, but there are plenty out there who are happy with a simple random cameo. Maybe you spotted them right away, maybe it took another viewing, or maybe you had no idea until after you read this handy list.
Here are five surprising film cameos (plus one bonus cameo) by rock stars. Hope it comes in handy.
Chris Martin in Shaun of the Dead
In addition to being the single greatest romantic comedy featuring zombies, Shaun of the Dead featured blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos by Chris Martin of Coldplay. Martin is shown briefly on t.v. promoting a post-zombie apocalypse charity, ZombAid, and he also plays a zombie extra earlier in the film.
Aimee Mann in The Big Lebowski
Nihilists, man….Renowned singer-songwriter Aimee Mann appeared briefly (along side of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) as a member of the gang of German nihilists in the Coen Brothers 1998 film The Big Lebowski. Mann's character's little toe was cut off in a botched kidnapping scheme.
Alanis Morissette in Dogma
In Kevin Smith’s meditation on the wackiness of religion, he cast Alanis Morissette as God. While only on screen for a brief moment, Morissette seizes the spotlight as she makes a character’s head explode with her voice. She reprised her role as God for the sequel of sorts, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Jack White in Walk Hard
Walk Hard tried to be what no other film has successfully accomplished since Naked Gun: a parody that’s actually funny. The jury is out on whether it succeeded, but you have to love Jack White’s portrayal of Elvis as a mumbling, karate-obsessed train wreck.
Tom Jones in Mars Attacks
In Mars Attacks, director Tim Burton’s criminally underrated ode to 50s schlock, he used most of his surprisingly huge budget to jam as many stars into the film as possible. The result is an array of cameos that feature Tom Jones, playing himself as he tries to spirit his friends away from the Martian invasion of Las Vegas.
Tom Petty in The Postman
Look, nobody is going to pretend this was a good movie, but damn it, Kevin Costner sure tried. In a post-apocalyptic America, society has ultimately broken down. Citizens live in isolated villages, and Tom Petty is the mayor of one of them. He isn’t playing a character, apparently when western civilization finally crumbles Tom Petty hangs up the guitar and becomes a small town mayor.
(Elford Alley has had plays produced and read across the United States and his sketch comedy featured in several shows in Chicago. He also writes for cracked.com. He currently resides in Dallas with his wife and daughter.)