9 Times Big Stars Had the Epic Role of Playing Themselves

Drew Frimston,

Actors have a challenging job, spending years refining their craft, putting themselves in the mind of characters created by writers and directors. Sometimes though, they get the opportunity to simply play themselves, often in an over the top and hilarious manner. 

In honour of their hard work, let’s look back at some of the gems where well known stars have had the infamous role of playing themselves.

Nicolas Cage – The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

You either hate him or love him. Well known not just for playing an array of weird and wacky characters, but also being known as one himself – Nicolas Cage couldn’t be more perfect for the lead role in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent playing…you guessed…Nicolas Cage! 

Cage plays an over the top (Probably not by much) version of himself desperate for money, he takes a job from an admirer played by Pedro Pascal who is wanted for kidnapping by the CIA. Cage and Pascal play brilliantly off each other to deliver a wild and hilarious movie. 

Buy or rent now in Movie Store.

Keanu Reeves – Always Be My Maybe

Keanu Reeves, the saint of Hollywood has a reputation of being extremely kind, generous and interesting. So it made perfect sense that when Keanu plays Sasha’s (Ali Wong) new boyfriend, he plays the heartthrob of Hollywood everyone sees. 

Keanu Reeves’ introduction in Always Be My Maybe is exactly how I like to believe he is seen walking into anywhere; Accompanied by a soundtrack, moving in slow motion, stopping everything in the room and saying hi to everyone as he walks past. He then begins to throw out life-changing monologues causing tears and admiration. No doubt something he does on a day to day basis. 

Watch now on Netflix using your Fetch Mighty or Mini.

John Malkovich – Being John Malkovich

It is in the name of the movie but it’s so much more. John Malkovich plays the role of not only himself, but also people in his mind (it’s as crazy as it sounds). Nothing beats the scene where everyone is Malkovich…and it’s Malkovich himself playing 50 different versions of… John Malkovich.

Sounds weird doesn’t it? That is the experience of watching Being John Malkovich. It’s a movie that takes being weird and interesting to a whole different level. With Malkovich perfecting the role of himself, it is a movie that is worth a watch and that leaves you with many questions. 

Buy or rent now in Movie Store.

LeBron James – Trainwreck

You’ll note that the title of this article was very careful to not include ‘Actors’, because we wouldn’t be able to add the NBA star LeBron James. This isn’t the only role LeBron James has taken where he plays himself as you’ll see with the next title, but his performance in Trainwreck is a must watch.

LeBron plays the good friend of Aaron (Bill Hader) who falls in love with the main character Amy (Amy Schumer). LeBron and Hader deliver some hilarious scenes, especially where they play 1 on 1 Basketball. A must watch for comedy fans.

Buy or rent now in Movie Store.

Michael Jordan & Lebron James — Space Jam & Space Jam: A New Legacy 

The first Space Jam can arguably be called a classic. We follow as one of the greatest basketball players, Michael Jordan retires from the NBA only to be abducted by Bugs Bunny himself. Then Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan lead a basketball team against a criminal alien group. It’s a great mix of cartoon and reality.

With the success of the original Space Jam it was no surprise that they made a sequel (Space Jam: A New Legacy), the only surprise was it came out 25 years after the original. With this lengthy gap they required a new star, and as we know, LeBron James is always up for playing the role of himself.

Buy or rent both in Movie Store.

Neil Patrick Harris – Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

In true Neil Patrick Harris fashion, he steals the show in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle when he plays an outrageously unhinged version of himself. He was so good that he appeared in all the following sequels. 

Neil Patrick Harris plays a womanising, drug addicted madman that Harold and Kumar come across on their adventure to White Castle. Each time he appears, the events get more and more out of this world and continue to get stranger in subsequent sequels.

Bill Murray — Zombieland

In a time where zombie apocalypse movies were dropping left and right, Zombieland came into the picture to shake things up. In this hilarious buddy zombie film we follow a band of misfits as they traverse the now zombie-infected United States of America. All is okay though, as long as you follow the rules.

This movie carries itself well but cemented its spot as brilliant with the crowd-killing appearance of Bill Murray. He is found alive and well within the zombie apocalypse. Thankfully he can still communicate, because he spends his appearance doing what he does best…causing an uproar of laughter.

Buy or rent in Movie Store

Chuck Norris – Dodgeball

The almighty Chuck Norris makes an appearance as himself in the cult classic Dodgeball. Dodgeball tragics will know exactly what scene I’m talking about – With the Average Joes about to lose to the rival team, Chuck appears to give a revitalising thumbs up.

Norris is in the movie for just a few seconds, but that’s all it needed to become the most memorable scene within that movie. No wonder…it’s Chuck Norris!!

Buy or rent in Movie Store.

Everyone – This Is The End

This is the End is a movie created by the Seth Rogan squad, with big names from the group such as James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and Jay Baruchel. Some even bigger names are also included like Emma Watson, Micheal Cera and even Rhianna, the queen herself. The greatest aspect is that they all play themselves.

This movie is hilarious, as we see this group of excellent comedic actors thrown into an end-of-the-world scenario. It’s filled with endless jokes and even an axe wielding Emma Watson

Buy or rent now in Movie Store.

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